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Interiorssneak peeks

In Portland, A Well Loved Home

by Shannon Grant

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo

For Leah Verwey and Rob Simonsen, the best kind of home is a lived-in home. Shoes by the front door, wrinkled couch cushions and a dog foot print or two — these are some of the things Leah and Rob embrace about a home. While they want their home to be comfortable, they also like to fill it with reminders of loved ones from far away, such as Leah’s sister’s ceramics, her grandfather’s art and Rob’s grandmother’s glass collection. Add to that pieces from local craftsman and the result is an eclectic and well-loved home. Leah is a , working with many of the creative folks around Portland, while Rob is a project manager for , a company that specializes in making vinyl records and CDs for the music industry. Thank you Leah and Rob! –Shannon

Image above: That’s Tallulah pup giving me the sassy stink eye for waking her up. She obviously runs the show here. I picked up the portrait of a man behind her at an estate sale, and I liked it because it looks like he’s wearing purple eye shadow. I’ve named him Burt, and Rob would like to relocate him to a less prominent part of the house but I like him too much. Sorry Rob.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: The breakfast nook totally sold us on the house. It’s the sunniest spot in the house, and living in the Pacific Northwest teaches you to value that light more than anything. Those pillows and the basket of everyday napkins are from the always amazing , whom I have the privilege of working with. The print is a photo of mine, and the terrarium is from .

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo

See more of this Portland home after the jump…

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: This room is absolutely where we spend the most time. The hanging photo above the fireplace is a slide of Rob’s mom when she was 5 or 6, and the rest of the artwork is from my grandfather, who worked as a fine artist and Mad Men-era illustrator. The watercolor gal in the center is one of his ad agency cast offs.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: I have a problem committing to couches. We found this one at a local vintage store, and it’s the first that has lasted longer than a year. Here’s hoping it fits the bill long term. The print over the couch is photo of mine from a lovely trip to Fossil, Oregon with some friends. The hairpin coffee table was a wedding present from our friend Joe Busch with .

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: The amazing lamp is from .

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: I’m a bit of a plant hoarder. I can’t pass up those lonely rescue plants at estate sales. They kind of take over our house sometimes, but I love it.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: Clockwise from left, I’m Not Mad, by Kotama Bouabane, a favorite polaroid by my dear friend, Anne McGarry, a Mike Monteiro print that’s a play on lyrics from The Mountain Goats, What Is Marriage? by Austin Kleon, a smattering of photobooth images from our wedding, an old thermos print of mine, and another one of my grandfather’s pieces.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: This string wrapped branch was one of the only wedding decorations I could muster, so it lives on our mantel. My sweet sister made that hanging planter for my birthday.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: Rob wants a pet pig, but he settles for that pig print by the amazing Sharon Montrose. I did that sketch of my grandfather when I was about 12 or so, and the colored glass is Rob’s grandmother’s. We’re better at drinking the booze than stocking it.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: The dining table is another creation, and Rob’s records finally found a spot on the shelves we found on Craigslist. They are so hard to move.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: We so love the original cabinets in our kitchen. We could use a bit more storage, but we’ll deal because of their charm. Rob spends a lot of his time in that breakfast nook while I cook.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: Rob made this pot rack to give us some more space in the cabinets, and it’s been a lifesaver. I kind of love this little stove nook for some weird reason, even though it seems like an isolated little part of the kitchen.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: We painted the door to the basement and back yard with chalkboard paint so we could make easy lists and jot down quick recipes. I got real obsessed with the idea of collecting brown glass for a little while, and found a super eccentric man on Craigslist with quite a bit of it. He made me promise to make liquors or medicinals in them so they are put to use, and that’s why they live in an accessible place.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: Living in an old house is totally charming, but certain things are challenging. Our case- there is truly no good place to tuck a trash can that isn’t in the way. Enter this repurposed cart on wheels that we picked up at a thrift store and threw a scrap of ikea butcher top that we had already. It is sometimes an island, and sometimes tucked away to the side of the room, but at least we don’t kick the cans around and have a slice of more counter space.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: The farm sink and soapstone counters were a total selling point on the house. There is nothing like the luxury of having a big ole sink to fill big pots and do all the miscellaneous things you never realized were so annoying to do in a small sink. We totally lucked out in the window department, too.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: This room is technically a second bedroom in our house, but it’s so close to the living room and has big ole not-so-private french doors that it seemed strange to keep it a bedroom. Now it’s our record/plant/dining room. The wishbone-style chairs were a super cheap craigslist find that we are gradually refinishing. The Conant Ball chairs were another local thrift store steal. The papers on the wall are typewritten letters my quirky grandfather sent me when I was a kid that are completely ridiculous stories he made up about UFO’s and other facets of his life. They’re so sweet that they have to live on the walls so we remember to read them.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: Another old house charm is not having much closet space. I’m a horrible mess with clothes and Rob is pretty tidy, so we picked up this armoire to contain my mess a little. The chair was free on a sidewalk, and the necklaces are pretty much the only jewelry I’m good at wearing regularly, so they live in a handy spot.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: Our bedroom is a hodge podge of things thrown together. The Hudson Bay blanket was a wedding present, that amazing body pillow is from , the lamp on the left is thrifted, the lamp on the right is another creation, and that awesome carafe and hanging planter are from the amazing .

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: I love this little space. We hope to eventually make this our bedroom, but right now the ladder is too steep for everyday use. For now, it’s a guest room/reading nook.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: The stool and blanket were more estate sale finds.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: Again, more estate sale finds, and some prints we’ve collected throughout the years. This area is sort of a dump of we-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-this-space things.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: Our bathroom is itty bitty, and you actually have to either sit sideways on the toilet or put your legs into the tub. Got to love that old house charm.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: I’m a fan of being honest about using your house, and we all need toilet paper so we keep it handy.The terrarium is another creation. On a whim I mixed some black porch paint with some Portland Metro Paint and came up with that wall color, and I love it. I wish I could do it again.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: We got lucky in that the previous owners have kept a lot of the old built-ins and lighting fixtures. I love our little sink.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo
Image above: This is usually the messiest part of the house, and that’s just the way it is. I made that curtain to help eliminate some of the old door draft, and it’s been great. It’s made of little scraps of leather, linen and walnut dowels, and was super easy to put together. We can roll it up and tie it when we want more light in the living room, too.

Design*Droits-Humains | Leah Verwey Photo

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