When this young family purchased their mid-century modern home in the SW Portland Hills neighborhood, it had the original kitchen that was small and cut off from the larger living spaces and the expansive view to the west. Cooking and entertaining large groups is a priority for the homeowners. They wanted to create a casual open-plan layout that feels as comfortable for twenty people as it does for three.
Playing up the simple lines of a contemporary kitchen, Gusto used white oak accents and clean and modern details to create a modern Pacific Northwest vibe. The peninsula is the focus of the space and bridges the kitchen to living room and frames the western view.
As Phase II of the project, Gusto worked with the homeowner to create a master suite on the main level. We merged two bedrooms and a small ensuite bathroom to create a true master bedroom suite with a large walk-in closet and private bathroom.
This house was a diamond in the rough. Built in the late 1950's, this Wade Pipes designed house had suffered major water damage and needed repair. The owner was torn between a complete re-build or a renovation of the existing house. In the end, we couldn't ignore the good bones and simple design aesthetic of the original house. It was decided that we would work with the existing house, restoring the features worth keeping and improving the elements that did not work.
The biggest weakness was the kitchen. It was a tiny "U" shaped kitchen that connected to a hallway and had a small window looking at the driveway. The kitchen was moved to the brighter side of the house and a large double slider was installed that connects to a new outdoor patio and the larger garden. Now the chef can cook and participate in all the household activity too.
One of the toughest problems was how to replace the original beautiful steel sash windows & doors with new windows that maintained the aesthetic but that also met energy code. In addition to finding an appropriate window solution, we were able to salvage the character-defining steel sliding doors and re-purpose them as room dividers and a shower glass panel.
The final result is a house that maintains the original soul of the house but also opened the whole house to the outdoors. We hope that Wade Pipes would approve.
This 1954 colonial ranch house was designed by Portland Architect, Roscoe Hemenway. Located in the SW hills, this home has been lovingly cared for in its original form with the exception of the kitchen, which had been modernized in the 1980's, fluorescent light boxes and melamine cabinets, the works. A utility room behind the kitchen cut off the flow to the lush back yard and original swimming pool.
The clients wanted a beautiful, hard-working kitchen designed for serious cooking and entertaining.
The large walnut-clad custom island serves as the work and entertaining heart of the kitchen. As the central work area, it hosts the drop-in cooktop with storage for pots and pans, stools for dining, and additional storage of large baking appliances and kitchen accessories hidden behind the scalloped walnut panels.
The clients also wanted their kitchen to connect directly to the backyard to support the indoor-outdoor style of living that they enjoy so much. By moving the utility room to the basement, we were able to widen the back deck and add large, 12' wide sliding doors to create a truly indoor-outdoor kitchen cabana experience. A large portion of he mahogany deck is tucked under the roof, allowing for potential year-round use.
This colonial revival house has survived a number of additions in the 1980’s. The original house had lots of 1930’s charm remaining, with built-in niches and sweet details at the stairs and casework, but it also was very pinched. The spaces were small, closed off from one another and poorly laid out. Even though the house is a hearty 6,000 square feet, it felt claustrophobic and dark. It did not connect well with the views to the south and it didn’t support the way the homeowners wanted to live.
The owners hired us to design a new kitchen built for entertaining large groups and create a bridge between the living rooms on each end of the original house. The formal living room on the west end of the house was hemmed in with small windows and narrow doorways to adjacent spaces. The family room on the east end was completely walled off from the kitchen and isolated from the rest of the house. By stretching the kitchen along the south wall of the house and shifting the dining room into the formal living room, we were able to open up that exterior wall with new sliding doors capturing the forest views along the entire south edge. We replaced a massive, deck with a new deck for outdoor dining accessible from the kitchen and family room.
We also took a look at the entry foyer. It was original to the house, very 1930’s sweet and very 1930’s small! Immediately upon entering, you were faced with the stair landing, two narrow, short doorways leading to a dark hallway, with a powder bath and large closet adding to the already congested entry. It was pinched, especially for this busy family of 6 coming and going. By relocating the closet and the powder bath and widening the cased openings, we were able to create a sense of space and improve the flow. We added a built-in desk in the hallway below a large window with north garden views.
We reworked the master bathroom to include a freestanding bathtub, custom walk-in shower, custom double vanity and private water closet all within the footprint of the original master bathroom. The original bathroom was walled off with separate compartments for the vanity, shower, massive deck-mounted tub and toilet room making it feel dark and small.
This was a fun challenge. The owners approached us to design a contemporary two-bedroom, one-bath ADU with a full kitchen and living space in the basement of their charming 1899 Victorian home. It had to have its own separate entry and we needed to maintain some storage and mechanical space for the primary residence above. As if that weren’t enough of a challenge, this beautiful Victorian is one of a handful of Portland homes built with a 13” thick granite stone foundation. We wanted to feature as much of the stone foundation as possible in the design, while meeting code requirements for insulating new living spaces and bringing it up to seismic code standards for earthquakes.
Luckily, the way the house is situated on the lot, there is an ample south side yard that we were able to use for ADU access and daylight. By terracing the garden down along that side of the house, we were able to add large windows on the south side of the basement unit, filling it with light and garden views. The north side of the house is just 3 feet off the property line, which did not allow for any windows along that edge, giving us the perfect location for storage and mechanical space along that north edge.
The new slab floor has radiant heat incorporated into it, warming the space efficiently without the need for heat registers and ductwork. The windows in the living spaces and bedrooms are all new and much larger than the original windows. We used custom steel casings where we cut through the stone, in order to create clean crisp edges that did not distract from the beauty of the natural stone foundation walls.
At areas of the foundation that are covered by drywall and at each corner of the foundation, we applied reinforced concrete to buttress the original masonry foundation and offer seismic stability. In order to keep the stone foundation walls exposed and meet the energy code requirements, we had to propose energy code trade-offs to the City of Portland.
Another stunning Wade Pipes house, originally built in 1923 in NW Heights, this house had a lot of original charm, but it had aged poorly with a multitude of thoughtless remodels that may have solved one problem, at the time, but ultimately created a very dark & dysfunctional house.
There was a lot of UN-doing that needed to happen in order to create a layout and flow that supported our client’s needs. We felt it was important to blend the new elements as seamlessly as possible with the original remaining elements of the home to create cohesive and well-planned spaces.
The new kitchen was the biggest improvement to the house. Formerly, the kitchen was closed off from the adjacent rooms with minimal windows and lots of doors, making it a dark and uninviting space, difficult for more than two people to navigate. It had an awkward raised fireplace, a cook top peninsula with no ventilation hood, minimal cabinet storage and laundry machines all squeezed into one small space, making it a less than desirable place to hang out and almost impossible to keep clean. By shifting rooms, relocating laundry and opening walls, the space began to take shape. With large windows, lots of counter space, a central island with seating and a built-in pantry, it is now an active hub between the alley entry, dining room and family room with lots of space for cooking and entertaining.
We reworked the master bathroom to include a double vanity, a deck-mounted tub under original casement windows and a large walk-in shower.
We replaced the original single-car garage with a larger garage annex that includes a mudroom entry and guest suite on the main floor with a media room above. As it played out, we were able to connect both levels of the annex with the floor levels of the original house, creating easy access to and from the new annex spaces on both levels.
The original street-facing entry brought you directly into the living room, creating an awkward point of entry. It was covered by a 1970’s enclosed porch addition with a balcony above that blocked views of Mt Hood from some of the primary rooms of the house. We removed the addition and shifted the primary street-facing entry to the north, out of the living room, creating a new independent entry vestibule and new front porch. We also shifted the dining room the north, connecting it directly to the kitchen and north patio, creating an easy flow between spaces that support entertaining family and friends.
This Eastmoreland kitchen is a busy place. Not only is it the daily hub of this on-the go family of five, it plays host to team parties, family gatherings and other impromptu get-togethers. The clients had thought a lot about what they wanted from their renovated kitchen: more counter space, more storage and better lighting within the existing kitchen footprint. They wanted a contemporary functioning kitchen designed with the traditional styling of their 1920s home and they wanted it to be light, open and welcoming. With that in mind, we made some minor changes to the traffic flow and extended the countertop next to the oven to add work space, additional storage and a casual dining area. A new decorative column and dropped beams help define the kitchen from the adjacent family room. The result is a more functional and seemingly larger kitchen within the existing kitchen footprint.
A 1930's contradiction. This is a unique house in that the front street facade is very traditional in its Arts & Crafts styling but the back side drops off and the house transitions into a 1930 modern aesthetic with large rhythmic plate glass windows and a curved bay window for amazing views to the east.
The homeowners favored the more traditional qualities of the original design but the duality gave us freedom to minimize the detailing so that it had a simplicity and lightness that complimented the modern flare of the house. The new staircase & railing is an example of finding that balance between traditional and the 30's modern details.
Every inch mattered in this small compact, cliff-dwelling house so we used any void we could find to incorporate built-ins that maximized their storage.
A classic, split-level ranch off of Barnes Road had a chopped up kitchen, breakfast nook and a disconnected dining room.
This young family of four wanted to bring dining to the front and center of their kitchen. Incorporating the dining table into the kitchen creates a working island and a place for kids to play games or color while the parents prepare meals or enjoy a glass of wine. Keeping the perimeter cabinets as quiet and simple as possible allows the walnut accents and the dining table to really be the highlight. Large windows to the east offer views to their private, lush backyard and bring in a wash of morning light even on the cloudiest of days. A classic, split-level ranch off of Barnes Road had a chopped up kitchen, breakfast nook and a disconnected dining room.
This young family of four wanted to bring dining to the front and center of their kitchen. Incorporating the dining table into the kitchen creates a working island and a place for kids to play games or color while the parents prepare meals or enjoy a glass of wine. Keeping the perimeter cabinets as quiet and simple as possible allows the walnut accents and the dining table to really be the highlight. Large windows to the east offer views to their private, lush backyard and bring in a wash of morning light even on the cloudiest of days.
This renovation transformed a garage attic into a charming guest house complete with white-washed wood walls and plenty of natural light.
The clients bought a Dunthorpe home with a master bathroom that had incredible natural daylight, but was over-done and outdated. Having just moved to Oregon from Australia, they wanted their master bathroom to reflect their clean and simple aesthetic while maintaining the existing daylight conditions. Working within the existing structure and space, we reworked the bathroom to create an open and airy, contemporary bathroom complete with a large, curbless shower and an elegant, free-standing soaking tub.
Located in the historic Envoy Condominiums, overlooking West Burnside, this small bathroom remodel was a major transformation. Because the building has concrete walls & floors, there were limits to how much this bathroom could change. We couldn't easily move plumbing, but we were able to remove one wall that expanded the 35 sq ft bathroom to a whopping 56 sq feet. It was enough area to add a small make-up vanity and storage cabinet, creating a bathroom that worked better for this active family of three. Materials and fittings were selected to compliment the 1930's Deco style architecture.
This dysfunctional bungalow got a full house remodel. Hands down, this house had one of the most awkward and smallest kitchens we've ever seen. It was tucked into a dark back corner of the house along with a neck-breaking stair to the basement. On a positive note, it made for a very gratifying renovation.
The primary goal was to fix the flow, make spaces that function well together, and capitalize on the natural daylight. The house has an exposed south face with a large deck where we could introduce larger windows and doors to bring light farther into the house. After substantial shifts in the floor plan layout, the result is a fresh & airy open-plan house with lots of natural light.