An Eclectic Dutch Colonial Portland Home with Whimsical Prints


Traditional Neutral Dutch Colonial Exterior with Original Millwork

Many of the home’s existing and original features were retained, including the landscape’s tailored mix of plantings, which the designer augmented with topiaries and pots. Doors, windows and millwork were also preserved.

Eclectic Green Living Room Vignette with

In the living room, interior designer Jennifer Leonard mixes vintage furnishings like this drop leaf side table with more modern pieces like the woven basket.

Traditional Neutral Dutch Colonial Exterior with Original Millwork

Many of the home’s existing and original features were retained, including the landscape’s tailored mix of plantings, which the designer augmented with topiaries and pots. Doors, windows and millwork were also preserved.

Eclectic Neutral Staircase with Magnolia Patterned Wallcovering

Romo’s Black Edition wallcovering in a magnolia pattern graces the foyer and stairwell of a Portland home designed by Jennifer Leonard. At the top of the landing, the walls feature a Cole & Son trellis pattern. Louis, the family’s dog, runs down the dark-stained hardwood floors, which serve as a counterpoint to the space’s pale neutral palette.

Eclectic Green Living Room with Recamier-Style Sofa

Bolsters in Schumacher mohair and pillows in a GP&J Baker cut velvet dress a recamier-style Kravet sofa in the living room. Additional seating comes from the Thibaut slipper chairs and Lee Jofa swivel armchairs, both wearing Barbara Barry for Kravet fabrics.

Eclectic Neutral Foyer with Carved Console

In the foyer, a Hickory Chair console with carved and hand-painted details stands beneath a beveled silver-leaf custom mirror from Katayama Framing.

Eclectic Neutral Dining Room with Blue Zebra Dining Chairs

At both ends of a circa 1810 dining table are 1890s chairs with Mulberry Home silk backs and Schumacher velvet seats. The side chairs sport an animal print by Designers Guild on their seats. A Currey & Company chandelier hangs above, while underfoot is a carpet from Kush Handmade Rugs. The drapery fabric is Fabricut.

Eclectic White Breakfast Room with Faux Bamboo Chairs

Bungalow 5 faux-bamboo chairs gather around a customized Hickory Chair table in the breakfast room. A pagoda-style chandelier by Visual Comfort lights the space.

Eclectic Brown Dressing Room with Window Bench

Osborne & Little wallpaper and Currey & Company sconces bestow Old Hollywood glamour in the wife’s dressing room. Leonard used the same Kravet linen to cover a Bungalow 5 stool and for the Roman shades, which feature Vervain beading. The bench of the existing window seat was upholstered with a Designers Guild fabric.

Eclectic Brown Bedroom with Traditional Fireplace

At the foot of the master bedroom’s upholstered Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams bed stands a Thibaut bench. Made Goods lamps top the Mr. Brown bedside tables. A chair by Hickory Chair, in a print from GP&J Baker, sits near the fireplace. The carpet is by Stark.

Almost immediately after designer Jennifer Leonard wrapped up work on Leslie and Devon Nevius’ Portland home, the couple began searching for a new one to accommodate their growing family. This time around, it was a spacious 1923 Dutch Colonial with a large yard that they had always envisioned. And, says Leslie, “All of the bedrooms are upstairs, and the main living area has a circular flow to it for easy entertaining.” Although the layout was ideal, the house had been remodeled over the years—with an addition built on—so they turned once again to Leonard to put a fresh spin on their new digs.

Getting started, Leonard engaged in a little subtractive decorating. The bedrooms, which had been previously carpeted, received new hardwood floors to match the living spaces, visually unifying the entire home. Then she began envisioning the living spaces, using rugs as a jumping-off point. “Whether a rug is quiet or loud or even somewhere in between, they are an important foundation,” she explains. “A good quality hand-knotted carpet is worth the investment.” For example, when she found a one-of-a-kind oversize wool-and-silk rug while shopping at High Point Market in North Carolina, she immediately thought of the living room. “It was lovely in the space—a quiet backdrop of taupe, muddy-gray blues and greens, and creamy golds for the furnishings and art to play off of,” she says. These tones are reflected in the rest of the home’s soft palette of taupes, blues and grays punctuated with some sassy surprises of lime green, gold, turquoise, aqua and chartreuse.

The designer also incorporated patterns and prints, to Leslie’s delight. “Decorating the house isn’t something I’m going to be doing every couple of years, so I wanted patterns that I love,” she says. “There are fabrics on chairs that make me happy every time I look at them. In the living room, for instance, we have two swivel chairs with a trellis pattern, and we have chairs in our master bedroom that are really fun, with birds and lily pads on them.” Leonard also brought in pattern via wallpaper, including a Phillip Jeffries textured weave over metallic gold in the dining room, as well as one that features grand magnolia blooms in the entry hall. “Wallpaper can transform a space in ways paint can’t,” the designer notes.

Nearly all of the furnishings from the owners’ previous home were used in their new one. “When designing their first house, we knew it would not be their forever home,” Leonard says. “This meant being mindful in the purchases to ensure most of the furniture could transfer to a future space.” Some pieces were refreshed for the new digs, such as the couple’s antique dining chairs, which were recovered in lush silk, velvet and mohair.

Throughout, Leonard bridged her clients’ aesthetic preferences. “I love mixing old and new, and so does Leslie,” says the designer. “I think it gives a house more character, a history, a soul. Antiques feel authentic and genuine to me—classic pieces that can provide a storied backdrop to the new furnishings.” Adds Devon, “Our previous home was about 30 years older, but the owners had done a modern addition to that house, so there was going to be an infusion of modern. Through that process, I started to trust Jennifer’s aesthetic and how she would naturally blend the two worlds.”

Devon got to fully live out his midcentury modern aesthetic in his Mad Men room, a stylish retreat complete with its original wood paneling, a built-in bar, a pool table and animal hide on the floor, making it the ideal spot to watch a game. Meanwhile, Leslie let her personal style fly unfettered in her dressing room, a space worthy of
a Hollywood starlet with an elegant dressing table and inviting window seat. Wallpaper with brightly colored birds darting among foliage and glamorous beaded sconces round out the space. “It was a fun room to decorate,” she says. “I ran with this one and went a little girly.”

In the end, the couple trusted Leonard to help procure every detail for their home—from the art to linens and even down to the flowers. “I was planting flowers in their new flowerpots when they brought their first son home from the hospital,” she recalls. That close relationship has translated into a space that reflects their style and works perfectly for the family. “There are so many houses that have a sequestered living room with the white carpet that nobody goes into,” Devon says. “But our home is fully functional and fully used.”

—Kimberly Olson