A Touch of English Charm
Our homes are ideally a reflection of the best stories of our lives telling about our interests, studies and travels.
We partly measure our quality of work at Angela Todd Designs by our ability to understand what makes up our client’s individuality. As a boutique interior design firm in Portland, Oregon, you will find our portfolio projects don’t resemble one another. We don’t have a signature style that our client’s hire us to duplicate in their home. Instead, we weave in the unique spirit of our clients, modeling their vision for their space .
This sophisticated couple came from different backgrounds. They contacted us for decorating/furnishing services when they moved into their new home in Forest Heights. She was of Japanese decent and grew up in Southern California, and he came from across the pond in Great Britain. Each time we visited the couple during our time together, they would welcome our visit with English tea and an assortment of goodies. This charming hospitality was part of what made this couple unique. They wanted a place to have intimate social gatherings with friends and loved ones. Their antique artwork and original decorative pieces held many stories and we thoroughly enjoyed learning about them. Our finished work together highlighted their immense charm, poise and grace – and their love of fine finishes, layered patterns and textures, and traditional timeless style.
We started by selecting a Nepalese hand knotted rug from Kush Handmade Rugs in the Portland, Oregon Pearl District. Rugs from Nepal are made from the finest wool. The lanolin content in the wool from the cold temperatures and high altitude in the area creates a soft luxurious hand that I have found isn’t present in wool from other areas of the globe. You have to touch it to believe it. (This client’s rug is rooted in traditional design, but Nepalese rugs can be found in many transitional and contemporary designs that are fashion forward too.)
The lady of the house is a true timeless beauty. She is warm and genuine, and has a classic personal style about her. When we met, she had numerous pieces in the house that after purchasing she realized were uncomfortable for her. It isn’t my intention to make her sound stuffy or overly particular. She was not. For her sitting upright with her shoulders back felt natural. (This reminded me of the way my Grandma would encourage me to sit instead of slouching.) She had perfect natural posture, and wanted her upholstered furniture to support size and alignment. She found that many chairs and sofas in the marketplace are not designed for this type of sitting position.
We worked together to figure out the right furniture sizing and lines for her body. I point this out particularly because many clients have concerns about the comfort of pieces. As a full service interior design professional, we can help in numerous ways. Not only do we pay attention to seat depth for our clients – the type of cushion construction will affect how a sit feels and it’s overall longevity. We also have custom and tailored resources. Most of all our experience allows us to make sure your pieces of furniture don’t just look good – they feel good. I am thrilled to report the lady of this house now finds each piece in the living room comfortable and suitable for sitting for long periods of time.
Our client had previously purchased a Hickory Chair loveseat. The sofa was customized in a rich, velvet emerald green, and the soft silhouette of the piece was accentuated by nail heads. To me the piece had exquisite lines and style, but my client reported it never felt comfortable. Instead of repurchasing another piece – I suggested we try reworking her scatter back pillows – having her try out different fills and sizes of cushions to make sure she would be comfortable. It worked.
Other pieces followed. We custom stained the fretwork on the two occasional chairs, and fell in love with fabric that mirrored a family pattern in the rug. We customized pillows in this fabric for the chairs. We upholstered a comfortable wing back next to the fireplace in a rich chocolate large scale paisley. We contrasted the back of the piece with a warm persimmon velvet and wrapped nail heads around the bottom of the wing chair to mirror the sofa.
Our coffee table provides ample room for English teatime, and was handpicked through Century Furniture. A three step Asian influenced end table was selected from Henredon, and a small round table from Caracole provides a quaint vignette between the two occasional chairs with wood Fretwork.
For most clients, we help them with additional artwork and accessories, but over the years this couple had acquired many pieces that we truly excited to showcase. To the right of the fireplace is an original French tapestry dated 1799 passed down through the family. The antique screen over the fireplace was acquired while traveling to the orient and married the color palette in the living room. We placed their delicate architectural watercolors from England above the loveseat in a gallery layout. The finished living room is inviting and takes on a bit of English Country style infused with our client’s unique life story and personality.
Did you notice the Siamese cats in the living room? Once we turned on the fireplace for the photography, these feline siblings meandered into the living room and posed by the fire. Adorable aren’t they?