before & after: portland home redo

Honestly, the idea of building one’s dream home seems daunting, expensive and impossible to start. However, after seeing this full home renovation project, I am filled with inspiration and hope. Textile and interior designer Vicki Simon decided to completely transform her small home in Portland, Oregon, replacing synthetic surfaces with all salvaged and eco-friendly materials. The results are dreamy, especially this gorgeous open, airy kitchen, which is actually a combination of the original kitchen and the front porch.

Nothing feels overdone, and the color palette is a perfect balance of bright white, earthy neutrals and beautiful natural woods. Naturally, Vicki’s rug designs fit perfectly with the overall aesthetic, which reads as warm, understated, organic chic. If I ever get a chance to renovate a home, I’m definitely taking some cues from Vicki. Kate

{Photography by Lincoln Barbour}

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Read the full post after the jump . . .

Time: 10 months

Cost: $60K

Basic Steps: I opened up the kitchen by converting the original covered porch to the appliance room, making it half the house in the back with access to the gardens. I found master carpenters who were patient and willing to work with me hand-in-hand to salvage architectural materials from the house and from local salvage sources to repair and put back in. I also searched locally for existing furniture hutches and antique hardware to use for storage instead of traditional cabinetry. An antique desk was used to hold the cooktop. I replaced all synthetic materials (Marmoleum/MDF) with solid, untreated and sustainable materials (wood, ceramic).

My advice is to scour your local salvage shops and Craigslist for furniture, hardware, and building materials. Hire a local master carpenter that you like to achieve your vision for the space. Be there every day to give input and supervise the project so you can discover the problems together and come up with a solution on the spot. — Vicki


Richard Christianson, Troutdale, OR
Adan Sotelo, Milwaukie, OR

Salvaged Materials
The ReBuilding Center, Portland, OR
Salvage Works PDX, Portland, OR
Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage, Aurora, OR
Timby’s Dip & Strip, Portland, OR
Old Portland Hardware, Portland, OR
ReStore Habitat for Humanity, Portland, OR
Rejuvenation, Portland, OR
Hippo Hardware, Portland, OR
Monticello Antique Mall, Portland, OR
Flea Markets all over Oregon
Ohmega Salvage, Berkeley, CA
Urban Ore, Berkeley, CA

Living Room
Rugs — Night Vision by Vicki Simon Rugs
Coffee table — Knoll, Barcelona table
Credenza — Domore
Side Table — Eileen Gray Accent Table, circa 1927
Sofa and drapery — Ikea

Dining Room
Table — Custom design by Vicki Simon; aluminum base and Pietra Grigio stone top
Chairs — Thonet Bentwood Corbusier arm chairs

Butcher block island — Custom by Vicki Simon
Chairs — Handcrafted from Bali
Paint colors — Pratt and Lambert Chalk Gray, and Fine Paints of Europe, oil base, to match. Also, Yolo Water 02 for doors.
Ceiling and furniture — Eddie Bauer Home, color Linen

Desk — Recycled fir and glass, custom by Vicki Simon
Bookcase — Sapele, custom by Vicki Simon
Desk Chair — Herman Miller Aeron
Desk Lamp — Wagenfeld Bauhaus lamp, circa 1924

  1. Vicki says:

    Devi, the bathroom cabinets are from Restoration Hardware.

  2. Jill says:

    The fact that you were able to add so much storage in that tiny bathroom is so inspiring. I have always loved pedestal sinks, but never thought I could get away with the lack of cabinetry underneath. Seeing that your shallow, tall cabinets actually take up less space floor space
    than a cabinet sink base would gives be so many great ideas!!! Thanks for the inspiration and congrats on a job well done. Your home is so beautiful.

  3. Wow! What a gorgeous transformation. That kitchen is a knockout!!!

  4. WOWZA. Absolutely stunning. Congrats on such great work!

  5. valerie d says:

    WoW! I love that you didn’t take the easy road and buy everything from a big box store! Your home feels more evolved rather than manufactured. I just bought a fixer upper in Portland moved from San Francisco, could you recommend some Flea Markets?

  6. Vicki says:

    Dear Valerie, the summer beholds many “one time” fleas. Look up Farm Chicks and also visit Monticello Antiques in the Montevilla neighborhood of Portland. There they have postcards for all the upcoming fleas. Please contact me through my website linked in the article and I’ll happily fill you in. Always nice to meet another San Francisco transplant.

  7. how2home says:

    Absolutely stunning home. I love it throughout the entire house. I really like the ceiling panelling. I wonder how long it took to fully complete the project?

  8. Daphne Collins says:

    omg! Gorgeous!

  9. 518studio says:

    this is definitely a thoughtful, unpretentious design solution. i can feel how relaxing this space is just by “moving’ through the pictures. btw…the bathroom sink is the “Tilche” model by American Standard. the series was introduced in the early 80’s and also featured a toilet with a square base and toilet seat. the soft corners of the sink remind me of the “Happy D” series bath fixtures by Duravit. congrats on a wonderful job!

  10. Eileen 2 says:

    Jealous. In a good way.

  11. Splash of vivid color, great remodel! That’s just an awesome work! Great article!

  12. Breathtaking, inspirational and stunning! Am in awe of what you have achieved. We are in the throws of houe renovating/remodelling ourselves right now – again! When its finished you have such a sense of pride, particularly if you have undertaken a lot of the work yourself. I keep moving from room to room (those we have completed) with a huge smile of my face!
    A fantastic remodel, be proud!

  13. home wrecker says:

    beautiful job.& I do love the use of recycled and natural materials. once again. fabulous!!!’

  14. Azil says:

    The kitchen is stunning! The combination of natural elements against the white walls is awesome! Love, love, love the sink and currently am looking for something like that for my kitchen, but in a smaller version; wish I had the space for one this size…This got to be one of my favorite kitchens in DS, thanks for sharing!

  15. Vicki says:

    Thank you readers for all of your wonderful comments. I really appreciate it and I’m happy that I’ve inspired you.

  16. D. says:

    impressive and very nice taste. Love the clean lines and classy style.

  17. ali thompson says:

    holy moly. i love this. the before and afters are just amazing. well done!

  18. alison says:

    beautiful work! what color did you use in your office? i really like it. :)

  19. Maureen Johnson says:

    Delish bath! I looked at these same cabinets and from the pics online they look about 16″ wide or so…when I found out they are 24″, that would be 48″, not incl the sink….are they really that wide? What is the length of the bathroom you renovated just for scale? If you can provide the width of your bath too, that would be great! I don’t have a shower in mine, but for scale would help? Well done! Light and bright!


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