“That was horrid… that house is so dark.”
“Oh my gosh, this is our house. It’s going to be amazing.”
When Pastor Josh White and his wife Darcy first toured the Victorian farmhouse in Portland, OR that they now call their “nest,” the two were not exactly in agreement that it was the perfect “forever home.” Previously owned by a hoarder, the windows were papered over and the entire interior was in shambles. But a little faith gave them the confidence to strip the bathrooms, add windows to many walls, and remove all of the carpeting. “I never thought we could handle a fixer-upper — something that would evolve over time — but I am in love with this place. It is like it was made for us,” Darcy says. “We literally had 1 1/2 months to get the house move-in ready. We made it… but we have accepted that it is a work in progress!”
Darcy’s favorite renovation story involves a little trickery by Josh. The couple agreed that, in order to save money, they would hold off on remodeling the kitchen for a bit. “It was awful — one little window, a little corner kitchen unit with a disgusting old sink that faced the wall, horrible aqua countertops, etc. One day during the remodel, Josh called me into the kitchen to ‘show me something’ and it was literally empty. No sink, no dishwasher, cupboards…” Darcy explains. From there, Josh hit up the salvage shops around the neighborhood and brought the beautiful kitchen back to life.
While Josh eagerly demolished the three-story home, Darcy focused on planning the home’s decor. “I would say that our main goal was to create a cozy, forever home,” she says. Memories from the many travels she and Josh have been on in their 19 years together inspired her to create a space that would let family and friends “feel like they are on vacation,” when they stepped inside. “So whether it is a villa in Costa Rica, a hippie cabin on the Puget Sound, a modern beach house on the Oregon Coast — we take whatever speaks to us most in those homes (we have vacationed in) and try to recreate it in our own space.”
What I love most about this Victorian is that it is a perfect example of how this couple worked as a team to create something magical. Josh’s “daring and bold” point of view and Darcy’s “thoughtful and careful” approach perfectly complement one another, resulting in a truly personal and charming home. Enjoy! —Garrett
Photography by Luke and Mallory Leasure