A Small Portland Apartment Has Seriously Good Open Shelving Inspiration

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Bright light filled modern kitchen with open shelving and lots of plants

Name: Rachelle Hacmac, my cat, Kuzco, and occasional foster kittens
Location: Portland, Oregon
Type of home: One-bedroom Apartment
Size: 600 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, renting

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I am a professional food photographer and I chose this apartment in East of Eleven because of the huge, west-facing windows and large closets for storing props. My apartment doubles as my photo studio and test kitchen, so there’s always a lot of fun (and delicious) things happening. I am both a cat person AND a plant person, which can sometime be difficult, so I make sure to keep any plants that are toxic to cats up high so Kuzco can’t reach.

During the pandemic, I’ve been working from home, exclusively, so it’s extremely important to me that it’s cozy and comforting. I have a beautiful, vintage Moroccan rug that my friends from Kat + Maouche chose for me on one of their rug-buying trips, and it’s my favorite luxurious item. I always thought I’d know I had made it as an adult when I could afford one of their rugs. So, I guess I’ve made it?! Haha. I love the open shelving above the sink as a spot to display my preserves and canned vegetables. The view of downtown Portland is beautiful and I get to watch stunning sunsets.

I’m a Taurus, so I’m ALL about comfort and nature. I love that I’ve been able to create a soft, plant-filled space to relax in. I actually hired someone to install the shelving along the wall for all my ferns because I ran out of surfaces for plants! I really feel like every piece of furniture or plant or accessory needs to mean something to me in order for it to deserve to be in my home. Most of my art was created by friends or local Portland artists, and many other items are secondhand or passed down through my family; I actually scored my amazing wooden dresser for free on NextDoor. It’s crazy heavy and I’ve moved it way too many times, but I love it enough to put up with the hassle.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Cozy and soft with plants!

What is your favorite room and why? I love the corner near the window in the living room, which I call my peace nook. I enjoy reading (or watching TikTok videos, let’s be honest) from the soft floor pillow, with a cozy blanket on me. I surrounded the area with crystals and plants to make it feel extra grounded.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? Kat + Maouche rug; IKEA island; Filling Spaces Design pillows.

Any advice for creating a home you love? You can always add plants. More is more!

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.

Correction: An earlier version of this post accidentally left out the name of the apartment complex. We’ve updated it to be more accurate—hopefully, we can blame it on Mercury retrograde.