This little house is where Jessica and her family lived for four years, while planning for and building their house. It sits on a five-acre property on Sauvie Island, an agricultural island on the Columbia River 15 minutes north of Portland. The house is an interesting experiment in reduction and reuse not only because it is only 540 square feet or because it was remodeled using nearly exclusively reclaimed materials, but because the building itself is now being recycled for the fourth time. It was first built in the early 1940s as part of Vanport Village; a quickly erected development built to house shipyard workers. When Vanport Village flooded in 1948 this particular little house was floated down the river to Sauvie Island, where it became the goose-check station for Sauvie Island hunters. Years later it was remodeled to become a rental house.
When Jessica and Yianni bought the property they decided to remodel it without adding to the existing footprint. Their first step was to redesign the interior for maximum space efficiency. A ‘great room’ houses the kitchen, dining room and living room with large, comfortable, built in sofas that double as twin beds for guests. The ceiling was opened up in the main space, but the bathroom and bedroom have lower ceilings to accommodate the parent’s sleeping loft above, accessible by a walnut ladder.
2012 Annual NW Design Award Finalist: Whole House Less than $400K
2011 Interior Design Magazine Best of Year Award Finalist
Photos by Lincoln Barbour