A True Visionary
Karla has been fascinated with old homes since she was a small child. Her love of beauty and the exquisite craftsmanship of historic homes led her to eventually purchase her first restoration project: a Victorian home in need of a lot of TLC.
She learned by doing her own work, diving into research, working with artisans and craftspeople, and gaining a deep knowledge about historic homes and how to restore them with respect and authenticity. More than 20 years later, she is a respected and trusted expert in the field.
Karla brings a sense of stewardship to her work, and she expects the same investment of her clients. Taking on a restoration requires the owners to have a commitment to the home, and a desire to be stewards of the piece of history that is in their hands. She loves partnering with clients who want to be part of something bigger than themselves. These are the clients who she finds to be incredibly inspiring.
A true visionary, Karla’s passion for restoring homes comes with an eye for detail. She brings the ability to look at a room and understand how it originally may have looked.
Her abundant knowledge and connections allow her to source everything from working vintage stoves and salvaged house parts to period wallpapers. She specializes in period kitchens and bathrooms, which are the most complicated rooms in a home—and often the most compromised through serial remodels.
Along with the restoration of residential homes, Karla also enjoys working with house museums. These historic landmarks are carefully curated glimpses into the past, and their educational benefits are invaluable. Whether restoring the entire building or just one room, she is dedicated to creating an authentic, interactive experience for visitors.
Karla recognizes that practicality plays an important part in restoration, so both form and function are taken into account.
She is also very particular about the contractors she engages with. Every partner involved in the process has a thorough knowledge and deep respect for the restoration process.
Along with restoration, Karla spends time traveling, learning new skills, antiquing, entertaining with friends, and finding more ways to bring beauty into the world. She lives in Portland with her fabulous cat Tanuki.
If you have a historic home requiring rescue, or if you manage a house museum that needs a little help, please contact Karla. She can set up an initial consultation to discuss how to help.
“Historic buildings are part of our material culture, of our
collective memory. They are pieces of art expressed through architecture. Collaboratively, we can pull back the layers to discover the original intent of the artist.”
— KARLA PEARLSTEIN