before and afterproducts

Before & After: Jason’s Portland Office

by Grace Bonney

Julia and I live in a small hamlet (I love that word) in upstate New York which has a number of abandoned buildings that are just asking to be given a second chance. One of my biggest dreams is to makeover our tiny “main street” stretch and create new spaces for artists, retail and other commercial prospects, but in the meantime, I’m living vicariously through other people who are buying and renovating old buildings that need a little love.

This makeover comes from Jason Leonard, who runs a poster restoration business called Affiche Studio. Jason recently bought a building in Portland, OR that he’s been slowing transforming into a bright, modern space for his business. Along the way he’s documented his process on Instagram (#archipelagopdx) and today he’s sharing photos of the finished space here! I love seeing all the work he’s done in six months, but I also love seeing that little building painted with such a sleek black exterior. I’ve always wanted to try that up here, so this is giving me a little inspiration to work on a proposal for some renovations upstate. In the meantime, click through to see Jason’s full building makeover. xo, grace


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  • Nicely done! This building is really close to my house and I had been wondering who was behind its transformation.

  • Lovely! I live very close to his location, so I’ll have to drive by sometime and see that beautiful black paint in person! I love seeing cool Portland spaces featured :)

  • Amazing work Jason! The black exterior is beautiful and is something I’ve considered doing to our future home or shop. I’ve been curious about the difference a dark paint makes in cooling costs. Let me know if you notice a difference! Though, I think it might be more of an issue here with the Houston heat.

    • Thanks! Yeah, maybe not great for Houston.. (I grew up in Austin) but pretty perfect for Portland. I moved in last August, and it was pretty nice. It’s insulated like a fortress, with spray foam insulation, so that really helps. Something I might do in the future, which would probably help in Texas heat, is paint the rooftop white.

    • Thank you! We put in 6 skylights, which really adds to the bright atmosphere. The light is so magical, with all the patterns they create. I want skylights everywhere now!

    • It’s Satin, but it took a little time to settle in. This photo was taken the day it was painted, last fall.

  • Beautiful enough to live in! And isn’t that how our workplaces should be-given how many hours we spend in them. You would be amazed at how may business owners do not understand that concept! Thank you for sharing.

    • That thought kept me going when I thought I was going way too overboard with the design. Also, gutting and redoing the interior was a good chance to throw in everything, in case the space changes in the future.

  • I recognized this immediately since I drive by it every day to/from my son’s Montessori preschool. It’s really a handsome, eye-catching building. I think it looks even more striking in person than in the pictures, and it’s nice to see such a great renovation in that neighborhood. Nice work!

  • Apparently, I am an outlier but I don’t like the black exterior though I do like that the door is now centered.

    Inside is lovely.

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