Interiorssneak peeks

Hotel Turned Beautiful, Efficient Apartment in Portland

by Lauren Chorpening

My first apartment living alone was a 390-square-foot oddity. The door opened into a main room that was more like a wide hallway, too small to fit more than one piece of living room furniture. A curtain turned the front into a makeshift bedroom and dining area and my couches ended up in the technical bedroom. It’s what worked in the strange space and it’s all I could do to functionally — and somewhat beautifully — live there. When Casey Keasler moved to downtown Portland, OR, two years ago, she knew it would be important for her to find a home she could work out of, share with an assistant, find historical significance in and walk easily to and from downtown with her dog, Winston. She found everything she needed, except excess space, in this two-room apartment in a 1914 hotel converted into rental units. Looking at Casey’s Instagram account, you’d never know that her apartment is 365 square feet. Her perfectly proportioned furniture, design solutions and the gorgeous natural light pouring in makes her place feel airier than it is.

Casey is an interior designer who works for herself and from her home. Her use of the space to accomplish all of the various aspects of her life in the main room is pretty remarkable. Her lounge area with her couch and bar flows effortlessly into her small dining area. Since Casey loves to entertain, she’s created a space that achieves her hosting needs, despite the apartment’s small size. “The process is always evolving and organic. Come back in six months and things will have changed. The place is small, so it took me some adjusting to realize what I actually need on a day-to-day basis. I got rid of a lot of stuff,” Casey says. “I wanted the place to be a background for everything that I do. My place needs to have a life that can evolve. Because of my lifestyle, it needs to do many things, but also be a relaxing environment for me to live and work.” It’s one thing to create a functional space, but Casey has created a beautiful home as well. —Lauren

Photography by Casey Keasler.


Casey wanted furniture with open, light frames to keep the space from feeling heavy. She found this couch on Craigslist for $100 and had it reupholstered in a grey wool blend tough enough to stand up to use by Casey and her dog Winston.
With the main room including the lounge, dining, office and kitchen areas, the bar, mirror and print help to anchor this corner of the space as the "living room."
Casey likes to bring in art in unsuspecting places, "This painting by Teil Duncan is one of my favorite pieces I own and I like the unexpected of seeing [it] in the bath."
Her bathroom has beautiful subway tile and a clawfoot tub. Casey says, "the clawfoot tub is original to the hotel, it's the smallest I've ever seen. My best guess is before the hotel was remodeled into apartments, the two rooms I have were guest rooms split by a shared bath."
A small built-out closet was the only storage the unit came with, other than the kitchen cabinets. When she found that the closet didn't even fit hangers, Casey got creative with her clothing. Her open wardrobe rack only includes what she really wears and needs.
This is maybe the most personal corner of the home where Casey displays her beloved book collection, art from traveling (left) and local art (right).
"This is Winston, also known as Winnie, the Dude or Duckface. He is a rescue pup that I got when he was 25lbs and now he's 90lbs. I had no idea he would become such a large dog, but couldn't imagine a more perfect companion. He's sweet and gentle and uses my bed as his dog bed," Casey says.
While Casey's bedroom doesn't have to be a multipurpose space, it's nice that it can be, "I have moved my bed to every single possible location in this room and this is the best for me. This is my retreat. I'll watch movies from bed or read or even work when I need a change of environment."
"These vintage Danish chairs were given to me from a friend who no longer wanted them. They were a wedding gift to his parents and they brought them to the US when they moved here from Denmark in the 70s," says Casey. "Someday I will reupholster them but love the faded blue they are now." Having a second lounge area in the home makes it feel larger.
"This is my office and where I work most of the time," Casey says. "I try to keep papers and stuff to a minimum because the area is small, but also keep it interesting with enough objects and pieces for me to move around."
The space is the size of a studio but the bedroom and closet are private from the rest of the home.
The vintage metal cabinet contains all of her office supplies while the mid-century style chairs are multipurpose between the dining area and the office.
The vintage collection of copper pots was given to her by her mother and the print above is of her grandmother as a toddler. Casey has found a perfect balance of sentimental and styled.
Casey says, "I've never had such a small kitchen. It doesn't even have an oven but somehow I've made it work and entertain regularly. I store rarely used cooking and styling items on top of the cabinets and started hanging things on the walls that get regular use."
Getting a large print from office supply stores and a few clips turned a Debbie Carlos print into a lovely focal point in the room for little money.

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