Sara & Shawn’s Rustic & Modern “Made in Oregon” Style

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

Name: Sara Dahlquist and Shawn Dimke, sons August-Jack and Hudson, dogs London and Tallulah, and cat Maddog
Location: Portland, Oregon
Size: 2,400 square feet
Years lived in: 5 months; Owned

Sara, Shawn and their brood just moved into their North Portland home a few months ago, but you’d never know that by how inviting and put-together the space feels. But it’s no surprise that the house feels stylish and fun and comfortable—Sara is the embodiment of those traits, and she has thrived in her career as a style coach by guiding others with her “Your Personal Stylist” column, her appearances on Good Day Oregon and her consulting business.

(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

Sara and Shawn, an engineer, are both proud native Oregonians, and the main areas of their home feel rustic and modern at the same time—much the way their beloved city of Portland is often described. The handmade pieces that friends and family have contributed to the decor are truly just as important to the couple as the newer design elements.

Making a home that feels comfortable and real without sacrificing style was a priority for Shawn and Sara, and in doing so, they’ve created a space that is the perfect warm place to hang out on a gray Portland day.

(Image credit: Heather Keeling)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Pacific Northwest Chic

Inspiration: I’m not big on interior magazines but LOVE blogs like Apartment Therapy and Pinterest, which offer examples of spaces that are of real-life homes, not staged spaces. As a Personal Style Coach, I’ve been invited into hundreds of my clients’ homes. I’ve learned from that experience that I want my home style to reflect my personal style and that of my family. I know what I like and what I don’t, and I work with my friend, interior stylist Kristen Siefkin, to refine and pull together my rooms since my tastes are pretty eclectic.

Favorite Element: My husband and I were born and raised in Oregon and I’ve always had an affinity for the original “Made in Oregon” sign that resides on the Portland waterfront, so I asked my Pop, who dabbles in woodworking, to make us a sign for our home. I love it mostly because it’s one-of-a-kind and homemade especially for our family.

Biggest Challenge: Well, my tastes are expensive but I have two young boys and two large dogs at home, and I want their home to feel accessible to them, but stylish to us. Plus I don’t want to spend my time scolding them for putting their feet (paws) up on the furniture! It can be challenging to find pieces that look fabulous, but if they get some mud on them or someone spills, I’m not going to lose my cool.

What Friends Say: The greatest compliment we get from our guests is that our home feels “warm” and “welcoming.” We love to entertain and want our friends and family to kick off their shoes and hunker down for a comfortable and inviting visit.

Biggest Embarrassment: We’re dog people and have two large dogs, one of which sheds hair like I’ve never seen a dog shed. We love him dearly, and he LOVES our guests, and can often leave them with a new fur coat they weren’t asking for! When our guests leave, we like to hand them a mini lint roller so they can walk away with great memories and not the dog hair.

Proudest DIY: My favorite flower is the dahlia, and being a creative, I like to have projects that are an outlet, but they also have to be quick. I found a dahlia project on Pinterest made with book pages that I liked, but I had a surplus of fashion magazines around my house so I used the pages from them to create a paper dahlia. I love it, and it gets a lot of attention from our guests, which makes me feel rather proud!

Biggest Indulgence: We’re raising a couple of boys in this house, so indulging in that Eames chair I so badly want will have to wait awhile. But we do have an arc floor lamp in our living room that Kristen and I found at Grand Marketplace in Portland, Oregon. It’s vintage, Mid-century and best of all, the shade is plastic but looks like blown glass so it’s boy-resistant.

Best Advice: Work with an interior stylist! I’ve always enjoyed decorating our homes, but hiring designer Kristen Siefkin made a dramatic difference in the feel of our home. First she took what we already owned and re-imagined it in ways I had never considered. Then she suggested a few key pieces to add that would take our design to the next level. She was thoughtful of our budget, style, and lifestyle (with kids and dogs). I took advantage of every suggestion she made, and as a result our home is the haven that my family and I have always wanted.

Dream Sources: Well, I do tend to get weak-in-the-knees whenever I visit a Restoration Hardware. If I had unlimited funds I’d probably continue to shop as I do now, I’d just purchase those swoon-worthy pieces I fawn over but have to keep walking past, keeping two college educations in mind. We’d also enjoy growing our collection of original artwork. Portland is a mecca for the most amazing artists.


(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


  • Master bedroom: Ralph Lauren Iron Blue
(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


  • Wood fish: made by Sara’s grandfather Herbert Dahlquist
  • Coat rack: Grand Marketplace
  • Wall clock: Pottery Barn
(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


  • Red blanket: Sackcloth & Ashes
  • Sofa: Macy’s
  • Green cabinet: consignment store
  • Circular mirror: Ballard Designs
  • Fabric pouf: HomeGoods
  • Throw pillows: IKEA, Target, HomeGoods, Pier 1
  • Cork D: handmade gift from sister-in-law Heather Dimke
  • HOME wall art: Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Painting of angel with baby: baby gift from best friend Kris Ainsworth
  • Cannon Beach painting: wedding gift from friend Dusty Guild
  • Poppy painting: original painting on wood by Kate Halpin
  • Abstract carnival print: original print from artist—and Sara’s cousin—Oska Lappin
(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


  • Birch ladder: handmade by Shawn
  • Blanket: Pendleton
  • Arc floor lamp: Grand Marketplace
  • Papier mâché rhinoceros head: Anthropologie
  • Paper dahlia: handmade by Sara, inspired by The Organized Dream
  • Black bench:
  • Circle mirror: What’s New? Furniture
  • Wrapped antlers: handmade by Sara
  • Made in Oregon sign: handmade by Sara’s grandfather Herbert Dahlquist
  • Green vases: Sara’s brother, ceramicist David Dahlquist, made flower vases for the tables at our wedding. Our guests were then able to take a vase with them as a wedding favor. It’s so fun to see our wedding vases being used by our friends and family when we visit them.
(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


  • Dining table: West Elm
  • Peacock dining chairs: Target
  • Gray dining chairs: HomeGoods
  • Chandelier: West Elm
  • Horn serving tray: Pier 1
  • Wood carving: Sternwheeler by Sara’s grandfather Herbert Dahlquist
(Image credit: Heather Keeling)


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Hudson, AJ, Sara, and Shawn in the living room–one of their favorite spots in the house (Image credit: Heather Keeling)

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Thanks, Sara & Shawn!