"Art is the only way to run away without leaving the home"
- Twyla Tharp
Once we had our interview with Laurel Brown for our Consignor Spotlight feature, we just knew we had to revisit her incredibly cool mid-century inspired home. Follow along today as we step inside the home of Laurel Brown and her housemate, Toni Links. We toured their colorful 1940's Portland abode, got the scoop on where to find the best vintage in town, and swooned over their collection of vintage gems.
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Artifact: What are the pros to communal living and how has it affected your home style?
Laurel: Its so much fun! We love sitting around listening to records playing dice during the colder months, in the summer we sit outside and listen to outlaw country in the sunshine. We also really influence one another stylistically both with interior design and fashion, we definitely feed off of one another.
Artifact: Where are your favorite lucky vintage spots to shop in Portland? Laurel: Obviously Artifact! We both work part time at Vintage Pink so we score tons of goodies there. I bought my first couch at Lounge Lizard so I will forever hold a place in my heart for them. For clothing I have been finding major scores at Living Threads and the new Ray's Ragtime in the Hollywood district. I also recently started shopping at Taborvilla Design and Finds and found the nightstand that was missing from my bedroom set and an amazing Lilli Ann coat. I'm also at estate sales whenever I get a chance, I always leave with goodies. Toni: Well of course Artifact! I also love Living Threads Vintage, Ray's Ragtime, and Magpie.
Artifact: Describe what it means to 'own your style' for you? Laurel: I think everyone should watch Advanced Style and let go of any inhibitions holding them back. The world is a much happier and more interesting place when people are true to themselves! Live life fully and dress for the life you want. Toni: I dress for my mood. I believe in wearing what feels good to you and ignoring trends. Classic pieces with good lines and great fabric is key to me. Quality is also very important to me. I avoid cheaply made items and I always mend and make due!
Artifact: Your house is so bold, how did you go about finding the perfect paint color for each room?
Laurel: Neither Toni or I really have boundaries when it comes to decorating. Poor Jared (Toni's husband) tried to get us to chill out on the color choices but was outnumbered. When we first moved in we just grabbed every color swatch in Home Depot and found color combos we liked together and that would also work with the sofa. Luckily we have such similar taste that it was super easy for us.
Artifact: How has your style changed over the years?
Laurel: My style hasn't changed a whole lot since my late teens. I have always loved vintage of every era so I incorporate all of it into my daily wardrobe. My style is basically that of a 60's art teacher that wants to join a motorcycle gang on the weekends.
Toni: My style has been the same for roughly 30 years. I started collecting pieces at a young age thrifting with my mom. I have always been attracted to classic style with clean lines and a twist of hillbilly.
Toni: Music is very important to me. I grew up in a household that always had records on. I love classic country the most because it is in my 'small town girl' blood! Western style and honky tonk music is something I have always sought out.
Artifact: It's obvious you both love to collect vintage! What is your most prized treasure?
Laurel: I have some albums I worship, some band T's I could never get rid of, and some ceramics I adore. Its hard to think of one item I like more than any others. I just love junk, and the weirder the better!
Toni: My vintage 1950's Hawaiian dress collection is my most coveted. My wardrobe is huge and I always have fun finding those unique pieces.
Artifact: What are questions someone should ask themselves when trying to figure out what their own personal style is?
Laurel: People care way too much about what others think, take that out of the equation and figure out what inspires you. Pinterest has always been a fun resource for me, find what you like and build off of that. Don't worry about looking like everyone else.
Toni: You should always ask yourself if you feel confident. I always say go with what you love and ignore everything else.