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Inspiring apartment decor designs

Our vintage apartment homes ooze historic charm. Unique layouts, beautiful original details like ornate light fixtures, crystal doorknobs, built-in cabinets and wood floors make these spaces rich with character. Not to mention they are beautifully situated in Portland, Oregon, a gem of the Pacific Northwest.

We love seeing how our Bristol Urban family of residents show their personalities throughout these spaces. Our Instagram, Facebook and Lifestyle photoblog give a glimpse into some of the most unique apartment decor styles these historic buildings have likely seen!

Need more inspiration? We’ve rounded up the top 5 apartment decor tips from publications like Apartment Therapy, Domino Mag, Elle Decor and more.

  • Layer it up: Brights, whites, prints, patterns. When done well, these combos can make any space feel huge. Peep the vibe in this unique Brooklyn apartment.
  • Sneaky Storage: Consider in-plain-sight storage solutions! Stacks, shelves and tables can make storage that looks like art. Better Homes & Gardens shares several fun ideas.

Go Green: Plants can make a space feel lush, vibrant and large. Consider adding easy care houseplants to your decor theme. Here are some great examples from Pop Sugar.

For the Love of Architecture and Color

Bristol’s birth in January 1990 was the result of a lifelong dream that the creative designs by architects and builders of the past would have renewed appeal to urban apartment dwellers of the future.

Slowly emerging out of one of the worst recessions in a lifetime, Portland in the early 1990’s was an urban area with a damaged soul. Blight was pervasive on both sides of the Willamette River with neighborhoods like Northwest Alphabet and SE Hawthorne riddled with empty storefronts and deteriorating pre-WWII commercial and multifamily buildings. Living, dining, and shopping downtown was not viewed as a desirable lifestyle people moving to Portland for work chose the suburbs for a better quality of life.

Bristol’s bet was simply that vintage well-located apartments in the urban core had artistic character and presented an affordable and attractive lifestyle option to renters. Looking back to new apartment construction in the 70’s and 80’s developers were focused on the then modern amenities of larger more functional kitchens, decks with sliding glass door access, one-piece fiberglass tub/shower bathrooms, and off-street parking amenities.

Bristol properties provided renovated original architectural features including hardwood floors, tile bathrooms, solid wood cabinets, cast iron bathtubs, and interior common hallways featuring color and style with period lighting, stylish carpeting, and faux painted trim and entry doors. Bristol’s staff and vendors skilled at working on the building materials of the ‘20s and ‘30s painstakingly focused on all surfaces and infrastructure with the goal of delivering sparkling, well-functioning apartments at an affordable price.

Beginning with the acquisition and renovation of two properties in NW Portland in 1990 (29 years later we still own the Greenway Apartments at 1958 NW Irving) Bristol now owns and manages 35 historically significant urban properties located in Portland’s vibrant neighborhoods and continues to grow every year.

Bristol properties are easy to identify as many are painted with vibrant colors and restored grand front doors adorned with period exterior light fixtures.

As a local owner Bristol’s goals are significantly different from other companies in the industry. Our first two priorities as a housing provider are 1) service to our residents; and 2) maintaining our properties for very long-term ownership. Our highly trained professional staff measures success by resident satisfaction which is monitored daily by surveys and feedback tools. We are very proud of the consistent positive feedback we receive from our residents in all phases of our operation.

Bristol and its staff have supported many non-profit and social service organizations over the past 29+ years and view our involvement and commitment to the community as a vital part of our mission.

Significant gifts to the Oregon Food Bank, Central City Concern, Northwest Pilot Projects and The Freshwater Trust coupled with our volunteer efforts at Potluck in the Park reaffirm our connection to the community and the environment.

We look forward to celebrating our 30 year anniversary in 2020 and look forward to what the future will present us in our beloved city of Portland.

Portland Pride

Portland is a unique city full of vibrant and wonderful people, amazing food culture, beautiful nature, abundant amenities and more.

Needless to say, we are proud of the community of residents we’ve helped make this magical place home. Next year, 2020, will be our 30th year offering inviting spaces for people to settle into and build their Portland lives.

When we set out on this dream to preserve and restore Portland’s vintage charm in 1990, we never thought we would have grown to restore 30+ buildings.

In these past 29 years, our historic buildings have been home to thousands of people. Many who’ve gone on to make an impact in their own communities and in the greater Pacific Northwest!

Our love letter to Portland has become a novel. We wait with wonder-filled eyes to see what the next 29 years brings. We couldn’t be more grateful for these opportunities and for that, we say Thank You.

What A Year!!!!


Portland is growing by leaps and bounds as a focal point of interest in our dear Pacific Northwest.

And as city’s the population continues to grow, the need for community-based supported services also increases.  As a small, locally-owned Portland business, supporting our community is a top priority.

Throughout the past 12 months we’ve donated $5,000 to the Oregon Food Bank, $5,000 to the Oregon Humane Society and lead a massively successful clothing drive for the Portland Rescue Mission. We also continued our commitment to the NW Pilot Project, a nonprofit organization ensuring Multnomah County’s most vulnerable senior populations have access to affordable housing and transportation.

Looking back, 2018 brought a tremendous amount of growth. Not only for the city, but for us as well. We’ve added two properties to our community portfolio with the Bradford, a 10 unit–multifamily building and the John C Burns a 2 unit – commercial building.

Our community also expanded further into the digital world with a bigger, more robust blog, photography portfolio, as well as a newly updated Facebook page and our first Instagram profile. The support we’ve received from our digital community has really exemplified the curious, fun and community-minded nature of our Portland family of residents and we couldn’t be more grateful.

As we dive deeper into 2019, we’re excited about what the next 12 months can bring. From being more actively engaged in the  Portland area to expanding our offering of vintage apartment homes even further. Our team enters this new year with gratitude and warmth that we hope finds you all well and headed into an amazing 2019.

Voting in Portland!



Midterms are here in Portland and we want you to know: YOUR VOTE MATTERS!
Curious about what’s on the ballot? Check out the state-issued, nonpartisan Oregon Voters
Guide , a handy tool to understanding local and statewide ballot measures and candidates.
This year, we’re proud to support Loretta Smith for Portland City Commissioner for her track
record of success and dedication to issues like low-income housing.
No matter how you vote, we thank you for doing it! If you’re voting by mail, be sure to send
your ballot in ASAP with a forever stamp. Mail-in ballots MUST be received (not postmarked) by
11/6 at 8 p.m.
We’ve also created a helpful list of ballot drop box locations based on the Oregon Secretary of
State drop box locator and have included it below for our Bristol family of residents!
Ballots are due to drop box locations on Tuesday, November 6th by 8 p.m. don’t forget!

Beat the Portland Heat!

A heat wave is upon us here in Portland and the greater Pacific Northwest and everyone is feeling it! Not to fear, we’ve got some heat hacks for you.

Here’s a great list from the Centers for Disease Control on how to keep yourself and your loved ones and pets from heat-related illnesses this summer!

**Also a friendly reminder if you’re using a portable AC unit, avoid brown-out by not using appliances like microwave and hairdryers while it’s running!

Celebrating Independence Day!

As one of Portland’s small,  independently-owned business, we want to share in the joys of that opportunity by celebrating independence day and thank you for being a part of our community!

For the safety of all our Bristol family of residents, we do not allow fireworks on location at any of our more than 30 properties. We also want to remind everyone that our pet residents are also very sensitive this time of year. Here’s a helpful resource from the American Veterinary Association on how best to ensure our four-legged friends are safe!

PDX Pipeline has created this amazing list of events to go enjoy the festivities this year and we’ve also outlined the neighborhood viewing locations below! We hope you enjoy.

  • SE: Hawthorne Bridge
  • SE: Inner SE Morrison
  • SE: Mount Tabor
  • SE & NE: Eastbank Esplanade
  • NW: International Rose Test Gardens
  • SW: Top of PSU parking garage on 6th and Harrison
  • SW: Portland City Grille
  • NE: Marine Drive docks (for Ft Vancouver fireworks)
  • NE: Rocky Butte (for Ft Vancouver fireworks)
  • SE: Sellwood Park (you can see both Oaks Park and downtown from here)
  • West Hills: Terwilliger near OHSU has many spots.

Oregon Summers Can’t Be Beat!

It’s no secret that summers in the Pacific Northwest are magic, with the abundance of natural beauty, proximity to the ocean, mountains and the vibrancy of Portland’s city life.  From sunsets and sailing to hikes and hot toddies, Oregon has it all.

We want our Bristol family of residents to know about all the best summer activities in and around the Rose City. Our Portland community knows how to do summer right. Check out the list below for your own summer activity inspiration.

In Portland

  • International Rose Test Garden— FREE wanderings through some of Portland’s most beautiful and aromatic grounds. Featuring more than 10,000 rose bushes with 650 varieties.
  • Pittock Mansion— Just a few short minutes from the Rose Garden, the grounds of the Mansion offer stunning views of Portland and Mt. Hood.  Take in the majesty of this historical gem for a small fee.
  • Springwater Corridor–Enjoy a leisurely bike ride? Look no further than Portland’s own Springwater Corridor connecting the city’s Central Eastside to the uniquely beautiful Sellwood neighborhood. Enjoy your pedal through a nature preserve on the 3-mile ride.
  • Sauvie Island–This agricultural wonder offers a nice escape from the buzz of the city. Stroll the beautiful trails or pick your own bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Take a nice paddle on the river or soak up the heat of Collins Beach, just a 20 minute drive from the city.
  • Portland Walking Tours–Enjoy your brews, booze and nosh with one of Portland’s several walking tours. Great for group activities or just getting to know your way around town. Certainly a fun way to walk!
  • Portland Flea–Experience Portland’s world-class maker culture firsthand at the monthly Portland Flea events. Browse handmade goods, vintage finds and all the best in local.

Near Portland

  • Mt. Hood TerritoryHikes, bikes, skiing and all the best mountain adventures you can handle. Just an hour’s drive from Portland the Mt. Hood Territory will NOT disappoint.
  • Columbia River Gorge–The majesty that is the Columbia River Gorge is hard to put words to. Go see it for yourself via the many waterfalls, little towns, Hood River’s tasty wine tours or Washougal’s river dipping spots! So much to experience in this 80-mile magical stretch.
  •  Oregon Coast–The Oregon Coast delivers a wide range of experiences. From the cheese in Tillamook to the oysters in Netarts Bay to Astoria’s own sea-lion friendly Buoy Brewing. Don’t miss your chance to explore this exciting Pacific Northwest feature.

Harnessing the Power of Good Communities

As a locally owned and operated company since 1990, we’ve had some time to get to know our communities pretty well. Many of us live in the lovely little neighborhoods that our Portland apartments call home. The Bristol Urban family of renters is more than 1,300 people strong in the Rose City. They are your neighbors, your colleagues, your friends and your relatives.

That’s why we made it a priority to create opportunities for our residents to harness their collective momentum, get involved and impact the greater good for the communities where they live.

Throughout the next year, we will be partnering with Portland-based nonprofits that are dedicated to creating lasting change for the city’s under-served populations. Whether it’s gathering school supplies, donating food, coats, health products or volunteering. We each have an opportunity to be a force for good. Why not do it en-masses alongside our thoughtful tenants?

We are excited to announce that our first community engagement opportunity will be a clothing drive to benefit the Portland Rescue Mission. As one of the city’s longstanding institutions serving our homeless population, the Portland Rescue Mission opened in 1949 and has seen a steady increase in need since that time.

Each of our properties will have a donation bin in the laundry room where residents can drop clothing items like new socks, underwear, coats and other gently-used garments. We will be collecting donations from now through June 15 and look forward to making our donation at the end of the summer.

Interested in more? Contact your building manager.

Fun Resources for Renters

Portland and the greater Pacific Northwest are magical places to live. And it’s not just because of the charming vintage apartments like ours that get people excited. Check out the amazing video below from Travel Oregon about the state’s seven natural wonders. It’s understandable that people are moving here in droves.

We at Bristol Urban KNOW that moving is not easy, so we’ve created a little list that might be helpful to checkout. Whether you’re moving across the country or across the street, sometimes a little help can go a long way! Happy clicking.

Some of our personal favorites!!!

Businesses that are headquartered here, for a larger list, click here.

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