The minute we saw this house, we fell in love. A house of this age is pretty rare in Portland and one thing that made it even more special...it was brick. Although it needed major updating, our inspiration for The Morrison House was the house itself. So many things about this house we loved from the beginning but it needed to be brought back to life. We looked into the home's history as a jumping off point and everything fell into place from there.
Though made of brick, the architecture of the home was, in our opinion, vernacular. When people think Victorian, they think extravagant, fussy and ornamental. However, the other side to the Victorian is a more simplified "farmhouse" version. We could have gone either way with this house but we wanted to keep it simple. Our goal was to bring the focus to the windows and arches framing them but to keep that simple farmhouse style in mind. The monochromatic white on white pallete with black windows brought the idea to life while modernizing the house all in one.
The same idea applied to the inside as well. Farmhouse styling was the prominent design choice for the interior with hints of modern, industrial and even Victorian design. Combining all of these style elements into one design scheme worked perfectly without making the house feel too "literal". The more modern and edgy elements felt refreshing when paired against the simple farm style and the original Victorian details added just the right amount of character the house needed. The result was a perfect urban farmhouse.
The original layout of the house had been changed dramatically since it was built more then 120 years ago so our goal was to incorporate some modern layout changes while bringing back some of those original layout characteristics that are quintessential for homes like The Morrison House. With a little research, we found that our interior layout changes coincided extremely well with the original house layout. We were able to open rooms up and uncover original doorways that we intended to use again. We created larger, more modern rooms where we felt the home needed them and kept others as the original house would have been. The house now feels open but warm and inviting the way a Victorian Farmhouse should feel!