Tag Archives: design

Talking Portland Home Trends and Styles With Lance Marrs of Living Room Realty

Incredible Basement Remodel

Are you planning to buy your Portland dream home? Or maybe you’re thinking about a remodel to update the style of your house and keep up with the hottest trends?

When it comes to planning a Portland home remodel, there’s a lot to think about! Lifestyle, budget, layout, and style all come into play.

Here at Mosaik Design & Remodeling, we thought it would be interesting to speak with a local expert who sees hundreds of homes a year and talks to homebuyers on a daily basis. So we tapped veteran real estate broker, developer, and boutique hotel owner Lance Marrs to get his take on home improvement and the latest design trends in Portland.

What features are on the wish list for home buyers in Portland?

Today’s Portland buyer is sophisticated and more often than not, they know what they want! Open floor plans with good light and basements that have potential to be finished are important. Flow is everything! 

Freshome Home Remodel


Are there any new amenities you see becoming more popular with your clients?

Portland’s creative class works hard and plays hard!

Their home life needs to be simple, easy, and stress-free. White walls, modern appliances, quality lighting, smart thermostats, and low voltage wiring are what everybody’s looking for in their new Portland home!

Amazing Kitchen Design

Elizabeth Lawson Design

What Portland home remodel projects pay off and add value down the road?

The best dollar-for-dollar value comes in a beautifully considered kitchen or bath remodel. Finishing the basement for additional square footage or as a space to rent is a smart place to invest hard-earned dollars, too.

Incredible Basement Remodel

One of our favorite basement remodels!

What popular trends in surfaces, fixtures, paint, and lighting do you think will stand the test of time?

Wide plank wood floors, deco bath hardware, minimalist lighting – these are consistently passing the test for both in-style and long-lasting value. 

A smooth wall with commercial-style detailing at the bottom is an interesting trend. It’s especially notable due to the minimal style of the trim. Simple can be expensive!

Reclaimed wood, tongue, and groove – used sparingly these features can add great depth and warmth to a home remodel.


22 Pages

Do you have a favorite Portland home style? What tips would you share for someone remodeling one?

Portland has so many distinct neighborhoods and diverse home styles.

The 100-year rule is something I have always taken to heart. Leave the house better than when you found it.

Do You Know: The 100 Years Rule

Your home should be built with high-quality materials and using construction methods that will stand the test of time.
More importantly, your home should still look current 100 years from now.

The key really is to choose finishes wisely and make sure to ask yourself,

“Will this look great many years from now?”

Paint and lighting can be swapped out easily but hard surfaces not so much.

Buying in one of Portland’s historic districts like Irvington or Ladd’s Addition will limit some of your options. These areas have strict guidelines and regulations designed to maintain the architectural integrity of home, particularly the exterior.

Personally, I’m into the reimagining of split-levels. I’m actually in the early stages of a project right now!

Irvington Home Tour

Irvington Home Tour

As a realtor, you’ve seen thousands of homes. To you, what makes a great home?

Homes have souls. I truly believe this.

You can tell upon entry whether or not the owner gets it. The details, both seen and unseen, are what make for a great home.

Lincoln Barbour

Finally, what are some of your favorite local resources for homeowners?

For online resources and inspiration, your blog at Mosaik Design of course!

But there are so many other wonderful resources in the Portland area, too:

Such great places to explore on a rainy afternoon!

Schoolhouse Electric in Portland

Schoolhouse Electric

A big thank-you to Lance for taking the time to talk with us today and share his thoughts on what makes Portland homes and real estate so special and unique.

You can learn more about Lance on the Living Room Realty website and read some of his writing on their amazing blog!

Lance Marrs, Portland RealtorAbout Lance Marrs

Lance Marrs has more than 20 years local real estate experience. He specializes in residential real estate found in close-in Portland neighborhoods.

To get in touch with Lance, call (503) 701-5323 or email lance@livingroomre.com.


A Guide to Making Art Part of Your Home

Portland's Pearl District

Remodeled Basement

Basement Remodel by Mosaik Design and Fig Studio

Do you love the art in your home? Are you searching for new pieces to add to your collection? Not sure what types of pieces match or accentuate your home’s style? Or maybe you’re new to the art world and aren’t even sure where to start. What art should you buy? Where should you look?

Today we’ll answer these questions and hopefully inspire you to discover new pieces you love and that you’ll be proud to display in your home.

Let’s get started.

Art’s Many Benefits

When it comes to decorating their homes, too many people overlook the importance of artwork or choose pieces that they don’t love, simply to fill empty space. Those are mistakes!

Displaying the right artwork in your home has many benefits. Art can:

  • Make your space look and feel larger. Use different-sized pieces to highlight and accentuate your home’s best features.
  • Make you feel better. A beautifully designed home, including well-chosen pieces can make you feel less stressed. You’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll just enjoy your home more.
  • Build community. By purchasing pieces you love from local artists, you’re supporting your community and helping talented artists earn the living they deserve.
  • Serve as a focal point for your home’s style. Your favorite pieces shouldn’t fade into the background. Instead they can serve as a focal point to build the rest of your home’s style around.
  • Reflect you, your values, your loves, and makes your space your own. By selecting pieces that you truly love and want to look at, you’ll make your home your own. Your space will become a reflection of you, your style, and your aesthetics.

Do You Love Your Home’s Art?

Ask yourself, “Do I really love every piece in my home?” If not, now’s a great time to start thinking about replacing the pieces you don’t love with ones you do.

Before you rush out and buy a houseful of new pieces, ask yourself a few more questions to help you understand why you love some pieces more than others:

  • How do you feel about the shape and color of a particular piece?
  • What would you change about a piece, if you could?
  • What matters most to you about art? Do you love pieces associated with specific memories– art you bought on a trip for example– or do you just enjoy looking at pieces you find beautiful?

Once you have a good sense of what you do and don’t like about the art currently in your home, then you’ll be ready to start choosing new art for your home.

Choosing New Pieces for Your Home

Contemporary Dining Room

The key to filling a home with art that you love is simple:

Don’t rush.

Learn to savor and enjoy the process of searching for pieces of art that you love. The more time and care you put into choosing a new piece of art for your home, the more joy that piece will bring you.

But before you buy anything, here’s something to try:

Move your artworks around.

Often, you may see a piece in a whole new light (no pun intended) just by moving it to a new room. Some pieces look their best in bright light, while others work better in more subdued surroundings. So experiment! Try moving a painting in your living room into the bedroom or vice versa.

By giving the art you have a chance to breathe new life into your space, you’ll learn more about the style and type of artworks you love. And you’ll be better prepared to bring new pieces into your home.

Where to Find New Art?

Finding new pieces doesn’t have to be a chore or break the bank. There are many great places to look for artwork that you’ll love.

Your Travels

One family I worked with used art and souvenirs from their vacations and travels to decorate their space. I love this idea! Every piece is chosen with care and brings back great memories of fun times together!

As you travel, keep an eye out for locally-made pieces. Many galleries and artists are used to shipping their work, so you may not even have to fit it into your carry-on luggage!

Local Colleges & Universities

Often, if you’re looking for a truly unique piece on a budget, look to local schools and universities. Many students will love the opportunity to create a piece for their portfolio and the chance to earn money for their work!

If you live in the Portland area, visit the Pacific Northwest College of Art student galleries to see if any artists inspire you. You’ll see a variety of styles and mediums by up-and-coming and very talented artists.

Local Galleries

Portland's Pearl District

Living in Portland, we’re lucky to have an entire neighborhood full of great art galleries. Join the crowds on First Thursday and walk through some of the area’s most popular galleries. My favorites include:

The more galleries you visit, the more you’ll begin to recognize styles and pieces that speak to you. But again, don’t feel pressured to buy right away. As you see pieces you like, look at the materials and style (ask the gallery curators for help) and then search out similar artists.

Vintage Stores and Consignment Shop

Depending on the style of your home and your personal preferences, you might be able to find some great pieces of art and some great bargains by searching vintage shops, consignment stores, and other secondhand dealers.

My Biggest Tip for Choosing New Art

Don’t stress.

Art should be fun and something you love. Don’t worry about choosing the “right” pieces, just look for pieces that speak to you and makes you happy in your home. Don’t feel like you have to search out hot artists, fashionable styles, or pieces that cost a fortune. Simply look for pieces you love and pieces that you want to have in your home.

Art that’s chosen with care, love, and thought will always look great.

Need Help Finding Art for Your Home?


If you’re planning on changing out your art as part of a home-design or remodeling project– or if you’re just looking for new art, get in touch or give us a call at (503) 406-6179.


Our interior design team can help you find great artwork for your home, give advice on colors, styles, and shapes, and much more. We’d love to help you find new pieces that you love!


Photo Credit: Akash Kataruka

Involved Owners: What Owners Get in the Design/Build Process





When looking at starting a design and remodel project in your home, you have a number of ways you can go about having this project completed. At Mosaik Design & Remodeling we have created a design/build atmosphere that we have found is most beneficial to our clients. A design/build project structure creates a cohesive, team-like atmosphere between the construction team, designer, and clients.

Most of our clients are involved owners with great ideas and want to be a part of the process. With a design/build environment, they work with Mosaik Design & Remodeling exclusively which saves them from the chaos of choreographing many different contractors and designers. This saves time and reduces stress. Our clients know who to turn to with a question or suggestion.

Working with a design/build process also gives clients the reassurance that all hands are on the same page, and mistakes and oversights will be minimized. Communication happens seamlessly as our owners are directly involved in the oversight and completion of every project.

Clients can also save money using a firm that utilizes the design/build process. Energy efficiency is highly regarded, and we can utilize innovative methods to save our clients money and time.

If you are interested in learning more about the design/build process, please contact us and we can discuss the project you have in mind and determine if we are a good fit!