Eclectic vintage wonderland design showroom now open to the public
City Home (825 NW Davis St, 503-888-8717) has opened the doors to an eclectic home furnishings wonderland in Portland’s interior design hotbed, the Pearl District. It’s the second City Home location opened by owner Kim Pelett, who has over 30 years of experience selling vintage home decor in Portland.
A visit to City Home isn’t just a retail shopping experience; it’s an amusement show. The first thing you’ll see when you walk in the store is a handmade reclaimed-wood pingpong table, ready for play, that doubles as a dining table. “Everything has a vibration of where it came from … a sort of Velveteen Rabbit existence,” Pelett says.
The new Pearl District space is a whopping 20,000-square-foot warehouse with a design showroom inside a 1906 historic brick building. “If I find an 18-foot-long canoe I want to hang from the ceiling, I can do it,” Pelett says with a laugh, “I can indulge a lifelong obsession with collecting. We have serious space to play with.”
The showroom has a steampunk–meets–fun-and-whimsy vibe that offers visitors a sense of discovery and history. A visit to City Home is guided by a pleasantly cluttered visual and tactile experience. “The soul of City Home lies in the blending of old and new … and not taking itself too seriously,” says Pelett. “Yes, you can touch the stuffed wild boar!”
City Home delights in the bizarrely beautiful. The new location’s front counter was constructed from a repurposed bowling alley lane. Every corner you turn brings unexpected eye candy, from antique mannequin heads lining shelves to huge vintage neon signs. The spacious emporium also carries carefully curated designer home decor and furniture lines, including Magnolia Home Furniture Collection by HGTV star Joanna Gaines, Joybird mid-century modern handcrafted furniture, and Justina Blakeney Home, a bohemian lifestyle brand.
Pelett grew up treasure hunting at auctions with her father and grandmother. Her father, Walt Pelett, owns the well-known Portland staple City Liquidators. She was just 21 years old when she opened Classic Home & Antique in Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District in 1978. Almost 40 years later she forges on as a major player in Portland’s home décor and furniture market.
Up next, City Home is planning a grand opening party in January 2017 to thank staff, customers, and friends in the design community. “We have a deep appreciation for being invited into our customer’s homes to help them furnish comfortable spaces that are personal expressions of their families,” Pelett says.