Turn-of-the-Century Modern

The clients for this project were a young family with a very modern aesthetic. The trick was to take their hundred-year-old Northwest Portland house and make it feel fresh and current.

We completely remodeled the kitchen, opening it to the dining room with two-sided glass cabinets. Also on the ground level, we replaced a full bath with a compact powder room, thereby creating a back hallway and vastly improving the flow of the house. On the second level, we borrowed excess space from an existing bedroom to create a master bathroom, complete with double sinks and a generously sized shower, and designed a cabinet that beautifully conceals a washer, dryer and storage space at the top of the stairs. Finally, we transformed the formerly dim attic into a cheerful, sunny home-office and play area, freshening the walls and floors with white paint and installing four large skylights.

A palette of whites and cool grays creates both continuity and contrast throughout the home, particularly through our selection of wall colors, e.g. a light-gray entry that leads to a medium-gray living room and a dramatically dark-gray dining room and library. Other creative surface treatments include laser-cut mirrors, whose organic shapes dance along the entry walls, reflecting surprising snippets of the interior. The house is now fresh, bright, functional, and contemporary, while remaining true to itself.

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2011 Northwest Design Award Winner: Whole House Less Than $400,000

Photos by Lincoln Barbour