A 1930s fixer-upper becomes a cheery and personal home at the hands of an industrious homeowner

Paint and Pluck Revamp a Portland Ranch.

Medical librarian Heather Tucker fell in love with the arches and coved ceilings of a dilapidated home in the Piedmont neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. The house had sat unoccupied for the past four years and was in pretty rough shape, but the first-time home buyer thought it showed promise. “When I bought it, there were lots of issues,” she says, “like how the previous homeowner had plastered over live wires in the ceiling.”

Tucker hired professionals to do an earthquake retrofit, insulate the house and bring the wiring up to code. As for the rest, “I’ve done the majority of the work myself,” says the homeowner, who chronicled her DIY experiences on her blog, Just a Girl With a Hammer.

Tucker took on the fixer-upper four years ago, and it now shows off her creative abilities with a paint roller, her Craigslist skills, and much more.