Penelope & Nathan’s Homespun Homestead in Oregon

updated Feb 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

Name: Penelope and Nathan Miller and their daughter, Bell
Location: Alberta Arts District — Portland, Oregon
Size: 2,100 square feet
Years lived in: 6.5 years; Owned

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Penelope and Nathan have created a home for their family that is truly a reflection of themselves, where they’ve been, and what makes them feel good. Co-active coach Penelope is the former owner of a Portland vintage store and also worked as a stylist in San Francisco before relocating to the Pacific Northwest; both of her previous careers are evident in the layered decor of her home. Nathan is a skilled electrician with an artistic side who did many of the improvements on the family’s 1910 home himself.

(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

Penelope and Nathan’s connection to their home runs deep. Their daughter Bell was born in the house six years ago, and the couple has remodeled and improved upon nearly every inch of the home with recycled and re-purposed materials. They love hosting guests in The Abode, a one-bedroom unit that is attached to the house, and Penelope relishes The Coaching Cottage in the backyard in which she works with clients.

(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Comfortable, feels good, full of life. We call this house The Sandalwood House which incorporates the elements of earth and magic. Making things work naturally as nature always wins.

Inspiration: My folks always had neat-looking homes that felt special and most definitely have an eye for things. I evolved my style from growing up with two inspired artists. Space is one of my true mediums for art.

Favorite Element: The way the house sits on the street as well as the outside coaching cottage and backyard tub.

Biggest Challenge: Endless house projects co-existing with raising a child. We find less time to put into the house, as energy goes to other things first.

What Friends Say: Our friends like to play the “what’s new” game where they come in and guess what has been changed or added. As something comes in, something goes out.

Biggest Embarrassment: The dog ruins everything. Floors, stairs, doors, molding, blinds—you name she has scratched, chewed, or marked it.

Proudest DIY: We built this city on rock and roll! The whole house is a DIY adventure. Homespun homestead.

Biggest Indulgence: We have bought new furniture and rugs recently. Finding with everything going on that we have less time to thrift, and appreciate the mix of new and old.

Best Advice: Surround yourself with what you love. High-frequency vibrations that make your spirit resonate and fine-tune your existence.

Dream Sources: Traveling… Real life… Friends… Love… Bravery.



  • French doors in living room: Miller Melville
  • Dining room: Benjamin Moore Adobe Dust
  • Kitchen: Rodda Pinky
  • Nook room (above): Rodda Sudberry Yellow
(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


  • Table: Craigslist
  • Love seat: Artifact
  • L-shaped bench: Habitat for Humanity ReStore
  • Fireplace: Craigslist
  • Rug: Lowell
  • Driftwood light fixture: Authentic Electric
(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


  • Capiz chandelier: West Elm
  • Chairs: Digs
  • Rugs: Lowell
(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


  • Keyboard: vintage
  • Rug: Lowell
(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


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The Miller family in one of their favorite spots (Image credit: Heather Keeling)

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Thanks, Penelope & Nathan!