A Young Family’s Eclectic, Sentimental First House

updated Feb 7, 2019

A Young Family’s Eclectic, Sentimental First House

updated Feb 7, 2019
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Name: Bonney Johnson and Lou Patrick, and son Hal
Location: Arbor Lodge Neighborhood — Portland, Oregon
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned

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After living in a series of apartments in California that were that were sad, gray boxes, Bonney and Lou found a 1904 home to call their own in the Arbor Lodge neighborhood of North Portland, just a couple miles north of downtown. Bonney’s knack for thrifting and love of family heirlooms have come together in the young family’s bright, plant-filled home. Favorite elements of the vintage home include natural light, stairs and arches, all of which the couple jokes reminds them of “the kind of houses that fancy people live in, in San Francisco.”

Lou and Bonney have long-term plans for their first home (“Someone knew they were putting down carpet and did not protect the floors from the paint. I’m pretending I like it until we can get them refinished.”) but in the mean time, Bonney has styled the home in a “eclectic, sentimental” way that works well for their family.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Vintage, Eclectic, Sentimental

Inspiration: Really the house inspired the design. We have done three long distance moves in the last six years, and twice ended up in apartments that were just sad, gray boxes. It was always my dream to live in a historic home, and this one has so many beautiful, old details. I wanted to highlight as many as I could.

Favorite Element: All the natural light, the stairs, the arches.

Biggest Challenge: Defining spaces without feeling cramped. The house was built in 1904, which means it’s charming as hell, but the space isn’t exactly laid out for modern living. We had to be careful about what furniture we brought in. Everything needed to have a really small footprint.

What Friends Say: It’s so bright and homey!

Biggest Embarrassment: The green linoleum flooring in the mudroom/bathroom.

Proudest DIY: Probably all the painting. There were some questionable paint choices when we moved in (orange and green walls, stencils etc.). I have painted nearly every wall in this house and while it’s clearly not professional, I did it myself and I’m proud.

Biggest Indulgence: The sofa. It’s a completely refurbished vintage sofa from the ’60s, though our cats are pretty devoted to destroying it.

Best Advice: Only buy things you love, and use a lot of sentimental pieces. Once we nixed the things we were basically using as placeholders, everything just came together, and I can’t look anywhere in my home without seeing a piece I love or being reminded of a special moment in my life.

Dream Sources: Flea market road trip, my Grandmother’s house.


Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Bedroom — Behr Snowy Pine
Bathroom — Behr Jet Black
Hal’s Room — Behr Melting Moment

Accordion Peg Rack — Estate Sale
Trunk — Estate Sale (bought when I was 18!)
Woven Basket — Estate Sale
MCM Side Table — Craigslist
Hanging plants — Home Depot

Sofa — Red Snapper
Vintage Quilt — Made by my grandmother
Coffee Table — Fort Modern
Slat Chair — Stars Antiques
Vintage Serape — Rerun
Replica Breuer Chair — Found on the side of the road!
Credenza — Red Snapper
Floor Lamp — Target (Spray painted black)
Small Southwestern Rug — Stars Antiques
Large Area Rug — Overstock
Connecticut Pennant — Estate sale
San Francisco Pennant — Sharp Tooth Studio
“The Way In” Print — Laura Berger
Hanging Terrarium — Target, no longer for sale
Hanging air plants — New Seasons Market
“Rainbow Parasol” Print — Tiger Sheep Friends
San Francisco Financial District Photo — Do Not Destroy
Clock — Target
Ursula Barton Fremont Bridge Print — Screaming Sky Gallery
Pull Down Star Chart — Gritty City Goods/Etsy
Mounted Staghorn Ferns — Solabee Flowers

Dining Table — Northwest Chair Company, belonged to my Great Grandmother
Dining Chairs — Yard Sale, Spray Painted Black
Bar Cabinet — Estate Sale
Orange End Table — Craigslist
Fiddle Leaf Fig — Solabee Botanicals
“Friday” Print — Gosia Herba
Nancy Funk Fist Lamp — Estate sale
Small Ceramic Planter — Soil and Toil
Crane Figurine — Estate Sale
Vintage fan — Yard Sale
Cat sketch — Estate Sale
Wooden Snake — Yard Sale

Rug — Ikea
Hexagon Shelves — Wedding Gift
Wooden Seagull — Yard Sale
Vintage Coffee Mugs — Thrifted

Dresser — Craigslist
Mirror — Ikea, no longer for sale
Nightstands — Thrifted
Boob Pillows — Gravel and Gold
Tie dyed pillow — California Backyard, My momma’s Etsy shop!
Corgi Pillow — Estate Sale
Chenille Bedspread — Estate Sale
Cactus Botanical Drawing — Maven Collective
Wall Baskets — Wildflower Vintage
Rug — Wildflower Vintage
Mounted Plant — Pistils Nursery

Chalkboard — Yard Sale
Toy shelf — Brooklyn Mall
MCM Encyclopedia Shelf — Kenton Antiques
Rocking Horse — Yard Sale
Small Rug — Stars Antiques
Oil Landscapes — Goodwill
Bed — Amazon
Portland Neighborhoods Print — West Elm
Large Area Rug — Amazon

Thanks, Bonney and Lou!

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