The dining room of the Portland home that Eva Kosmas Flores shares with her husband, Jeremy Flores, is full of character. Here and in the living room, Eva applied two tones of split plaster on the walls, which adds dimension and warmth against the dark decor. Eva, who runs the popular blog Adventures in Cooking, also created a gallery wall of old family photographs. “Family has been the single reason behind why I’m so passionate about food," she says.
Eva’s vision for the living room? “Cozy and Old World, kind of like an antiques dealer’s lodge,” she says. That meant pairing classic elements like a Chesterfield sofa and a pair of tufted armchairs with moose antlers found at a garage sale.
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Create a natural focal point
In the living room, a mason built the fireplace surround of cast river rocks, while Jeremy constructed the reclaimed wood mantel.
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Make the kitchen personal
By eliminating a breakfast nook, Eva and Jeremy opened up the kitchen and made room for the vintage Roper range they scored on Craigslist. “I like to think about all the food that’s been prepared on it over the years,” says Eva, who learned to cook at her parents’ Greek deli. “I hope that all the good food karma carries into what I cook on it too.” A contractor installed the Shaker-style cabinets and oak floors.
“I wanted to be able to photograph [for my blog] on the countertops, so wood was the perfect choice,” says Eva, who teaches food photography workshops around the world. But the material wasn’t without its challenges— because the wood wasn’t completely straight, Jeremy had to plane it from the sides to level it out. He intentionally left the top surface rough, though, to give it a rustic look.
Open shelving shows off Eva’s collection of copperware and handmade ceramics, while more utilitarian-looking items are hidden away in cabinets.
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The couple creatively fashioned a pot rack out of a branch from a dead birch tree in their yard. Not only does it link the room to the landscape outside, but it also offsets the darker wood in the rest of the room.
In contrast to the home's dark decor downstairs, the couple lightened things up in the finished attic master suite. On the landing, Eva decorated with a soothing mix of new furniture and vintage pieces she acquired while traveling. Jeremy built the wood railing for the stairs, which doubles as a sunlit vanity.
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Open things up
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In transforming the attic into a master bedroom, “we opened up the ceiling because Jeremy is 6’3”, but we left the beams there for character,” says Eva. They hired a contractor to install cabinets along the sides of the eves, which open to either a rod for hanging clothes or several sets of drawers.
The master bath is grounded by the natural materials: a custom vanity made of salvaged wood, crates and baskets for storage, and a sink made of a special concrete-jute material that doesn’t absorb stains. Touches of aged brass add an antique touch.