A Natural & Inviting Portland Apartment

updated Feb 20, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Square feet
Sq ft
Post Image
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)

Name: Joanna Buchmeyer
Location: Irvington; Portland, OR
Size: 800 square feet

House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

While living in Chicago, Joanna had already accumulated a collection of treasured pieces with an cozy, earthy style, so making a new home in Portland was a natural fit. However, with the influx of other transplants that were also coming to the city, finding an apartment with charm and space was highly competitive. As luck would have it, Joanna stumbled upon this gem when she was in the neighborhood looking at another apartment. When that space didn’t work out, she happened to see a “FOR RENT” sign that had just gone up in the house in front of which she’d parked. Destiny? We think so.

1 / 34
Joanna relocated to Portland from Chicago in the summer of 2014. She works on Airbnb’s Employee Experience team and spends her weekends thrifting and being active. (Image credit: Celeste Noche)
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)

As with many homes in Portland, Joanna’s apartment comes with a history that brings both charm and unique challenges. Her space is 1/5th of an enormous house that used to function as a boarding house for single women. The apartment has original built-ins and fixtures, but her bedroom only has enough space for a full-sized bed and little else. With her closets (both walk-ins!) at the opposite ends of the dining room, the apartment is truly unique and offers daily reminders of its interesting history.

(Image credit: Celeste Noche)
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Style: It’s a little bohemian, it’s a little earthy, it’s nostalgic— overall and most importantly, it’s goddess headquarters. I have to pay homage to all the “single-women” that resided in this place before me!

Inspiration: I want my home to feel feel like a feminine space for creativity, spirituality, and relaxation. Visually, I am always really inspired by the Free People blog and that brand’s general aesthetic. I also like to honor secondhand items and the story that comes with them, which is a big consideration for what I bring into my home and how I use it. I have saved a lot of things that my family has passed down to me and carried them with me through all of my moves. It’s fun to use them one way in a certain space, and another in a new space.

Favorite Element: The pocket doors and wood paneling in the dining room, and of course the farm sink! Also, the history of this place: it was a boarding house for single women, so I definitely feel the girl power up in here.

Biggest Challenge: My bedroom is really small and does not have a closet. I have had to use my hall closets to house my clothes, so it’s been a real challenge to display everything in an organized way.

What Friends Say: “It’s HUGE” and “how did you find this place?!”

Biggest Indulgence: My couch, for sure. Otherwise, I have really kept things on the cheap.

Best Advice: Do not try to copy styles from magazines or blogs. Think about what you like and why you like it. If you are trying to decorate, try to find these items at a thrift store, Craigslist, or on the side of the road… be scrappy and recycle.

Dream Sources: Craigslist, flea markets, garage sales, and thrift stores!


(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • All original!
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Couch: Urban Outfitters
  • Bookcase: Ikea
  • Armchair: from my grandmother
  • Coffee table: hand-me-down
  • Rug: Craigslist
  • Credenza: thrifted Ikea
  • Globe: thrifted
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Table: Ikea found on Craigslist
  • Folding chairs: yard sales in Iowa
  • Armchairs: yard sales in Iowa
  • Trunk: family hand-me-down
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Rug: Ikea
  • Juicer: Craigslist
  • All other small things: thrift stores
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Bed: Ikea
  • Bedding: Ikea and Target
  • Chair: family heirloom
  • Wall hanging: Free People
  • Wall lamp: Urban Outfitters
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)

Send us your own:

Share your home with Apartment Therapy: House Tour Submission Form

Are you a designer/architect/decorator? Share your residential project: Professional Submission Form.

→ And see all of our past house tours here

Updated daily with fresh tours full of photos for you to pin & enjoy!

Thanks, Joanna!

*Tour previously published