Victorian secrets

How one couple put their own fresh spin on old-fashioned style

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Building on the bones of an archetypal American dwelling required decisions about what to keep (an antique bathtub in need of TLC), what to add (eclectic art with wit and personality), and when to find a new take on tradition.

Here are five elements that give this Victorian a contemporary glow.



Q: There are six crystal chandeliers in your house. What about them appeals to you?

A: I always loved them, even as a little girl. They glitter and sparkle, just like jewelry; they immediately add personality, a sort of daintiness, to a room.

Q: What went into creating your dream closet?

A: I designed it myself in Excel after researching closet fabricators and realizing a big part of their fee came in helping you plan the space. So I looked at our current closets and measured the rods, counted our clothes and pairs of shoes ― then made sure we could fit all that and more.

Q: Did you and Mark have any stylistic differences?

A: Our styles are pretty much in line. Eventually he'd like to have a room in the basement that's more cozy and loungey, with a big stuffed couch. But the only thing he won't let me do is display my huge vintage Barbie collection. They're all boxed and organized in the basement; every now and then, I'll have Barbie parties with my girlfriends, and I'll set them up all around the living room.

Q: What's the secret to buying vintage?

A: You need to take risks, be a little impulsive. If you can't handle getting it wrong, you probably shouldn't go for it. I'm not normally a gambler, but I'll take a risk when it comes to buying items like those white leather couches online, especially if it's a bargain. You can always resell it if it doesn't work.

Design:  Sophie Fauveau, French Touch Styling, Portland.

Resources: Kitchen Island and cabinetry custom-made by Thurman Cabinets NW, Portland (503/224-0210). Calacatta marble counters fabricated by Denali Stoneworks, Portland (503/244-4471). Brightwood pendants ($126 each) with 10-inch white shade ($35 each, as shown) from Rejuvenation (888/401-1900). Bertazzoni range and other appliances from BASCO, Portland (503/226-9235). Portrait wall Similar paint color is The Goods (item 0794) from Miller Paint Co. (503/255-0190). Chandelier, table, chairs, lamp, and cabinets are vintage. Chandelier Crystals are vintage. Similar crystal strands available from Cristalier (888/977-4767). Art and table Koi ($1,400), oil on wood, by Eli Halpin (410/419-9859). Table and basket are vintage. Bathroom Clear Day paint (item 7081W) from Miller Paint Co. (503/255-0190). White pedestal sink and fixtures from George Morlan Plumbing, Portland (503/224-7000). Doorknob Edwards interior doorknob and backplate in Burnished Antique ($123, as shown) from Rejuvenation (888/401-1900).


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