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Designing the urbanHome

What makes your home a home? For us, storage and wide open space plans are key. Practicality, form and function... who has the time to figure it? Could you help a mama out? Suzame asks:

I'm hoping some mamas out there can recommend an interior designer. We aren't looking for a total home makeover; we have one room -- our living room -- that's a puzzle to us in terms of getting the right furnture combo (it's overly big and maybe we have bad feng shui). Anyway, I've never worked with an interior designer before and have been dragging my feet in terms of getting together with one -- it seems like such a splurge. But I really can't come up with a way to make our living room livable. I don't want to spend a fortune -- I don't even know what they charge -- I just want someone who is professional, gets our style and our needs, who can make some recommendations on the type of sofa (or furniture combo) we need to get to make our living room more homey.


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My background is in architecture and currently I'm working for a design/build firm. I know some interior designers, as well as, do small projects on my own. Feel free to e-mail or call and I'd be happy to discuss your project with you. 503-913-5106

We were really happy with our designer, Kimberlee Jaynes. I felt like she really got a good feel for who we are and what we like. The URL for her website is:

PS I forgot to mention that Kimberlee mainly worked with us on our living room and dining room. We had no furniture at all and started from scratch. Good luck and have fun!

OK, I just looked at Kimberlee Jaynes' portfolio online and checked out Robin's re-design. She did a great job on your place, Robin!

Another option is to contact one of the colleges in town, especially if you are looking more for space plans versus having them actually go out and buy every item and get things assembled and in place for you. The Art Institute of Portland has a ton of truly talented Interior Designers working toward their bachelor's degrees - I've seen their work even while they are in school and I'd trust (most of) them to do work on my house. The students may be less expensive if you are concerned about cost at all. Also, the instructors at AI are practicing Interior Designers, many of whom specialize in Green Design, so that's another option. I think Marylhurst University has a good Interior Design program as well and may have folks who can help. Good luck!

Thanks, Marlynn. I feel the need to explain that the "before" pictures were taken before the former owners moved out. Kimberlee was working with a very clean slate.

Thanks for the tip about the Art Institute --you gave me a good idea on where to turn to get some help on a few of my smaller projects that I'd like to tackle one of these days.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! Very helpful to know about the Art Institute!

I would highly recommend John Willey. He has a small boutique firm in Manhattan and helped us with our apartment last year. He's great to work with. http://www.willeydesign.com

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