Aaron’s Minimal Portland Loft

published Apr 27, 2010
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Name: Aaron Tuller
Location: Portland, OR
Size: 1100 sq ft.
Years lived in: almost 2

Aaron is co-owner of one of our favorite online sources of independent and handmade goods, buyolympia.com. When they relocated to Portland a couple of years ago he took the opportunity to pare down his belongings to the essentials and move into this minimal loft.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Upon entering Aaron’s house I was struck by how purposeful each piece of furniture and fixture is to the overall space. Located in Portland’s Pearl District, this space was originally built as a warehouse in the 1920s. It underwent an unfortunate makeover in the 80s featuring shabby wall-to-wall carpet and heavy gold drapes to divide up the space. Lucky for Aaron, who is crazy busy with his business, his realtor Shannon also works as an interior designer and consultant, SBaird Design. She understood Aaron’s vision for a minimal, raw space and undertook the mission of converting his new loft to the modern, industrial home it has become. Last year Aaron’s loft was even featured in Oregon Home Magazine!

Aaron is a computer programmer and is visually intrigued by the way things work. Using this as a guide, Shannon took the walls back to their concrete foundation and exposed wooden structural beams. A pipe that drains the rainwater from the roof of the building was left alone and offers great sound effects on a rainy spring day. New lighting was added and the wiring was left intentionally visible. The concrete walls are balanced by newly added bamboo flooring. It’s a long space that was divided by installing a pocket wall that can hide the bedroom when guests are over. Each panel of the sliding wall is painted a slightly different tone of white to add interest. The closets that were built in his room (the only storage in the whole space!) were built to mimic the Vitsoe shelves he uses in his living room. The rug she found for the bedroom area emulates the shadows that the trees outside his windows create on the floor. All of the small details really make for a nice overall experience and 2 years later Aaron still seems quite happy in his minimal digs.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My style: Minimal.

Favorite Element: The bamboo floors. When we started the project, the floor was a dull
gray carpet and it was the first to go. I hadn’t lived in a home without carpet in over 10 years, so I had forgotten how nice it is to not have it. Super comfortable, and looks pretty good I think.

What Friends Say: Most people say it looks a lot bigger than they expected and then say it looks like me.

Biggest Embarrassment: That I still haven’t completely unpacked. That there is nothing hanging on the walls, but I kind of like that actually.

Biggest Indulgence: The Vitsoe shelves, floating against the cement well. And then having a custom closet designed and built to match. Both have no hardware, and the same cut-out shape to open and close.

Best advice: Don’t spread yourself thin…focus on the parts of the home where you
spend time. For me, that was the bedroom and wherever all my records were going to be.

Dream source: Having a designer who not only had design sensibility but also with
resources for the other things like floor, electrical, paint, furnace, etc. Which I had, and it was pretty dreamy.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Interior Design: SBaird Design

Chairs and coffee table: Look Modern, Portland OR

Closet and sliding doors: Constructavision, Portland OR

Shelves: Vitsoe

Desk, chair, couch, marble table, lamp: Design Within Reach

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

(Thanks, Aaron!)

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