Kassandra & Jon’s Vintage Live-Work Home

published Sep 28, 2010
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Name: Kassandra & Jon Sommerville along with Edgar (Boston Terrier), Jigsaw (Jack Russel) and Rico Suave (Papillon)
Location: Concordia Neighborhood — Portland, Oregon
Size: 1250 square feet
Years lived in: 2 — owned

Jon and Kassandra have done an amazing job making their 1950s Portland home comfortable and efficient without giving up panache. They’ve converted one area of the house into a salon where Kassandra cuts hair and styles her clients to perfection. The rest of the house is a collection of vintage pieces and dramatic color palettes that make for a stunning overall effect.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The moment you enter the house you are struck by gold. Gold walls, gold ceiling, gold detailed wallpaper. It really works well in the small entryway with a bright red door to top it off. Just ahead lies an equally dramatic room in black. Contrary to what it might seem, this is not a gloomy living room. The back wall is comprised of sliding glass doors that let in lots of natural light and the colorful and white accent pieces throughout seem to liven up the space. The three lovable dogs scampering around do their part as well. The other rooms in the house come in shades of blue, purple and pink… and it totally works. Most of the antique furniture throughout their home made its way to Portland from their former home in Kansas City, where Kass speaks longingly of hidden gems found at estate sales. The house itself boasts several charming elements like a crazy tiled back hallway a brick fireplace on the patio and built-ins in the kitchen.

Through a separate entrance you can visit The Ginger Suite Salon. This space is impeccably styled with mellow hues, vintage furniture and lots of handmade goods. Kassandra’s hair salon is connected to her house, but it also feels distinctly separate.

Doors open off of the salon onto the back patio. The backyard is a great space for dogs to play, veggies to grow, fires to be enjoyed and summertime entertaining to be had. It is pretty evident that a lot of work has been poured into the backyard. A stack of rain barrels is the current project awaiting a wooden screen to hide them from view. This home has many special details that add up to a lovely environment for both living and working.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I’m all over the place really… a little Asian, a little western, a little grandma, with lots of gaudy gold thrown on top

Inspiration: My biggest style inspiration would have to be my friend, Michelle. She is in her 70s and is the most elegant,stylish woman I know. She and her business partners, John Hadeed and David Gorski, own Torso Vintages in San Francisco.

Favorite Element: Last winter Jon replaced the gas stove in our living room with a wood burning insert. On cold, rainy days we love to snuggle up with the dogs in front of the fire.

Biggest Challenge: Our front yard was a nightmare! There was a wheelchair ramp from the porch to the driveway, a chain link fence all the way around the yard and huge, overgrown shrubs blocking the windows. Jon and I jackhammered the ramp and did all of the demo and landscaping ourselves. It was so much work!

What Friends Say: A good friend of ours said that we live in Barbie’s dream house.

Biggest Embarrassment: Dog Hair! Having three dogs requires a lot of vacuuming. If I don’t get around to it for a couple of days, little furry tumbleweeds start drifting through the house.

Proudest DIY: I am so proud of Jon’s backyard projects. Last summer he built garden boxes and a rainwater collection system. Right now he’s finishing up the cedar fence, which made our yard look so much nicer than the six foot chain link fence that was there before. Our agreement is that I can do whatever I want inside the house, and Jon can do whatever he wants in the yard. This way we both get creative freedom.

Biggest Indulgence: The front hallway. Since I had never hung wallpaper before, I decided to hire someone to paper two of the walls. I painted the rest of the walls and the ceiling metallic gold. Little did I know it would take four coats of paint, and end up costing almost as much as the wallpaper.

Best Advice: Take it one room at a time, and always test paint colors before you paint the whole room. Kaleidescope Paint on Grand Ave sells sample sizes of every color Benjamin Moore makes. It’s worth the splurge. Good paint makes a big difference.

Dream Sources: Estate sales of 95 year old wealthy pack rats.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    • Exterior- Benjamin Moore: Majestic Blue 2051-40
    • Living Room- Benjamin Moore: Black Beauty 2128-10
    • Kitchen- Benjamin Moore: Old World 2011-40
    • Bathroom- Benjamin Moore: Summer Plum 2074-20


    • Jewelry by Jody Howard and Sarah Jackman of Elysium Jewelry
    • Feather Hairpins and Knitwear by Calley Dodero of Veva Valentine
    • Knitwear by Nancy Ricci of Getting Purly With It

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Kassandra & Jon!

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