Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Casa de Lamer

When Eric and I were planning our move to Portland we agreed that I would find a place to live and Eric would work on our business plans.  After a month or two of casually looking we were down to the three week mark and no house in sight.  We have three pets and although Portland is extremely pet friendly, homeowners and property management companies charge a fortune in deposits for pets.  We found a townhouse we really liked but when I added up the cost of deposits and first month's rent being just over $4,000 I had to keep looking.

We ended up choosing this house because the landlord didn't charge us any pet deposits and there is a secure fenced in backyard.

And that's how we ended up in the basement apartment of a house built in the 50's with weird white tiles and an exposed water heater in the hallway.  Oh, and 1980's cafeteria linoleum in the bedrooms.

We do have a neighbor upstairs but her apartment is completely separate from ours.  The deal with this place is that we get to use the backyard (our doors open up to it) and she parks in the driveway.  We have plenty of parking on the street and it's a quiet residential neighborhood so we aren't worried about security. 

Take a gander:

The entrance into our house.  The green deck above our doors is an atrium off the living room upstairs.  

The view from the entrance.  You can see all the way back to the kitchen.  We managed to fit both the couch and the love seat in here without it looking cramped and weird.

To the right just as you step in from the French doors.  Eric hung our t.v. on an arm so it can be moved back to hang flush with the wall.  Also notice our wood stove.  We've attempted two fires but we're pretty sure there is supposed to be a fan with this stove because if you close the doors the fire goes out almost immediately.  Leaving the doors open fills the house with smoke and an irrational fear of carbon monoxide poisoning for me.  If you have any tips for us on the wood stove let us know!

To the left of the wood stove.

This red bookcase covers the storage space under the stairs leading to the first floor (that we have no access to).  We managed to get all of our camping gear and holiday trimmings under there.  Considering we were anticipating approximately zero storage space we were glad we had this weird spot to shove things and a bookcase to cover it all up.
The hallway to the bedrooms is to the right.

The dining area.  The huge cut-outs in the walls here make the living space really nice.  I think it makes it feel a lot larger than it is.  Also, that counter space above is tiled with bright multicolored patterns which are right up my alley because that match NOTHING.  

Hallway to the kitchen. Ikea makes these amazing square pieces of carpet in a bunch of colors so it was easy to grab only what we needed instead of worrying about buying an entire rug.  They were $9 a piece too!  Of course I picked bright green because that's my default color and Eric rarely objects.  I think he's always initially concerned about my constant choice of a screamer but this space needed some perking up.  These were perfect.

The kitchen window.  This makes up for having only two cupboards and a stainless steel restaurant supply shelf for storage space.  I love this window!

These are the only cupboards in the kitchen and I love the glass.  

We're working with an old school oven here, check out the buttons that control the eyes on the stove.  This thing works great by the way!  I thought I'd miss my fancy gas range but I've cooked several times here and everything works great.  *knock on wood*

I had a pretty large kitchen in our house in Fresno so I did more downsizing in the kitchen than anywhere else in the house.  When I was packing the kitchen if I hadn't used it in a year it had to go.  I gave away a dozen pots and pans, casserole dishes, glasses, and a huge box of Tupperware.  Almost three weeks later I haven't missed a thing I got rid of.  I know this might drive some people crazy, but I love having everything out in the open like this.  It keeps the clutter down and I only have out what I use regularly. 

The view from the kitchen.  Perfection.

We've got a big window but the bottom half of the room is below grade.
It stays super chilly in this room and we've slept great.  It's not nearly as big as our old bedroom but all of our furniture fit (king sized bed here) and we can still move around.

Still some have some decorating to do, but you get the general idea.  

The bathroom.  What can I say?  It's tiny and we spend as little time in here as possible.  The bright side is that we get great water pressure, there's plenty of natural light and good ventilation, and eventually these tiles I was crazy about at first eventually stop looking scary.  

Get a load of those.  Odd, no?

There is a gas water heater that is exposed in the hallway.  I found this screen in the garage and our landlord generously let us borrow it so we could cover it up.  Thank goodness.

The office.  The next project is finding a rug for this room.  The linoleum is awful and it's dang cold.  

My desk.  Knickknack Central to be sure but I have all my favorite books here and some of my grandfather's books that were on his coffee table when I was growing up.  All of the art hanging has a fun story to go with it and I like a hodge podge look when it comes to collections.  
Also note the cozy dog bed to the right.  Ridiculous.  

Eric playing Batman.

We've come to love this space in spite of how small it is compared to where we came from.  We're grateful everything fit and we've had fun sprucing it up.  We've definitely got work to do because eventually it would be nice to go barefoot again (I have slippers all over the house) but we're making it work and we're happy to be here.  Stay tuned for pics of the backyard.  The landlord is leveling the yard today and planting more grass.  I'll post pics soon!  Thanks for swinging by friends!  Can't wait to have you up and show you around.


  1. I'm so happy for you!! I adore it..you know there are so many of those tiny houses going up too.so despite small spaces..they can be your castle! Congrats and can't wait to get together with you!!

    1. Thank you friend!!!! We love it, which is a nice surprise because I thought we'd be on top of each other after losing almost 700 square feet. What town are you in? Eric's going to be travelling quite a bit for work all over the state and I think we need to take this friendship to the "real life" level!

  2. What a cute space! I love all of the character it has. We are in the process of building a house and I obsessed with all things home decor.


    1. Hi Rebecca! I keep reminding myself that the character of an older home is worth all of the maintenance issues that have a tendency to get overwhelming. Congratulations on building your home! Decorating it and making it cozy is my favorite part of any move and makes all the hassle worth it in the end. Thanks for stopping by!