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Interiorssneak peeks

A Pastor’s Victorian Farmhouse in Portland

by Garrett Fleming

“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

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One of the couple's favorite spots in their house - the porch - is about to get a new paint job. "I can't wait to see the transformation!" Darcy gushes.
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"The living room... is flooded with light all day long. The lefthand wall was originally solid, and Josh found two amazing windows at the Architectural Salvage for $50 each and our good friends installed them. The grey chair and ottoman were a thrift store find and then recovered by... Revive Upholstery & Design."
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The living room dresser. Music is very important to the family, so speakers hide in many parts of the home.
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The living room's romantic chandelier.
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"What I love most about my home is... this spot - Mama's chair," Darcy says. Although it looks like she'll have to fight Charlie for it. Darcy found it "stuffed in the back corner of a thrift store in Spokane, Washington years ago... and brought it home to Portland."
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"We love mixing things up. In this room we have our vintage Chesterfield mixed with sheepskins from Costco, a standing lamp from IKEA, coffee table from Beam & Anchor, pillows from one of my favorite boutiques Ink & Peat and a great piece of New Age art from a vintage shop in St. John's."
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Anthropologie wallpaper and a collection of vintage chairs give the dining room pastel pops of color.
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A Schoolhouse Electric Co. lighting fixture, free piano and farm table from Porch Light have been curated throughout the couple's time together.
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The family room is a favorite hangout spot for all four in the White family. "This incredible bookcase came out of the basement of the church we recently remodeled. Josh painted it white and it fit perfectly in our new family room. This really is our first official family room, so of course we had to go out and buy a big TV for family movie nights!"
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"The sectional might be the best thing that ever happened to our family. We bought it specifically for the family room. It was incredibly affordable and is so comfortable and we can all fit on it. The bonus is that I can throw the slipcovers in the washing machine."
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Family photos appropriately displayed in the family room.
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"My flags are a favorite treasure by Ace & Jig..." The pendant light is from Schoolhouse Electric Co. The kitchen's red dishes were inherited from Darcy's brother after his passing and have a place of honor amongst the kitchen's accessories. More speakers keep the house filled with music.
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"We found this Viking range at an appliance liquidator and the hood on crazy clearance. (We) had this navy-blue color custom mixed and it all came together perfectly. Josh found these cool vintage Mexican tiles on eBay."
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Visitors always comment on how much they love that there is a rocking chair in the family's kitchen. "Someone is always sitting in it. It is a way to create a cozy living space in the kitchen. It's a good spot for me to engage with my 'littles' while packing lunches or preparing dinner. These little shelves are a lifesaver since I barely have any cupboard space!"
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Darcy has always wanted a bold and striking staircase, so she plans on painting the entryway stairs a bold color. Her inspiration is the iconic palace staircase from "Cinderella."
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The entryway's shoe shelf was only $5 at Rebuilding Center. The center recycles wood into new furniture and building materials.
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"The bathroom was a fun project that (Josh and I) both got into. We found these handmade sinks at Hippo Hardware. They were done by a Danish artist out of New York. We had them set into an old cart we found at Grand Marketplace and found all of our hardware on Amazon."
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"Josh found all these incredible, old, Mexican tiles on eBay for our shower."
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"We love the charm of our bathroom. The best part is (that) the window looks out over our giant yard and an ancient cherry tree. I (had no) idea how many styles of toilets were out there. I'm ashamed to say it took me weeks to choose this one."
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The couple's 13-year-old son wanted a simple room. "He actually thinks we have too much going on in his room. All he needs are his books and some good music."
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"(This desk) has become a great homework spot for Henry, free from distractions."
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The entrance to Hattie's bedroom.
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Hattie's dressing table in my newfound, favorite color. The Taylor Swift album art above the mirror makes me smile.
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Nine-year-old Hattie's bedroom represents her personality perfectly. She painted nearly all of the artwork above her bed herself, "even collaborating with a local artist on one of them. Her bed was a great and cheap thrift store find." Dad gave it a new life with a sparkly coat of paint.
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Hattie's favorite bedroom hangout spot.
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"Josh and I find our new bedroom so serene. We have always had bedrooms full of color and patterns and texture. It is so nice to walk into the clean simplicity of this room. The entire house - floors, walls and trim - is (painted in) Pratt and Lambert Hollywood White."
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"This is the sunroom off of our master bedroom. Josh had this pedestal built from salvaged fir, and we pulled the clawfoot tub out of our 100-year-old church building that we renovated."
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"(The sun room) is my sanctuary. It's breezy during the day, and at night I can see the city lights from my rocker."

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Comments

  • Bravo! So creative! I love the collage of tiles in the bathroom! The white floors are a beautiful blank canvas for your furniture, rugs and other accessories. Why would you ever want to move? Beautiful lived in home that I can’t take my eyes off of.

  • Absolutely gorgeous! I love the idea of painting every single surface the same color. The result is so cohesive and calming.

  • My favorite house submission I have ever seen on any site. This is so me. I love it. Those tiles are dreamy. I wish these two would decorate for me. Where did you all get the sectional?

  • There is SO much inspiration in this house. Thank you for this. I have been looking at home after home and have felt like people are just recreating the same styles with their own twist. This is truly unique. The fur on the leather sofa, mexican tiles, all white bedroom. There is so much to take from this house! They are very lucky!

    • Thanks, Rachel! That’s so nice to hear. We really strive to inspire as much as we can.

      -Garrett

  • What a cute and inviting home. I love the kitchen. The navy with those tiles is spot on. The range is amazing and I love the rocker. Great post.

  • I’m so glad to see the home of a family with children on this site! I’m a long time reader, and while I’ve transitioned from decorating a rental as a single person, to a condo with a significant other, to a condo with kids, to a house with kids, I had been feeling like the site wasn’t growing with me, or perhaps that I had outgrown this site and was no longer the target demographic. Interesting style and children are not incompatible, as this family shows us with their fantastic space. I’m a little surprised that the main write up makes it sound like just the two of them live in the home, but I was delighted to see the kids’ rooms in the photos. I would love to see more homes with children featured on Design Sponge, and I’m sure many other readers feel the same way.

    • Hi Eliina

      We’ve found that the majority of families choose to keep their children’s photos private or off the internet. We have been requesting a family portrait from all home owners for the past two years, but not all feel comfortable complying, and we understand and respect their decisions.

      Grace

        • Oh! Sorry I misunderstood that. Thanks for catching that, Helen.

          Eliina- so far this is the first request I’ve ever received for more children’s rooms, but if we receive more I’ll try to work on something special to that end.

          According to our stats, less than 30% of our audience has children, so we try to keep a balance of family types, but we have at least a few children’s rooms featured every other week…

          Grace

          • Hi Grace – I’m with Eliina, I’d like to see more children’s rooms and/or family oriented homes. Maybe I bump your stats to 30.5% of your audience?

            • Sarah

              I hear you ;)

              We do run home tours with children more than 30% of the time, but I’ll make sure we keep reaching out to more families with great kids rooms

              Grace

  • Oh my gosh, this is one of my favorite sneak peeks ever. This home has so much character and the light in each room is gorgeous. It looks so lived in and loved. Bravo!

  • This is a wonderful home! What a house! Beautiful. I love the kitchen. Now I will have to look at those pictures again. Thanks for sharing!

  • This is one of my all time favorites on DS. They really pulled together a very unique style that looks cozy and inviting and modern all at once! I have kids too and I like seeing homes that reflect family life and the design challenges we face like the herds of shoes and backpacks that accumulate by the front door! Cheers!

  • Yes yes yes, one of my favorites as well! Do you have any idea where I could find a similar rocker?

  • Oh my, an armchair in a bathroom. Perfection. My husband can sit and talk to me while I soak….heaven. Lovely house.

  • So lovely. I understand why many people renovate with resale value in mind, but I must admit it’s refreshing to see something so utterly personalized like this. I also live the color of Hattie’s dressing table. Did I miss the paint brand/color?

    • We actually bought it already painted at a lovely shop called Flutter on Mississippi in Portland, OR.

  • i never comment on anything! but i have to echo what a previous commenter said: favorite home seen anywhere on any site. love love love. so authentic and inviting. thank you!

  • Love your house! My husband and I own a 1904 Folk Victorian style house. It has it’s issues, but we love it! I used hand-made Mexican tiles as the backsplash in our kitchen. They turned out beautifully – I wouldn’t trade them for any of the backsplash tiles you find at the building supply stores. No one else has one exactly like mine.

    • Urban Outfitters – it’s reversible – the other side is navy – I think it is called Lovebirds or something like that.

  • I really love this home. It looks like a home where people hang out and chat. It oozes comfort and at the same time it has a great look. I adore all the found pieces of furniture and the way they work together. Great work Josh and Darcy.

  • Oh my gosh! I was so excited to click on this today — Josh is a pastor at my church! So wonderful to see his beautiful home. Thanks for sharing the home of such a great family.

  • This home looks so incredibly cozy, inviting and happy! I just love everything about it. Any time I see a home like this, I keep wondering how they have the vision to create such special nooks and crannies. I can’t wait to create a cozy home of my own some day.

    • You can see exterior pics on my Instagram: DarcyWhite. It’s a work in progress though! Getting ready to paint the exterior and build a large deck off the kitchen. Cheers!

    • All of the drapes are very old Anthropologie….purchased about 9 years ago to be exact. Anthro is a great source for colorful, stylish drapes….and they go on sale a lot too!

  • I really liked seeing the children’s bedrooms. I have a twelve year old and an eight year old and I want to change some things in both bedrooms. I like how they kept their son’s room simple and their daughter’s artwork collage on her wall above the bed. This gave me some good ideas, as I have been thinking of things to do with my daughters artwork. One of her self-portraits is currently on the mantel…hanging by scotch tape for now. :)

  • This house is unbelievable and must have been an incredible amount of work and love and patience and grace and understanding!

    Having been a long time fan on Josh’s music, I’m supprized to see not a single guitar or music room or anything. I would hope a family jam happens from time to time around that Piano!

  • This home is wonderful!! I’m in awe. Can you tell me how the white wood floors are with children? Such a perfect way to brighten a home to get through overcast Portland days!

  • what a fantastic home. i love the mix of new lighting and vintage furniture and amazing patterns. such an inspiration for me to mix it up!

  • I’m writing from the other Portland and and will be moving into an old 1810 farmhouse soon so this is such great inspiration! I was wondering where your daughter’s swing came from or is it homemade? Thanks!

  • This lovely home is warm and serene and just looks so comfortable. I don’t usually go for all-white interiors but I’m finding myself drawn to this one! Beautifully done!

    *Totally random but I love that our sons have the same name — first and last! My Henry just turned 15!

  • This might be weird to ask but I was wondering if I could get a sketch of the layout? I really love the flow of the first floor but I’m having trouble imagining how it’s set up from the pictures. Thanks!

  • This house has re-established my faith in design! Seriously, a breath of much needed fresh air :) Thank you so much for showing this home<3 Is there by chance a way to find out what color of white paint was used through much of the house? Mooses Gracias!

  • What is the bluish green color on porch. Looks close to color on Hattie’s dresser. Have you found a paint color that matches. Please provid what it is

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