With its William Morris style paisley prints, array or eclectic finds and plenty of white walls to contrast against, this home certainly doesn’t shout that a 78 year old grandmother lives here.
Welcome to the home of Carole. A magical home of utterly unique pieces located in Portland, Oregon, USA.
Her style is eclectic and playful (check out the cheeky light switch); yet still feels comfortable and homey (the William Morris style printed sofa is a bohemian Dream.. especially mixed with the leopard print cushions!). There's definite Asian and Indian influence throughout, from pieces of furniture to carved lamp bases and leopard print shades.
With no background in design, Carole has a natural eye for form and colour. She says she has learned from a lifetime of experiments, trial and error. I think she's probably always had great style judging from her decorating stories and her love of upcycling furniture to give them new life.
So where does this love of interiors come from. To quote Carole’s daughter Jill, Carole has stripped and painted more furniture and cabinets than she can recall. Growing up, resources were limited so Carole became extremely good at creating and re-purposing old bits of furniture. Two of her earliest influences were her Aunt and a childhood friend Harry. Her Aunt had beautiful red curtains with black flowers, and even as a child she was fascinated with these. Her other influence was her childhood friend Harry. He grew up to become a designer and has passed now. She says she "channels" Harry whenever she is taking on a new project... "talk to me Harry"!!
And speaking of style, I just love the way Carole displays her objects. From the candle sticks wrapped in ribbons on the mantle, to the quirky antique bust on the dining table. Even the picture frames leaning against the walls stop the house feeling over cluttered. You get a sense that shes incredibly into the detail.
At the bottom of this feature you will see a photo of Carole taken in 1968. Her husband was in Vietnam at the time and she was a stay at home mum. Even with limited resources she never let that stop her re-decorating her home.
One piece in particular which stands out in the family was the artwork which she is standing in front of. This piece of art was created from a piece of particle board and paint being flicked with paint brushes. She even used other objects around the house to create marks and ‘designs’ in the paint. This piece of art hung in their home for years. It was the first thing people saw when they entered the house. I can only imagine her husband’s face when he returned from the War and saw this along with re-decorated house.
But what stands out the most about Carole’s home is her ability to express her own personality and style without having to compete with the colour of the wall. The presence of white walls throughout her home gives her the chance to showcase her furniture, artwork and sculptural pieces and lets them command the attention they deserve. And with the fireplaces and mantles also being painted in white, your eyes go straight to the pops of colour which keeps the home feeling extremely contemporary.
I hope you enjoy it as much I did!
Caroles decorating advice:
-Hang on to your pieces of well-made furniture that you like, simply re-upholster as needed.
-Painting everything white gives you a blank pallet to work with
-Always decorate your home with what YOU like. I've never had a design plan in my mind, I just buy what I like and it seems to always work together!.
-When shopping salvage yards and thrift stores, look for architectural pieces with shapes that you like, don't worry about the colour...you can paint it!
-Don't be afraid to invest in beautiful rugs. You can never have too many of them!
-Keep your eye out for things that are unique with interesting character. Old or new.
Steal her style (Shops to get inspired)