Penelope and Nathan's Full–Hearted Eclectic

Penelope and Nathan's Full–Hearted Eclectic

Leela Cyd
Nov 2, 2011

Name: Penelope, Nathan and Bell Miller
Location: Portland, Oregon
Years lived in: 2

Penelope and Nathan turned a broken down house in North East Portland into a handmade palace full of personality and joy — the perfect spot to raise their 20 month old daughter, Bell, and even have leftover room for guests and grandparents. When Penelope needed a bit of peace and contemplation, they built an outdoor lounge room completely from reclaimed, tossed–aside materials. This couple has the creative vision and can-do spirit to make their place their own from the most disparate of elements.

Penelope's skills as a stylist, professional organizer and vintage shop keeper all come together in the this home. Carefully selected, colorful items are arranged in vignettes throughout the space, adding life and history without feeling cluttered. Penelope's clusters of vintage objects tell stories and give you a window into the home owners' world, their travels, and what they love. The idiosyncrasies and renovated fixtures make this home really stand out.

The bones of the space are heroic, well-sized rooms with tall ceilings that make the place feel bigger than it actually is. The light is the star of the show, however, wafting into each room from large windows — such an important factor in the Pacific Northwest where sunshine is a precious commodity! Each room has its own unique palette of color and texture — various vintage hues meet found fabrics meet out–of–this–world Craiglist scores. The effect is fun, authentic, unfussy, and totally unique.

This is a home that makes you want to relax, eat some of Penelope's savory soup and hang with Bell and the pooch outside all afternoon, just whilin' away some hours.

Re-Nest Survey:

Our style: An eclectic mix of color, nature, and mood. 

Inspiration: Mine is Europe as I learned how I wanted to live when I traveled there. My husband is chiming with his  "Early Metallica."

Favorite Element: I got more than one! Open floor plan, lighting, and the breathtaking view of the European church from the front of the home. 

Biggest Challenge: Taking the house down to the studs whilst attempting to live in the upstairs of the house whilst being pregnant. Need I say more?

What Friends Say: Your house feels so good.

Proudest DIY: For my husband generaling the remodel job. For me wall papering my staircase 8 plus months pregnant.

Biggest Indulgence: Rain shack in the backyard. Nothing like the sound of rain on a tin roof. Our friend Tom Widman created an amazing space with recycled pieces. Windows are from an old lighthouse and shingles and doors were salvaged. Interior cedar my husband and I found at the Rebuilding Center.

Best Advice: Own only what you absolutely love and always ruthlessly edit those things. 

Green Elements/Initiatives: Used building materials. Natural finish for trim. Low voc paint. Repurposed cabinets for kitchen. Craigslist everything. Compost hole built into countertop. Recycled plumbing and light fixtures. Salvage salvage salvage!


Appliances: Craigslist and a second hand appliance shop.

Hardware: Found with cabinets taken out of someone else's kitchen. Door knobs from the doors which we refinished.

Furniture: Craigslist, street finds, yard sales and thrift stores.

Accessories: Thrifted, found and the occasional Ikea trip.

Lighting: The Rebuilding Center, Hippo Hardware, and yard sales. I have always been big in believing lighting makes a space. Therefore I try to cozy up the joint with little lights. In Portland you have to do that in the winter. It also helps that my husband owns his own electrical contracting business so he can wire up anything I find.

Rugs and Carpets: Three of our rugs were gifted by a dear friend and the rest were estate sale and antique store finds.

Tiles and Stone: Rebuilding center, Craigslist (outdoor patio all free bricks)  and Tiles for less.

Window Treatments: Hand sewn found fabric, re-purposed table cloths and garage sales. Ikea blinds. 

Beds: King Tempurpedic (wedding gift) and Craigslist.

Artwork: Once again garage, estate sales and friend's and families masterpieces!

Paint: Rhoda horizon line. Benjamin Moore aura line and a match of Farrow and Ball

Flooring: We thought the original floors were going to be gorgeous sanded down and refinished unfortunately they were so soiled by the previous peoples dog ( who lets a dog soil a floor?!) that we had to rip them out. That was the hardest reality check of the remodel for me. Luckily a friend of Nathan's is a contractor and had a bunch of fir wood which was painted so we sanded and refinished that. Downstairs kitchen and bathroom has Saltillo Mexican tiles.  

(Thanks, Penelope, Nathan and Bell!)

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(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)

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