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A Mid-Century Pied-Á-Terre in Portland, OR

by Garrett Fleming

A Mid-Century Pied-Á-Terre in Portland, OR, Design*Sponge

Six blocks from Makelike, the graphic design collective he founded with business partner Mary Kysar, stands Topher Sinkinson’s Portland, OR condo. The space is a mid-century gem filled with throwback finds and situated within lush surroundings. On most days, Topher and his partner Jeremy, a carpenter, gaze out from their second-floor “treehouse” over the greenery below. Even better than these enviable views is the story behind how the place came to be. For Topher, it’s a tale about community, knowing his neighbors and truly feeling connected to where he lives.

In 2013, Topher started splitting his time between New Orleans and Portland. In an effort to keep costs down, he began looking for properties that wouldn’t require much work, had manageable green space and a smaller overall footprint. Luckily, just as this home hunt kicked off, a condo in one of Portland’s southeastern neighborhoods came on the market. Boasting updates like fresh countertops, a new skylight and a pristine balcony, the 1950s-era space happened to be the perfect fit. What ended up tipping the scales wasn’t furnishings or updates, however, but the people connected to the unit. One of Topher’s close friends happened to be the one who was looking to sell, and Topher’s best friend from college lived next door.

Convinced he’d never find a more perfect fit, Topher signed and swiftly moved in. Since doing so he’s further amplified the home’s connection to the community by turning it into a showcase of his and Jeremy’s work, as well as that of their friends and neighbors. The seller’s artwork hangs in the living room, bookshelves built by friends decorate the den, and wallpaper from Makelike graces the dining room. And that’s not all. Scroll down to check out even more personal touches. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Olivia Ashton

Image above: Topher and Jeremy’s home sits on the second floor of their apartment complex and looks out over the tree canopy below. During certain times of year, the views make it feel more like a treehouse than a home.

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Topher and Jeremy "unwindulaxing" (unwinding + relaxing) on their balcony.
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This chair is truly sentimental to Topher. It came from the lobby of the building where Topher met his business partner Mary Kysar, whose home we featured earlier this year.

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Fir flooring infuses the entryway walls with a vibe that dances between rustic and mid-century modern.
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Topher and Jeremy believe simple, "no-frills" design is always better. That being said, this streamlined cabinet their friend – the condo's previous owner – installed wasn't going anywhere when they moved in. It holds this music-loving couple's record collection.
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Friends and family gather here to listen to records and chat. The addition of the wrap-around shelving has given the space a coziness it previously lacked.
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Most of the plants in Jeremy and Topher's apartment have been with Topher for years. They're housed in zippy pots, a sly way of incorporating color into the living room. The plant stands are a combination of vintage, dish-drying racks and wooden planks.
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Topher's two favorite albums of all time sit poised to be blasted on the record player.
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Topher says the dining room's lighting was a fun little experiment with scale. It hangs to the right of a kitchen filled with yellow accents. The hue pops up more than once throughout the home and pairs perfectly with the couple's throwback sensibility.
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"The art is a framed poster that came with Neil Young’s 1971 'After the Gold Rush' LP," Topher says. It's framed by wallpaper from Topher's company Makelike.
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Topher's favorite aspect of his home with Jeremy is their bathroom's skylight. It lends itself to the treehouse vibe that pulses throughout the Portland abode.
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A "surprisingly comfortable" couch in the den.
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Topher couldn't just display his book and blanket collection in a closet. Too much care went into their creation for them to be hidden away. In order to give them a proper home, he had this wall unit built to house his prized finds.
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"I love the patterns the blankets make when stacked so tightly." – Topher Sinkinson
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The bedroom's shelving – which Topher's friends helped him build – holds a collection of vintage finds and crystals. The group cleverly painted the underside of it pink so it appears to be glowing when the light hits is just right.
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"What we love most about our home is..."
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In 2002, a group of Topher's friends renovated the four apartments in their complex into four condominiums. They added new cabinetry, skylights and balconies.

Porch

Plants – Portland Nursery, Xera Plants,  Cistus Nursery

 

Living Room

Art – Storm Tharp

 

Bathroom

Bathmat – Nate Berkus for Target

 

Den

Couch, books, tchotchkes – thrift store

Artist books & catalogs – Printed Matter

Art – Topher Sinkinson, Swallow Press and Kristan Kennedy

 

Kitchen/Dining Room

Wallpaper – “Range” by Makelike

Furniture, lighting, artwork – thrift store

 

Bedroom

Art – Alex Felton

Blanket – Cargo, Inc.

Sentimental rocks – rivers, deserts, beaches of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California, and Ed’s House of Gems

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