Reader Design: Bonney's Collected Farmhouse

I had never been to Oregon (or the PNW for that matter) before we moved out to this region last summer, but let me tell you: there is a reason why Portland is so trendy these days. Although it's changing and growing a ton, along with the rest of the Upper Left, there's still a lot of the city's original character to see.

Bonney's 1904 Portland home is one of those character spots that is standing the test of time. From Bonney:

My whole house is pretty classic Pacific Northwest. It’s vintage, eclectic, and improvised. It’s a really genuine representation of my personality. Everything in here has a story. My mom has had a huge influence on my style. She and I spent a lot of weekends during my childhood rummaging through yard sales and thrift shops. I really love to surround myself with things that have a past, even if I don’t know what that past is.
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There is a tribute in every corner of this home, perhaps to someone Bonney knows intimately or an unknown person whose beloved belongings ended up in a thrift store and are now cherished here. In the same way, Bonney is also paying tribute to the homeowners before her by living in and loving this space today.

My house was built in 1904, and as soon as I walked in, all the details and charm immediately caught my eye, especially the corner hutch and the curved staircase! I love feeling like I’m a part of the home’s history, as well as the home being a part of mine. My mother was a real estate agent before becoming a history teacher, and she instilled in me a deep love of old homes.
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I want my home to feel warm and nostalgic. The matriarchs of my family have passed down a few of my favorite pieces. My dining room table originally belonged to my great-grandmother; my grandmother sewed the quilt on the back of my couch, and there are countless things scattered around that were given to me by my mother. It’s really humbling being around so many things that meant something to the women that came before me.
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So much of my house has been found or thrifted, but I’ll scrimp and save for a beautiful rug. They feel like such a luxury, and are an easy way to completely change a room. Good rugs are never a mistake.

You know what's also never a mistake? Using said vintage rug as a headboard - pure brilliance, Bonney!

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And even though they may occasionally suffer from short life spans, Bonney also will never turn down a good plant.

I’ve got a lot of plants, and I try my hardest with them, but I’m only human. I always hear of these real grown ups that have watering schedules- I water when I feel like it, and only the strong survive. Every time I get a new plant, I whisper to it “you won’t end up like the others, I promise.”
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This home is nothing if not warm, welcoming, and nostalgic. Bonney, thank you so much for welcoming us in!

Follow Bonney along on Instagram @prettygoodpdx for more nostalgia and design.

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Reader Design: Lara's Canadian Hide Out

Hello, dear friends! Today, I'm writing to you all from my new home: sunny (yes, sunny... for now) Seattle, Washington. I'm just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Canadian border, which we're headed across for today's tour. 

Meet Lara and her eclectic home in Ontario, Canada.

Lara is a style mutt through and through and describes her own style as a mishmash of tastes. 

From Lara:

I am a child of the seventies, and that is reflected in my home. The house I grew up in was all earth tones with lots of wood, and that is something I am still very drawn to.

And plants, of course. I’ve been decorating with houseplants since I was a university student living in a dorm twenty years ago. It’s come as something of a surprise to me that houseplants have made such a huge comeback after years of being relegated to granny status! But I love it.

It's hard to remember a time when plants weren't 'in' - who could even imagine passing on all the huge benefits of having greenery in your home!? Thank goodness that, eventually, everything comes back into style. Lara has actually has over 50 plants in her home and definitely takes after her grandfather who was an agronomist for the Canadian government.


Lara's home evokes major #calihomevibes, despite the fact that she has yet to visit the state. It's "light, bright, and casual, with a bit of edge." After a recent trip to her home country of Latvia, Lara realized that she's subconsciously been pulling in some European elements as well, with the focus on earthiness and comfort. Like many homes in both locations, Lara has created a space that pulls you in and invites you to stay a while. 

First and foremost, I want my home to feel welcoming and homey. I want people to feel comfortable, but also, hopefully, a little inspired. I love a home that exudes creativity and reflects the personalities of the people who live there, and I hope that my home does that.

Now, it just so happens that these tendencies of Lara's are totally 'on trend' right now... but Lara assures me that she's been decorating her home this way for years!

It’s funny because I don’t think my house has ever been as on-trend as it is now! My style has been very similar for many years, but the “jungalow” look has never been as hot as it is now!

Things break away from the laid back and neutral scheme a little bit once you reach the bedrooms, where Lara is open for lots of color exploration and pattern-mixing.

As much as I love earth tones, I also love color, and the kids’ rooms are where I feel I can really let loose with that.

The bedrooms also show off Lara's thrify side - from the band posters used as art, to the clearance sale mid-century dresser that Lara's husband Rob miraculously brought back to life. 

The rooms are just fun - lucky kids who get to call those home!

Lara, thank you so much for showing us around. Your home is clean, simple, but perfectly reflects your sweet family. 

Follow Lara along on Instagram @thehydeoutblog for more inspiration, courtesy of our neighbor to the North. And thanks to Kiely @kielyramosphoto for capturing Lara's home so beautifully.

Reader Design: Kristin's Cali Cool Home

I don't know about you, but I am SO ready for Spring. I know I'm a couple weeks past Groundhog Day, but boy do I wish the outcome had been different. I need to trade in my huge parka for a light jacket, my boots for some sandals, and I long for the day when I don't need to add bronzer to look healthy. All I can say is thank goodness I now see the light when I leave my good ole day job. 

That light and hint of summer are two of the reasons for my envy of Kristin's Venice Beach, CA home. 

Kristin's family home is mid-century, bohemian, bright, and kid-friendly. It's everything that is right with California style! And that style is the result of some pretty great influences.

One of those? Kristin's mom and her partner.  

They travel to craft fairs and galleries and very carefully hand pick art and pottery. They both have an excellent eye and have taught me the importance of collecting special pieces (furniture, too) over time.

Another? The physical surroundings in which she's chosen to raise her family. 

Venice has gorgeous diverse architecture. It is so inspiring! I love the modern beachy bohemian design trending here and it has definitely influenced my style.

It still takes a heckuva internal compass to get the blending of all those influences right. And for Kristin, that compass is her family. Above all, her space feels like it's made for a family. For movie nights, games, making a mess - all without, as Kristin says, "freaking out."

And with a family, everything has to be built to last.

I love picking furniture that is simple, modern and classic made to last for a very long time. The grey couch in our family room, for example, is a couch I’ve had for 15 years! And then, as trends come and go, I can keep up with them with accessories. Accessories can be sourced for so much cheaper! For example, my bohemian basket wall in my dining room cost $30 total because I found the baskets at antique and thrift stores.

Some of those trends that Kristin just nails are her bright white kitchen (Kristin would like to thank her friend Hannah, @repeatworld, for her valuable input), which is the perfect clean and beautiful family gathering place; the indigo and mudcloth pillows, lovingly placed both for their cuddling abilities and for impromptu photo ops; and the graffiti art that pays homage to none other than Venice Beach itself. 

Kristin, your home represents everything we love about style mutts. It's functional, fun, and most importantly, a reflection of you. Thanks for showing us around! Follow Kristin along on Instagram @ksdion

See you next week, mutts!