Behind the Scenes at the Street of Dreams

Each year designers in the Portland metropolitan area clamor for the opportunity to design and style a home in the Street of Dreams. Participation provides opportunities for awards, great portfolio additions, new clients, and design prowess. This year the Portland Home Builders Association unveiled the first urban Street of Dreams in the Nation. The allure of designing a penthouse with cascading views was irresistible to many in the design community. The HBA even noted record interest from the design community at large.

I am honored this year to be among seven design firms working to design and furnish nine penthouses. Like typical suburban homes in previous years, it is a mad race to put together all of the pieces to showcase the home. We all start by conceptualizing a design plan for the ideal buyer of the home and then showcase the best of the best in technology, building materials and home furnishings. The design, vendors and installation teams have only a few shorts weeks to transform the home into the best of the best. What is it like? It is an all out sprint with tons of pressure and tight deadlines, balanced with many long term rewards.

What is a typical week like for a designer working on the Street of Dreams? Well, a lot goes wrong because the timeline doesn’t leave a lot of room for error. Or maybe it is just murphy’s law? I will give you a taste of the frenzy. Here were my highlights and setbacks in the last two weeks.


  • Awesome wallpaper installation by Wallpaper Pro, procured through Sherwin Williams in the Pearl. It’s back. It’s hot. We can’t wait for you to see it.
  • Parker Furniture delivered their furniture for the master suite. Coupled with Lighting from Lux Lighting it is divine.
  • The fireplace remodel with awesome 5/8″ iridescent tile was finished and looks amazing. Check out s’Tile.
  • Our new kitchen backsplash took shape.
  • Orchid Exchange brought amazing orchids for the photoshoot. We decided to buy some for ourselves.
  • Culver Glass installed a full mirror wall in the entry and glass shelves on the fireplace.
  • We have fun accessorizing the master bedroom, fireplace and powder bath for the Street of Dreams Magazine Photo Shoot, see below for how late we worked that night.

Low Lights

  • Our master bedroom window fabric wasn’t sent priority mail as promised, so our lovely window treatments weren’t ready for photo shoot the next morning.
  • We found out our selected fabric for our guest room’s bedding is on back order until late August. So we are reselecting a new fabric – this time one we are sure is in stock.
  • Someone miscommunicated, and the wrong trim for the recessed cans were picked up. We had to run back out to Platt Electric to complete the fireplace.
  • Our gloss finish on the master bedroom walls didn’t cure properly and gave an unintended finish. We couldn’t cancel our furniture delivery this late in the game, so we moved all the pieces to the center of room and carefully covered every last piece. Tons of extra, unintended work.
  • We worked until 11:30pm with the team to finish the master suite the day before the photo shoot for the Street of Dreams Magazine. Our photo shoot was at 8:00am bright and early the next morning. Did someone say coffee?
  • We were notified our lighting for the great room is on backorder until August 15th (too late for the show that starts on August 1st.)Our local lighting representative is calling frantically to other showrooms to beg borrow and steal the fixture.
  • Our designated handyman didn’t show up on Tuesday, so had to call in someone else last minute. I wish I was able to use Oregon’s Home Handyman. My favorite!
  • We lost our outdoor furniture contract, a well known outdoor furniture company found out from their corporate they were liquidating. We had no choice but to start calling around town looking for new outdoor pieces that are in stock. (There is no more time to order outdoor furniture.)
  • We are still looking for last minute ‘key’ accessories, so we are picking them up as we go.

Enclosed our photos of our before and after work prior to the photoshoot. I’d love to hear your comments.

In case you are wondering, yes. I do have a full client load outside of the Street of Dreams at the same time. Does anyone want to meet for happy hour after work today?

Angela Todd Studios For Custom Furnishings

Angela Todd

Owner & Principal Designer

Angela is the principal designer at her boutique interior design firm in Portland, Oregon. She is known for creating memorable backdrops that tell the story of fascinating and intricate lives.

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