From the beginning, simplicity was the main goal for this home in Portland. We were inspired to take a more personal approach with the design, incorporating more elements of our personal style than any other house we have done in the past.
The exterior of this historic house needed major work, but had great street presence . We immediately knew what needed to be done with this home and set our sights on reviving everything with historic trims, paint colors, siding and even adding a balcony that had been eliminated sometime in the past. We of course added our modern influences with a massive modern reclaimed wood pergola, sleek black windows and even a black outbuilding. It all plays very nicely together now.
The interior was an exciting part of this project. Starting with nearly a blank slate, there were no restrictions as far as style. Our goal was to keep everything neutral and light, nothing too edgy. We wanted the home to feel like a breath of fresh air when walking through it. From there, the materials chosen and finishes used were influenced by the historic farmhouses of Belgium and England. Wide plank wood flooring, subdued colors, brass and iron accents all played a huge role in developing the look and feel for this house. The idea is that 20 years down the road, the floors, fixtures and house itself will continue to patina and age while looking just as gorgeous as they do now.
The layout for this house presented itself as a puzzle in the beginning. There was potential but nothing was quite right. A lot was changed. The goal was to maximize the square footage the house had, leaving no room for unused space. Since most of the original floor plan had been altered at some point in the past, there was not a lot left to work with so the plan was to start fresh. The kitchen location moved, bathrooms were added and nearly every other space in the house was reconfigured for better flow. Once the layout was finalized, it was apparent there was something special about every single room in this house. This is the type of home you fall in love with. We did.
Fully reinvented and re-imagined, we took a poor example of a Cape Cod style home here in Portland and transformed it into something original.
For the exterior, we were influenced by English/Tudor and even Storybook revival styles but kept the look clean and modern with monochromatic color and simple lines. The reclaimed wood awning added dimension to the look and kept it from becoming too serious.
Influenced by the shapes and patterns of Morocco and even the Southwest, the interior took on a whole different personality than from the outside. We were able to unify both areas of the home with color and material usage. The result was harmonious. Light walls and floors were the foundation of the design while unlacquered brass, tile and lighting were the finishing touches. The aged wood and neutral colors throughout grounded it all.
Behind the scenes, we fully rearranged the layout to work for the footprint of the home while paying special attention to the way modern families live. That meant opening up some walls for flow and entertaining while keeping other spaces modest and cozy. The result was a unique home that nods to both traditional and modern design and ways of living.
The minute we saw this house, we fell in love. A house of this age is pretty rare in Portland and one thing that made it even more special...it was brick. Although it needed major updating, our inspiration for The Morrison House was the house itself. So many things about this house we loved from the beginning but it needed to be brought back to life. We looked into the home's history as a jumping off point and everything fell into place from there.
Though made of brick, the architecture of the home was, in our opinion, vernacular. When people think Victorian, they think extravagant, fussy and ornamental. However, the other side to the Victorian is a more simplified "farmhouse" version. We could have gone either way with this house but we wanted to keep it simple. Our goal was to bring the focus to the windows and arches framing them but to keep that simple farmhouse style in mind. The monochromatic white on white pallete with black windows brought the idea to life while modernizing the house all in one.
The same idea applied to the inside as well. Farmhouse styling was the prominent design choice for the interior with hints of modern, industrial and even Victorian design. Combining all of these style elements into one design scheme worked perfectly without making the house feel too "literal". The more modern and edgy elements felt refreshing when paired against the simple farm style and the original Victorian details added just the right amount of character the house needed. The result was a perfect urban farmhouse.
The original layout of the house had been changed dramatically since it was built more then 120 years ago so our goal was to incorporate some modern layout changes while bringing back some of those original layout characteristics that are quintessential for homes like The Morrison House. With a little research, we found that our interior layout changes coincided extremely well with the original house layout. We were able to open rooms up and uncover original doorways that we intended to use again. We created larger, more modern rooms where we felt the home needed them and kept others as the original house would have been. The house now feels open but warm and inviting the way a Victorian Farmhouse should feel!
One of the roughest houses we have ever worked on, this house on the Oregon Coast required us to start from the existing foundation and build new. We were able to work with the original footprint of the home but had the pleasure to start new with everything else. Our plans involved building a fresh and bright country home with modern influences.
The exterior was designed to be more modern in shape with the parapet, corbels and siding acting as a traditional balance. We chose white as the exterior color with bronze windows as the contrasting color for a more modern approach to a traditional color scheme. The house now stands tall and proud as opposed to it's original life.
The inspiration for the inside came from the broad range of style that is tagged modern country. This is our version. White walls and trim but full of character. The idea was to keep everything imperfectly classic. Subway and hex tile for the bathrooms, mismatched antique wood doors throughout, repurposed antique furniture, butcher block counters, zinc backsplash, farm sinks...the list goes on. With this wide collection of elements and materials, the house fit together perfectly and intentionally and that is the beauty of country design.
When designing the layout of this house, the small footprint proved challenging. After designing and redesigning, we were able to come up with a layout that flowed well and provided enough living and entertaining space without feeling too open or too closed off. We love the idea of reworking the layout of a smaller home to maximize it's usability and not to lose but to gain valuable space. This home proved exactly that. The Port House remains one of our favorite projects to this day.
The goal for this house on the Oregon Coast was to create a home unlike any other in the area. Coastal homes tend to be kitschy and we wanted to stay away from that. This home had the worst layout of any home we have worked on deeming half of it unusable and honestly, that speaks for a good number of coastal homes in the area. So to differentiate this home from the rest, we first needed to rework the layout so every space could be used in the most effective way. We then looked to the UK for inspiration to create a home with some edge and grit while remaining classic.
We love how the new pubs (and even the old pubs) in London and the UK have this effortless way of combining edginess with more traditional and classic design. For the interior of this home, our goal was to create a similar feeling. We incorporated warm greys and dark tones to create a cozy atmosphere since the Oregon Coast has it's fair share of cold and rainy days. The house was originally built by a sea captain so we used the original knotty pine walls as a traditional design element to play against. Traditional tile, brass fixtures and antiques also fit well into the older feeling of the home while dark grout and bold use of charcoal paint added that element of grittiness for which we were aiming.
Although the worst layout to begin with, this house was fun to redesign. Since the upstairs remained virtually unusable, our goal was to create a grand and historically inspired staircase to replace the original and draw you upstairs. For the upstairs, we aimed for creating rooms with purpose and space, something the original home was lacking. We wanted the homeowners' to feel the upstairs was as much of a retreat as the main floor so we pulled out all the stops!