Crafting for Comfort

Emery & Associates has worked on many Craftsman-style homes, but none that were as representative of the style as this wonderful, 100-year-old beauty in Portland’s historic Irvington neighborhood.   Here’s the living room “AFTER” photo.  Let me back up a bit to show you how we arrived at this comfy, child-friendly design.


Josh Smith called me in March of 2016 to ask if I could help him with furnishings for his living and dining rooms.  He was referred to me by Craftsman Design and Renovation; they had just finished completely renovating his living room mantel and bookshelves to reflect the original style of the house.  When Josh moved in, the mantel looked like this:

BEFORE: Fireplace as it was when Josh moved in.

BEFORE BEFORE: Fireplace as it was when Josh moved in.  Previous owners had added the busy tile that was not to his taste.

When Josh and I first met, the newly-renovated fireplace wall was in place, and the room now looked as it may have looked originally, with beautifully crafted mantel, fireplace surround, and bookshelves with glass doors.

BEFORE: Newly-remodeled fireplace wall in place. Needs furnishings!

BEFORE: Newly-remodeled fireplace wall in place. Beautiful, but needs furnishings, and those painted stripes have to go!

After quizzing Josh about his taste (traditional), his favorite colors (brown, gold, sage green), and his lifestyle (single dad with two busy, young daughters), Emery & Associates went to work developing a furnishings concept and color palette for the home.

Kathia's Concept Sketch

SAMPLES: Walls, upholstery fabric, leather, wood finish, wallpaper frieze

SAMPLES: Upholstery fabric, leather, wood finish, area rug photo, wallpaper frieze by Bradbury & Bradbury.

The wallpaper frieze by Bradbury & Bradbury was a jumping off place for the color scheme, since Josh wanted to keep an Arts and Crafts feeling for the interior design.  I found the hand-tufted, wool area rug (child-friendly and affordably priced), and did a custom-made sofa in leather, and a pair of chairs in fabric.  All upholstery was made locally and custom-sized for Josh’s height (6’6″).  The tufted leather ottoman gives the room a men’s club feeling, while the tray provides a spot for drinks and snacks.  Hand-crafted pottery from Portland’s own LoneSomeVille Pottery Company continues the Arts and Crafts look.  The landscape painting above the mantel is by Leland John, a noted Oregon artist.  Josh took on the task of painting out the stripes on the walls himself; both living and dining room received a coat of “Divine Moss.”josh-lr-after-detail

The same warm palette continues into the dining room, which needed to be more functional for daily tasks, like kids doing homework and crafts, and also have enough seating for large dinners for family and friends.  Here’s what it looked like “before”:

BEFORE: Dining room viewed from living room

BEFORE: View of dining room from living room

Josh told me when we first met that he wanted a Stickley dining table and chairs.  Often referred to as “Mission style,” this classic furniture emphasizes simple horizontal and vertical lines as well as flat panels that accentuate the grain of the wood, and epitomizes the Arts and Crafts movement.  The beautiful table and chairs echo the warm wood wainscot and box beam ceiling, and the large scale of the furniture fits the scale of the room.  A hand-tufted wool rug adds warmth and color, and an upholstered bench can be pulled up to the table for added seating when the table is extended to its full length.


These rooms are now cozy, comfortable and functional, and reflect the harmony of the Arts and Crafts movement, with its ideals of honest construction, simple lines, and quality material.

If you need help finding the right colors and furnishings for your home, give Emery & Associates a call.  We can help you define your personal taste, and guide you through the complex process of creating a home that truly reflects YOU.

(Photo credits:  Eckert and Eckert Architectural Photography)

There are 4 Comments to "Crafting for Comfort"

  • Jim says:

    I can really empathize with Josh’s tastes; the wood, colors, and textures warm the cockles of my heart. You’ve created a lovely sense of unity.

  • Dinah Adkins says:

    Kathia, I love it all: the lightening and brightening via wall and ceiling colors, upholstery and rugs; the juxtaposition of rolled arm furniture vs the heavy planes and rectangularity of the arts & craft woodwork, and the appropriateness of furniture, light fixtures, details and art. Great job!

  • Shari House says:

    The magic of removing the stripes worked wonders! It’s always surprising how the mood of a room can be changed. The stripes and the busy fireplace were jarring but the redo is calming and elegant. Wonderful work!

  • George says:

    Wow the fireplace now looks nothing like what it used to before he moved in. I really like the new look and I love the accent wood beams on the ceiling of the dining room.

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