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 photographer, working with many of the creative folks around Portland, while Rob is a project manager for A to Z Media, 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.
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 non-perishable goods, whom I have the privilege of working with. The print is a photo of mine, and the terrarium is from Artemisia.
See more of this Portland home after the jump…
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.
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 Pecan Workshop.
Image above: The amazing lamp is from Caravan Pacific.
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.
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.
Image above: The dining table is another friend Joe creation, and Rob’s records finally found a spot on the shelves we found on Craigslist. They are so hard to move.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 non-perishable goods, the lamp on the left is thrifted, the lamp on the right is another Caravan Pacific creation, and that awesome carafe and hanging planter are from the amazing Pigeon Toe Ceramics.
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 Artemisia 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.
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.