Holly & Joe’s Finally Forever Home

updated Dec 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Holly Mueller)

Name: Holly & Joe
Location: Portland, OR
Size: 2,000 square feet
Years lived in: 8 months; Owned

Three cross country moves in three years is enough to test even the most solid of relationships, but newlyweds Holly and Joe are convinced it just made theirs stronger. They recently decided to put down roots in Portland and plan to let those roots go deep before they consider another move any time soon.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

While Joe grew up in a small town just outside of Portland, Holly’s main source of knowledge about the City of Roses was the TV show Portlandia. While some of the stereotypes hold true (uber‐intense cyclists, painfully hip hipsters, birds on many things) they have mostly found Portland to be an extremely quirky yet livable city with a never ending supply of fun things to do. Scouring the abundant antique stores and pop­‐up shops around town for one-­of-­a-­kind art and furnishings has been a major source of fun and inspiration. Frequent art shows and craft fairs have also been a treasure trove of creative ideas to take home with them.

Holly runs a small home decor business, so needless to say she has been having a field day sewing pillows, cushions, and curtains for just about every room in the house. While Joe has been very supportive of her tenacity for textiles, he has implemented a new rule that for every new pillow that comes in, one has to go out. Holly thinks the new rule is cute and wishes Joe the best of luck with it. While they still feel they have a long way to go with decorating their first house together, they’re having a lot of fun along the way exploring their new (and hopefully final) hometown.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: We’re still figuring it out as we go along, but in the meantime let’s just
say Industrial European Vintage Handmade Chic.

Favorite Element: Open floor plan between the kitchen, dining room, and living room. Joe loves to listen to music (loudly) while I cook dinner, and we love that we can still see each other and have a conversation (if he is willing to turn down the volume).

Biggest Challenge: Filling a whole house with furniture and art! After renting for years and making so many moves we were left with very few personal items, especially usable furniture.

What Friends Say: “Your dog is so cute!” Then they usually notice the skeleton drawing in our entryway that was drawn by a local artist and friend. We think of him as our butler ushering in guests.

Biggest Embarrassment: Lack of paint colors on the walls. The home was a new construction, so the whole thing is painted taupe-­‐y. I have big plans for painting some of the rooms if I can ever settle on a color for more than 24 hours at a time.

Proudest DIY: I made almost all of the curtains, pillows and cushions throughout the house. It was impossible to find cute cushions that fit the Tolix chairs in our dining room, so I bought some thick foam and made them myself.

Biggest Indulgence: We love listening to music, so we finally treated ourselves to a nice stereo system. No more laptop speakers!

Best Advice: You don’t need to do everything all at once. It’s nice to have a plan, but it’s fun watching your home slowly come together piece by piece. Especially if you’re on a tight budget!

Dream Sources: Rejuvenation, Jayson Home, Noun

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    • Cushions and pillows: handmade
    • Rugs: IKEA (small), antique (large)
    • Basket: Swahili


    • Desk: World Market
    • Loveseat: World Market
    • Rug: World Market
    • Pillows: homemade
    • Bookshelf: hand‐me-­down
    • Botanical Posters: The Evolution Store


    • Table: The Joinery
    • Chairs: Tolix Marais A chairs, Design Within Reach, cushions are homemade
    • Trunk: family heirloom
    • Birdcage: Classic Home & Antique
    • Trolley: Classic Home & Antique
    • Basket: Swahili
    • Bar tray: Noun
    • Curtains: Handmade with material from Calico Corners


    • Stools: Classic Home & Antique
    • Bird Lady tray: iBride
    • Café curtain: World Market, cut and hemmed from a full size curtain


    • Couch: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
    • Leather chair: Dania
    • White chair: vintage from Thea’s Interiors
    • Pillows: homemade
    • Mud Cloth: Swahili
    • Rug: Pottery Barn
    • Book Shelves: hand-­‐me-­‐down from Joe’s parents
    • Paper lamps: IKEA
    • Branch above mantle: Boys Fort pop-­‐up store
    • Mirror above mantle: Kitchen Kaboodle
    • Curtains: Ikea
    • Butterflies: The Evolution Store


    • Bed: Dania
    • Side tables: Bed, Bath & Beyond
    • Vanity: antique from Noun
    • Jewelry stand: Noun
    • Curtains: handmade
    • Botanical Poster: The Evolution Store


    • Tray: West Elm
    • Mirror: antique

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Holly & Joe!

(Images: Holly Mueller)

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— Holly Mueller