Emily, an advertising manager, and Ben, a realtor are a newly engaged couple living in the St. John’s neighborhood of Portland, OR. With upcoming nuptials money is tight and extra income from a home-share would help them pay for a dream honeymoon vacation. Their home is nestled in between beautiful Victorian homes and is blocks away from parks, restaurants and shops. They are both born and raised in Portland and are proud of the many features their city offers: world-class dining, a completely bike-able city, professional basketball, eccentric local festivals, farmer’s markets. They are an hour away from the Oregon coast and wine country as well as an hour away from Mt Hood for skiing and snowboarding.

Their duplex, colloquially known in the area as a “skinny house,” features two full units of which the top unit they hope to renovate and list as a home share rental. The 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom unit has new flooring and paint, but not much else. The residence was built in 2009, but the previous tenants did not take care of the property, leaving the kitchen cabinets and counters with stains and burn marks, and a generally uninviting place to cook. The bathroom feels dated and the countertops and drawers also need replacing. The bedroom features an awkward niche space, which they would like to turn into a bookshelf. Their living room furniture is oversized and causes the space to feel cramped, but the bedroom has ample space and could use additional furnishings.

The couple describes their style as North West Modern, citing the landmark Ace Hotel as their design inspiration that features clean and cozy grays and whites. Emily and Ben feel their space could not only accommodate tourists, but delight those wishing to “live like a local.” With a more inviting kitchen for their guests to cook in, the couple would enhance their experience with farm fresh eggs, local coffee, and craft brews. Emily wants the bathroom to feel like a spa, and provide hand-crafted bath soaps and salts for her guests. The couple would love to use local artists’ designs for their décor, and explore the plethora of vintage shops for furnishings. Emily is big on bargains, and would like to provide her guests with a specialty coupon book so they can save on meals and activities. She also plans to create a scavenger hunt for her guests, so they will be able to experience local sites and novelties not found in a guidebook. With the income from the rental, the couple will be able to afford to take their honeymoon in Portugal.






  • New countertops and cabinets in kitchen
  • New countertops and drawers in bathroom
  • Shelving in bedroom niche
  • Updated Pacific Northwest/Modern décor
  • Paintings and wall hangings from local artists in living room
  • Bench or seating area in bedroom
  • Gift baskets and amenities with locally grown and crafted items
  • Farm fresh eggs and local organic coffee
  • Customized, Portland themed scavenger hunt
  • Local, discount coupon book for guests