A Cozy & Eclectic Portland Bungalow

A Cozy & Eclectic Portland Bungalow

Celeste Noche
Feb 4, 2016
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)

Name: Elissa Hall
Location: King; Portland, Oregon
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year; Rented

When Elissa finally found her Portland home, it had been preserved to honor the integrity of the architecture while also gently renovated to make the most of the space and available light. With the gift of a clean palette in front of her, Elissa's challenge was then to make the space homey and reflective of her taste while nesting in with two other roommates.

(Image credit: Celeste Noche)

Elissa has lived many lives, from vintage shopkeeper to car-camping nomad to the owner of Milkweed Medicinal, and her home is an homage to her eclectic past. Rather than begin from scratch with each move, she's slowly collected pieces as she's moved from home to home, creating the personal style that defines her space now.

(Image credit: Celeste Noche)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Scrappy! I like to hunt, gather and create my living space, and most of my life is secondhand or inherited. My personal style has developed in my mid-20s to accommodate a life lived outdoors. I was more costume-y when I was younger and I still like my living space and clothing to tell a story, but I like to feel confident and strong in my materials. Some days that means wearing Carhartt pants or river sandals. I prefer natural fibers: a a wool sweater from Oaxaca that I live in during winter or silk kimonos for the house. Most of my furniture is Chinese antiques, rustic Mexican folk pieces, or ceramics. Much of the credit goes to my roommates as well. Consuelo has beautiful Guatemalan textiles and Mark contributes his photography and an expansive record collection to the living space.

Inspiration: The '70s Arts & Crafts movement, women healers, Central and South American textiles, Yayoi Kusama, Frida Kahlo, Björk, plants, flowers, my women friends and my roommates, feelings.

Favorite Element: The custom pieces installed or refurbished by Colin, our landlord who owns Cielo. He kept the built-ins and added wood paneling, claw-foot tubs, and industrial details to the fixtures.

Biggest Challenge: Garden maintenance. The squirrels, mice, and wild rabbits get our produce, and the hot season has been particularly challenging this year for planting and harvest.

What Friends Say: How long have you lived here? We have settled and decorated quite a bit for being there a year. We also get excellent light due to the skylights and windows, and visitors often comment on that.

Biggest Embarrassment: The basement. Laundry and storage can get a little out of hand...

Proudest DIY: We have a lot of instruments around the house: a suitcase piano and my Gretsch Electromatic and various acoustic guitars. These aren't DIY, I suppose, but it's nice that we have them around to share and create music in the space. It's also really satisfying to grow my own vegetables and incorporate them into household meals.

Biggest Indulgence: The antique Chinese armoire we use for records. My family purchased it as a gift for me when I was 16, and it's so heavy I have only moved it a few times. It was incredibly expensive, but the color and majesty of it convinced me that it was necessary.

Best Advice: Surround yourself with people and objects that are imbued with meaning and joy. Most of my home items reflect memories or travels and I am careful in what I select. Excessive material feels stifling in a space and I prefer when a home tells a story or carries warm energy. Also, furniture is meant to be used, don't spend too much on it, care for what you do have, and interact with your home.

Dream Sources: Antique stores, family heirlooms, vintage and thrift stores, Morocco, Oaxaca, Peru, Ghana


(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Custom by landlord
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Fixtures: thrifted
  • Plants: local nurseries
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Couch: vintage
  • Antiques: inherited
  • Records: Mississippi Records, Beacon Sound
  • Textiles: thrifted, gifted, Guatemala
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Ceramics: mostly handmade, some Heath
  • Table: vintage
  • Textiles: Oaxaca
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Ceramics: vintage
  • Cutting boards: vintage
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Sleigh bed: vintage
  • Table: vintage
  • Dresser: vintage
  • Rug: San Pablo Flea Market
  • Wall hanging: Soñadora by Lisa Garcia
  • Baskets from Ghana: Kruger's Farm
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Folk art textiles and decorations: Mexico, Don Pancho Mercado

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Thanks, Elissa!

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