A Manhattan Apartment in Portland

Peter Spalding, Director of Design at Daniel House, brings a New York design aesthetic to Portland apartment living | Photography by Alexander Spalding

The living room is designed to feel light and airy like a potting room or solarium. The room didn’t have much symmetry or architecture of its own, so I decided to imitate formal wall panels by painting bands of color – the color here is ‘California Dreamin’ by Behr. The bookcases create a little architecture too, as they face off one another. I bought them each for $90.00 from one of the used office supply stores over in southeast and stripped off the beige paint. The table works as a place to produce my messier artistic creations. (TOP PHOTO)

The side chairs are from Arhaus and I purchased the rattan sofa and matching chair at a vintage store in the Hollywood district. My flat file storage doubles as a coffee table because in downtown apartments you always have to get clever about space. My drawings are inside and my growing collection of art books go on top. Whenever I have guests, I can bank on them getting lost in whatever new book I’ve put on display. (BELOW)

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I did the panel thing in the bedroom and kitchen too. Here, it’s a Cherokee red to match my Peacock Alley striped bedding and the quilt my mom made for me out of my dad’s dress shirts after he passed away. I collect a lot of odds and ends from the deceased, which I enjoy because it makes a place feel so much more personal. When I’m working with clients, I try very hard to produce something that reflects them completely. It’s strange to go into a house where everything has been bought off the floor of a major furniture retailer–it feels as if no one actually lives there. People get really worried about combining different styles and eras but I think selective eclecticism can be enticing if it’s done well. (BELOW)

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I love vintage tole lamps. They’re probably the only 1970s creation I care for and I think this yellow one looks great on my old Regency style Kittinger desk. Also, Louis XVI chairs always have a way of feeling more modern than they actually are. I upholstered this one myself in a Belgian linen. I have two desks in the same room to keep my messy and clean work separate or things tend to become a little harried. (BELOW)

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The kitchen is tiny, so I added storage and a little dimension with peg board, which I painted “Stealth Jet Black” to match the walls. Utensils and tools can be decorative if they are featured in a place where they are actually used. (BELOW)

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