Many of us have had that one item of clothing we wore until it was completely thread-bare. That one item that made us feel comfortable, soothed and warm. Mine was a UCLA sweatshirt that my Aunt Beckie gave me when I was around 13 years old. Originally it hung well past my fingertips but by the end of my freshman year in college it was the perfect size, the perfect thinness from years of wear and wash and the perfect go to item in my meager wardrobe. That sweatshirt was there with me in my giggly, silly times and my stressed-out, ugly final times. It gave me that sense of comfort, contentment and memory.
Walking into the home of Bryan and Claire, owners of ¿Por Que No? (that amazingly yummy taqueria in North and South East Portland) is much like that. Standing in their threshold the words “old soul” immediately came to mind. Their home is part PBS Globe Trekker, part flea market and part temple that come together for a cozy, muted pallet of things well worn and loved.
Claire and Bryan embarked on a massive restoration of their very large Four Square home in North East Portland. Within a matter of months they made their much dated home into a personalized gem. And nothing slowed them down either.  Not even the impending birth of their first child – a beautiful girl who came into this world one week after their restoration was complete. Talk about super human feats and perfect timing!
Claire says that their home is furnished with items from their travels, thrift and salvage stores. She and Bryan love items with a story and with a not-so-gentle touch of wear. Clair’s childhood friend, Tracey Durbin, helped them design the look of their home.  Tracey owned the clothing store Matisse (it was on NE Broadway and 15th) for 17 years.  Enjoy the tour of Clair and Bryan’s home. Maybe it will make you think of that something you’ve had that brought you that perfect sense of contentment.

Claire and Bryans living room. The primitive cabinet is from Aurora Mills.  The cabinet drawers have mother-of-pearl inlay.

Claire and Bryan's living room. The primitive cabinet is from Aurora Mills. The cabinet drawers have mother-of-pearl inlay.


The kitchen is every chef’s dream -large and airy with plenty of work space.  They have a large kitchen island/table made from salvage industrial table bases and a walnut top with a live edge.  It is organic meets machine age at the same time.
Kitchen table built using industrial machine bases and walnut

Kitchen table built using industrial machine bases and walnut


Kitchen table showing detail of the live edge

Kitchen table showing detail of the live edge


The kitchen base cabinet hardware is from Aurora Mills. It is used in conjunction with new kitchen cabinets.

Claire & Bryan Kitchen Cabinets

Detail of Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

Detail of kitchen cabinet hardware


Stairwell banister made from corbells and column from Aurora Mills

Stairwell banister made from corbells and column from Aurora Mills


Interior View of Stairwell Banister

Interior view of stairwell banister


A mix of vintage textiles was used for the sitting area in master bedroom.

A mix of vintage textiles was used for the sitting area in master bedroom.The master bedroom sink originally had a hot and a cold faucet. Claire and Bryan decided to have only one faucet and used the space for the cold faucet space for a standing soap dish. The sink is from Aurora Mills.


Guest bedroom and resting place for the family cat.

Guest bedroom and quiet resting place for Melvin, the family cat.



From their website: ¿Por Que No? strives to support our local economy and community; whether it means using local hormone and antibiotic-free meats, donating to local school and non-profit organizations or remodeling with recycled materials.
There are two location in Portland, Oregon:
3524 N Mississippi Ave. Portland, OR 97227 (503) 467 – 4149
4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR 97215 (503) 954 – 3138