Cat Lovers Share a “Garage Sale” Comfy Chic Portland Home

updated Jun 15, 2019

Cat Lovers Share a “Garage Sale” Comfy Chic Portland Home

updated Jun 15, 2019
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Name: Cherie Jellison and Nick Dirks, plus cats Susan and Charlie
Location: Laurelhurst — Southeast Portland, Oregon
Size: 630 square feet (plus basement and a garage!)
Years lived in: 4.5 years, renting

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Cherie and Nick are self-proclaimed “crazy cat people” who have been living in an apartment they truly love for the past four years. Cherie is an emerging interior designer who believes that “it takes time to make a place feel like home” and Nick is a former pro-snowboarder who now works at a tattoo studio.

Because both of them are aesthetically driven and have a great relationship with their landlord, the couple has had the opportunity to make quite a few improvements to their apartment, including hard wiring light fixtures and replacing flooring. The addition of multiple “kitty lanais” where their indoor cats can lounge in fresh air, enclosed porches is another DIY they’re proud of. Cherie and Nick joke that their biggest challenge with their home is “remembering that we don’t actually own it.”

It is refreshing how much Nick and Cherie love their “mid-century-boho-garage-sale-comfortable-chic” apartment, and that they recognize it takes time to make a space feel comfortable. When asked what her favorite element of her home is in the tour survey, Cherie’s list is enthusiastically long.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Mid-century-boho-garage-sale-comfortable-chic

Inspiration: Rap music

Favorite Element: How most of our stuff is vintage or used and has been found and added to our collection over the years. And the beautiful yard filled with plants and flowers and mature rose bushes. And the location. And how much natural light it gets with our giant windows. Oh, and how most of the building elements are original. Oh, oh, also our neighbors who are some of our best friends. Sorry, hard to choose just one!

Biggest Challenge: Remembering that we don’t own it 🙁 And using each space to its full potential without feeling crowded.

What Friends Say: “Why don’t we hang out here?” and “How do you keep your place so clean?”

Biggest Embarrassment: In the apartment – nothing. In life – we got into an argument over this survey.

Proudest DIY: The whole thing! Curating, collecting, cramming. The kitty lanai is high up on the list though.

Biggest Indulgence: Truly we haven’t dropped that much dough on any one piece so let’s turn this question into “Biggest Score” which I would say is our two matching dressers with the huge beautiful mirror that my mom found at an estate sale for $50! Thanks mom!!

Best Advice: Make it personal and don’t rush it. It takes time to make a place feel like home, not money. Also, keep a bag or box going all the time of stuff to get rid of. We’re constantly finding things at home that we don’t use or just don’t like anymore and instead of putting it back, it goes in the donation pile. I swear we do a drop off there once a month.

Dream Sources: Don and Megan Draper’s apartment.


Most Walls Throughout – rental property special beige.
Blue Wall in Dining Room – Miller Paint “Star Studded”

Coat Rack – Vintage from Maven Collective
Artwork – Alpha Channeling Print
Shoe/plant rack – Vintage
Palo Santo Bowl in shelf cubby – Pigeon Toe Ceramics
White Ceramic Planter – Pigeon Toe Ceramics
Toys – thrift stores and gifts over the years

Sofa — What’s New Furniture
Chaise Lounge — from Vintage Pink
Faux sheep skin throw— Ikea
Coffee Table — Vintage bought from a friend.
Credenza – Vintage bought from a friend.
Kenwood Receiver – Vintage found at Rerun
Sony Speakers – Vintage found at Really Good Stuff
Marble boxes – Goodwill
Rug – Vintage from Palace
White planters — Ikea
Woven basket – Ikea
Globe Lamp – Ikea
Pendant Light – Vintage from Lounge Lizard
Kantha Quilts (also in bedroom) – Etsy: Artisan of Rajasthan
Pen Drawings of the cities – Chris Dove
Curtains – Ikea found at Goodwill
Orange Pillows – Goodwill
Blue Pillows – Ikea
Rug Coasters – Gift a friend got in Mexico

Table — Craigslist
Chairs – Vintage
Ottomans – Vintage
Floor Lamp – Craigslist
Pendant Light – Vintage from Lounge Lizard
Brass Candlesticks and Knick Knacks – Goodwill
Record Shelf – Ikea
Turquoise Planter – Home Goods
Photo – Amanda Leigh Smith

Spoon Rest — Pigeon Toe Ceramics
Fruit Bowl – Pigeon Toe Ceramics
White Ceramic Planter (one on window shelf, one in plant hanger) – Pigeon Toe Ceramics (no longer available)
Turquoise Planter – Home Goods
Rug – vintage from Appetite
Macramé Plant Hangers (all but the black one) – Melissa Jean Made
Photo – Neil Dacosta
Flower Vase – Ikea
Window Shelf – DIY’d using materials from the ReBuilding Center
Bar Counter – DIY’d using materials from the ReBuilding Center
Bar Stools – Craigslist
Bar Cart – Ikea
Cutting Boards – Ikea and John Boos
Ice Bucket – Vintage, gift from a friend

Bed frame — Ikea Malm
Nightstands – Ikea
Rug – West Elm Pixel Shag Rug (that color is no longer available but here’s a black one)
Curtains – Target
Dressers – Estate Sale
Chair – Vintage gift from a friend
Table Lamps – Target
Flower Vase – Ikea
Fan – Hunter
Tree Sketches Over Bed – Dorothy Krakauer (My Nana!) H
Kitty/Gun Photo – Andy Wright
Mailbox Photo – Barry Schneier
Other Photos – Vintage found at Monticello Antiques
Art on top of Dresser – Drawing by my friend Allison/Sunnybuns who doesn’t sell her artwork but is in a RAD band you can check them out here
Jewelry Bowl – Vintage, gift from my Nana who got it in Japan in the 60’s.
“Jungle Drums of Africa” Movie Poster – The real vintage deal! Found at a thrift store years and years ago then restored by a friend.
Kitty Lanai – DIY’d using materials from the ReBuilding Center

Towel Hooks — Ikea (no longer available)
Kimono Robe – Vintage, gift from a friend
Body Towels – Vintage
Hand Towel – Target
Kitty Lanai – DIY’d using materials from the ReBuilding Center
Shelf – Ikea
Basket – Target
Macramé Plant Hangers – Melissa Jean Made
Rug – Amazon
Shower Curtain – Amazon
“Save Water Bathe Together” Mirror – Vintage

Thanks, Nick and Cherie!

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