Blog Stories The Artist Within - My Best Friend's Home

The Artist Within – My Best Friend’s Home

By Carrie Struss, November 3, 2018

Erin and I met in art class in 1992. Since then, our paths have ran parallel, diverted, crossed, and have come back together time and again. We have lived in California, New York, Washington and Oregon. I cannot count the number of actual houses, apartments, or communes Erin and I have lived in during our 26 years of friendship, but for the past 12 years, we have both called Portland home.

Since purchasing her first house in 2013, Erin lovingly updated and restored her 1912 one bedroom Arbor Lodge home. As an artist, the home became one of Erin’s many canvases and artistic expressions. Most notably, the walls. Erin meticulously peeled back various layers of wallpaper to reveal the story of the home and the many lives it contained in the past 106 years. When Erin decided to sell her home, she wanted the next owner to love it’s character as much as she did so we left them as is. We did not paint the walls or cover them up. Instead, we highlighted this unique feature not seen or duplicated anywhere else. Erin’s basement housed her artist studio complete with paintings in process and years of overrun paint down the walls and on the studio floor. Her two car garage housed her massive flat file of artwork, a kiln and a wheel. Add to that, the custom designed and built trellis draped with wisteria framing the entire front of the house, the garden full of heirloom roses, lilies, two flowering dogwoods, and a plant and rock garden with native plants, and a massive vegetable garden. The entire home was Erin’s art. I knew someone would love it just the way it was. 

Discovering the story of a home, highlighting it’s most unique features, and targeting who would appreciate it is one of my favorite parts of my job. During the open house, I explained to everyone who came through the story of the artist who lived there and how she found the beauty in the torn, revealing layers of the homes history. I talked to them about the love and care she put into the house to make it her home. After the open house, we received four offers, every one of them included letters expressing their love for what Erin had done with the walls, the massive garden she had created, and the artistic expression and feel of her home.

Erin’s small one bedroom home sold in 5 days for $25,000 over our list price.

To see Erin’s artwork click here

Carrie Struss


Carrie Struss has a background in project management, marketing, and photography. Much like in real estate, she simultaneously managed multiple projects and personalities. She is an effective negotiator and stands firm in advocating for her clients. Making the switch to real estate was an easy transition. Carrie utilizes all her unique talents, background, and experiences in real estate. Most importantly, she will connect you to your dreams of not just home ownership, but to what you want your life to be. As your agent Carrie will…
  • help get your home (and emotions) ready to sell, then sell your home.
  • find you a new home complete with (fill in the “must have” blank).
  • facilitate the transaction making sure everyone does what they need to do and has what they need to do it.
  • negotiate tenaciously for you.
  • educate you on the daunting, overwhelming, and at times stressful process.
  • remain calm, always.
  • keep you focused on your goals.
  • pay attention to every detail.
  • show up.
  • effectively communicate in the way that works best for you.
  • uphold Living Room Realty’s values and what they mean to her.
"I care about where you live. I care about you home, your street, your neighborhood, your community. All the things that are important to you will be my priority. I look forward to working with you!"
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  • T: 503-953-0850

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