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Portlandia: Reimagining a Midcentury Ranch

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Portlandia: Reimagining a Midcentury Ranch

April 24, 2017

In the West Hills neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, a young couple purchased a midcentury house in the cedar-ceilinged, Pacific Northwest style. It was in great shape, but the interiors were dark and in need of an overhaul. The clients, both creative professionals, made a few attempts, “but were never able to finish it and just kept getting stuck,” says interior designer Courtney Nye.

Nye was tasked with illuminating the dark space and blending her clients’ personal styles. “The wife’s style is a little Anthropologie, and the husband’s is a bit more modern,” she says. The midcentury architecture of the house dictated the direction of the interiors, but to avoid re-creating a period house, Nye mixed in modern elements with artwork and artifacts her clients had collected over time. Join us for a tour.

Photography by Luke and Mallory Photography, courtesy of Courtney Nye Design.

midcentury inspired living room sling chair leather sofa wood ceiling
Above: The owners “didn’t want a stuffy, formal house, but something that looked a little more collected and easygoing,” Nye says.
midcentury inspired living room ourani rug marble coffee table
Above: The marble and brass coffee table is from Rejuvenation in Portland.

Cost-wise, Nye cites the project as mid-range: “There are some investment pieces infilled with vintage pieces and items from Etsy and other low-cost sources.”

midcentury inspired living room black leather sofa textile art
Above: A Temple print from Block Shop Textiles hangs above the black leather sofa from Four Hands.

midcentury inspired living room sling chair brown leather
Above: A Peninsula Chair by Portland furniture company Phloem Studio.
midcentury inspired credenza wood white artwork
Above: A Cincinnati A Cabinet from Organic Modernism holds records.

midcentury inspired living room portland oregon courtney nye
Above: Nye found the 9-by-12-foot Beni Ourain rug at Atlas Weavers on Etsy for around $2,000.

Nye sourced a great deal of furnishings from local Portland makers. “There’s so much good design happening in Portland, it’s a shame not to utilize it,” she says.

midcentury inspired dining room wood ceilings bamboo floors
Above: A Mid-Century Expandable Dining Table from West Elm is flanked by four Eames Molded Plastic Dowel-Leg Side Chairs. Above the table hangs a Mobile Chandelier from West Elm.
The house was originally outfitted with fluorescent uplighting, so adding new light fixtures was the single most transformative update, Nye says.

midcentury inspired dining room wood ceilings bamboo floors 1
Above: Nye retained the beamed ceilings and bamboo floors.

A top-floor deck wraps around the living spaces. A staircase leads to a lower level outdoor dining patio, fire pit, and hot tub, all surrounded by forest.

midcentury inspired wood ceiling house den tv room
Above: The clients didn’t want a television in the living room, so they relegated it to the den. Here, Nye chose a high/low mix: a walnut Line Credenza from Design Within Reach (functioning as the entertainment center), an Ilse Crawford for Ikea cork coffee table, a Helix Acacia Bookcase from CB2, and a rug from Urban Outfitters.
midcentury inspired den tv room wraparound deck
Above: The homeowners brought the tufted leather sofa with them from their previous home, a Portland craftsman. Above it hangs a Potence Style Otis Lamp from One Forty Three.

midcentury inspired bedroom portland oregon wood ceiling
Above: The master suite and laundry are located on the lower level.

In the bedroom, Nye retained the original brick fireplace. “We had some back-and-forth about whether to paint it, but finally decided to just embrace the darker, woodsier feel down there,” she says.

midcentury inspired bedroom portland oregon wood ceiling 1
Above: Next to the fireplace is a Sit and Read Sling Chair designed by Kyle Garner. The Cable Wool Rug is from Schoolhouse Electric.
Nye mocked up the graphic print on the back wall as a placeholder while she was searching for the right art piece. “I made something in the style I was searching for, and ended up liking it,” she said. “It’s now hanging in my own bedroom.”

midcentury inspired bedroom portland oregon black armoire
Above: Nye had a vintage armoire refinished in Dark Pewter by Benjamin Moore with subtle brass hardware from Schoolhouse Electric. The dark blue painting above the bed is Courtney Nye’s own work; the frame was built by her husband.
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phloem studio peninsula chair leather
Benjamin Klebba & Matt Pierce

Peninsula Chair

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