Jen and Eric's Colorful Mid-Century Home

Jen and Eric's Colorful Mid-Century Home

Heather Keeling
Nov 5, 2015
(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

Name: Jen Lorentzen and Eric Thompson and their dogs, Sage and Bruiser
Location: University Park; Portland, Oregon
Size: 968 square feet
Years lived in: 11 years; Owned

Along with lots of color, Jen and Eric have filled their mid-century home in Portland's University Park neighborhood with furniture and decor they've found at vintage stores, scored at estate sales, and inherited from family. They love that most of their things are vintage, both because they fit with the look of the 1950s house and because being surrounded by objects that have stories and history is important to the couple.

(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

After years of working for Nike, a trip to the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Wisconsin inspired Jen to start designing for herself. Soon after, she founded her own firm, Clutched Key Collective, which is focused on designing for women's action sports. Eric is a principal engineer with Puppet Labs. Whenever they get the chance (or when there's fresh powder!), Jen and Eric are snowboarding, playing with their dogs, and working on their cabin on Mt. Hood.

(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Mid-century

Inspiration: The stories behind the things! We try hard to buy secondhand or ethically-sourced products. It makes each item more special. Also, that while many things have been around my whole life, our space is ever-changing; furniture has already changed since these photos were taken (goodbye, dumpy green couch)!

Favorite Element: The crazy vintage patio umbrella, or the painting in the living room—a housewarming gift from my [Jen's] mom to my grandparents in 1971.

Biggest Challenge: Dog hair!

What Friends Say: Colorful and retro.

Biggest Embarrassment: Dog hair!

Proudest DIY: The kitchen or the front door. An original kitchen was a must to me when I bought. We’ve added modern amenities and used eco-friendly and salvaged materials to that keep with the character of the house. We hired a local carpenter to replicate the original cabinets for around the oven and the built-in, but did everything else ourselves. The front door was a score from the Rebuilding Center, a recycled building materials warehouse in Portland. We stripped off layers of black paint and replaced the glass to restore it to its original glory.

Biggest Indulgence: The countertops. The recycled glass and concrete mixture is made up of Portland waste.

Best Advice: Keep hardware and kitchens accurate to the period of the house; you can mix and match everything else.

Dream Sources: For acquisition, it’s all about estate sales and heirlooms. For inspiration, Apartment Therapy, Design*Sponge, and Pinterest.


(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


  • Living room: BEHR Leisure
  • Kitchen: Miller Paint Acropure Motherland
  • Office: Miller Paint Acropure Lamp Room Grey
  • Master bedroom (above): BEHR Shale Gray
  • Guest bedroom: BEHR Spring Moss
  • Bathroom: BEHR Tahoe Blue
  • (Image credit: Heather Keeling)


    • Striped sleeper sofa: House of Vintage
    • Coffee table: DWR Noguchi
    • All knickknacks: vintage
    (Image credit: Heather Keeling)


    • Cabinets: original; built-in around stove was custom-made to match by High Pass Construction.
    • Faucet: Grohe
    • Countertops: Fuez recycled concrete and glass
    • Table: base was Eric’s mom’s, top is Fuez
    • Washer/dryer: came with the house and, as old and ugly as they are, they work great!
    • Fridge: 1952 General Electric—works like a champ and stays cold for a week if the power goes out.
    • Hand art: Ashley Anson
    • Eat Your Veggies: letterpress art by Jen, made at the Hamilton Type Foundry Museum in Wisconsin
    (Image credit: Heather Keeling)


  • Desks: vintage
  • Lounge chairs: from Jen's paternal grandparents' house
  • Map: Jen's maternal grandfather was a printer and made the map during his days on the press.
  • Yellow desk lamp: belonged to Jen's grandfather—the same one was on Peggy Olson’s desk on Mad Men!
  • Desk chairs: Herman Miller
  • Credenza shelf: made by Jen for her first apartment
  • Bookcase: Ikea
  • Paintings: Erica (the boat and Eric are both named after his late uncle) and Untitled by Mia Farrington
  • (Image credit: Heather Keeling)


    • Bed: vintage
    • Throw: ace&jig quadrant quilt
    • Duvet: Ikea
    • Divider screen: vintage
    • Nightstands: vintage IBM hard drives
    • Lamps: vintage
    • Art: Adam M Cohn on Etsy
    • Dressers: vintage
    • Large photos: by their friend Josh Letchworth
    (Image credit: Heather Keeling)


  • Bedframe: vintage
  • Blanket: Hudson Bay
  • Sewing table: Jen's drafting table from college
  • Metal art: vintage
  • (Image credit: Heather Keeling)


  • Art: by Dolan Geiman from a college screen print swap
  • Kit-Cat clock: gift from Eric’s mom
  • Aqua laquer pieces: Jonathan Adler
  • Towels: Marimekko for Crate & Barrel
  • Shelves: West Elm circa 2004
  • Shower curtain: Target
  • Chalkware fish: Etsy
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    Thanks, Jen & Eric!

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