1234 House: Call to Portland Artists and Creatives

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1234 House (1234 SE 20th Ave., Portland, OR) is a six-bedroom historic structure in Southeast Portland, built in 1902, with a complete renovation underway to prepare it for a new life as a B&B/Hostel for travelers interested in a unique and creative space to call home while staying in Portland. 

Since 2009 (in its gutted, wall-less state), we've hosted house shows and consider this an integral aspect of the space. Once it's up-and-running, we'll continue the tradition, with one music/food/drinks event each month.

This website exists as a Request For Proposals (RFP) to artists, woodworkers, interior designers, etc.., who would be interested in being assigned one of the 6 bedrooms to create the complete aesthetic of the room, whether that takes the form of a mural, built-in woodwork, color and texture, hand-made or found furniture, all of the above, or something we can't even fathom without your help. The room will be your blank canvass, so to speak. We'll provide the bed, but we're expecting that when your work is done, the room will be ready for someone to stay in it.

Compensation Package:

We understand that you have spent countless hours developing your art and craft, and we want to completely respect your talent and vision by compensating you for your work as best we can, given the constraints of our budget. Here's what we've come up with:

  • $300 materials budget
  • $300 cash
  • 5 free nights stay in the room you design (or any of the rooms, depending on your interest) once the house is a functioning B&B, expected to be fall 2014.
  • We will name the room you design after you, with links to your bio and work on our website.

How to Apply:

If this project interests you, please send an email to

[email protected]

What we'd like to see included in your submission:

  • Examples of your work
  • A brief bio to introduce yourself: age, what you're doing these days, where you came from, why this project interests you, etc.
  • The beginnings of ideas/materials/aesthetics for the room should you be chosen to work on one (we understand that until you step foot in the room, you will likely not have a completely developed vision)

The more information you can provide, the better.

It's important to remember that this will be a place for travelers to stay from around the world and all walks of life, so we are looking for room designs that are first inspired, but a close second versatile enough to be inviting to a large swath of the world's populations. 


We will be accepting submissions until Friday, January 10, 2014.

Once we have gathered and processed submissions, we'll invite 10-12 people who submitted over to the house to see the space and meet in person. We'll then make final decisions soon after, before February 1, 2014

The framing, plumbing and electrical work are currently in progress and expected to wrap by the end of the year. We are scheduled to install insulation and drywall around mid-January. Your role can't take place until the drywall is up and primed. We haven't made lighting-fixture etc. decisions for the bedrooms yet, so we could coordinate on that before you really get to work.

Broadly speaking, you will have between Feb. 1 and March 1, 2014 to work on the room. The room will essentially be yours during this month. 

Anecdotal History:

The following video clip provides a window into our old friend Kia Ochun's experience at 1234 House, well before renovations began, where she played her banjo at a living room show and the next day, while meandering through the neighborhood, came upon a book that deeply touched her sense of Music and Art. It's worth a watch to gain context of what the house has been so you can have a better idea of what it will become....For additional clips of past music in the house, visit the following YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/BearsandMolecules