Emerson Progress.

Days are becoming busier as we are well into the home stretch on The Emerson House.  I know, hardly any updates this time!  Sometimes we dive right into a project and there really is no time for anything else.  That seems to be the case the majority of these days.  Anyway, so much progress.  The house is looking gorgeous and we are so excited to see what the near future holds as we complete it. Anyway, here is a little peek at what we have been up to over the last few months...lots of work!

So much work was spent on the exterior of this house.  We were able to save the original siding hidden under the asbestos siding.  Major victory but so much work.  New trims, doors and balcony are among the few changes that took place and now the house really stands out like it should from the street.  It is looking gorgeous and we are happy.

The inside is something we are REALLY excited about.  We have a lot of ideas guys.  It's going to be good.  Here is a peek of the floors.  1X12 reclaimed fir flooring milled from old beams.  We LOVE them!  That is all for now. :)

And this.  We have some really great outdoor spaces at The Emerson House and this is just one of them!  We were lucky to find some timbers used to build the Sellwood Bridge here in Portland so we used them to build a pergola.  The picture is great but this structure needs to be seen in person.  It is so awesome!

In other news, 1859 Magazine featured us in their September/October issue.  We are elated.  Check it out!

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Well it didn't take as long as we thought...but we have found our next project!  Since the market is so fast and competitive here in Portland, we were prepared to wait some time to before securing the next house.  We were able to get away after finishing the Tabor House for some quick R&R only to come back and find the perfect house within a short week.  Since then we have been scurrying around and preparing ourselves for quite. the. project.  We are no longer in the Tabor/Montavilla neighborhood but actually back up in Northeast Portland where we did The 1940's Ranch a little over a year ago.   The location is perfect.  That is one of the main reasons we fell in love with the house.  The others being the street presence, the age of the home and of course the potential!  We present you with The Emerson house...

The house is tall and grand from the street which is one reason we love it.  It looks somewhat old and it is (1908) but there is something slightly off.  Windows and doors don't line up, very basic exterior trim, asbestos siding (ugh!), nothing that really shows off it's age and grandness.  There will be a lot of changes made from the outside.  Other than making the house more symmetrical,  a new balcony will be added above the front door and we will give the house a more age appropriate siding and trim.  Think Modern Colonial.

Right now, the back yard is completely open to the street.  Our plans involve a fence at the sidewalk to make this space more private and bigger.  We plan to add parking, create a pergola for outdoor entertaining and revamp the shed into more living/entertaining space!  This area will be unrecognizable when we're done.

The inside of the house is similar to the outside.  Clean, basic, but nothing special.  The floor plan is decent but needs reworking so we will be doing that.  This is right inside the front door.  A large space that is actually not very usable in it's current state.  We plan on adding a bathroom here, since there currently is no bathroom on the main.

On the other side of the house is the living room.  The space is good but also needs to feel special.  More character will be added this space but with a modern vibe.  More to come...

The dining room is the only room in the house that hints at the age of the house.  It's a great space, but almost too large for the type of room it is.  We plan on moving the kitchen to this area so it will open to the living room, dining room and be much larger than the current kitchen.

The current kitchen is small.  It feels very disconnected from the rest of the house and somewhat odd because of it's size.  Like mentioned before, the kitchen will no longer be here as it will swap spaces with the current dining room and will all be open to one another.  

The master bedroom is probably the coolest room in the house.  It is huge and runs the whole length of the house.  However, no bathroom attached and that closet is a little awkward.  This room will stay the same size, but think two separate rooms.  We will also be attaching the upstairs bathroom to this room to make it a true master suite.

The other guest bedroom is also cute.  It is a good size and an interesting shape.  We will not be doing much here as far as reworking layout but it will get the same facelift as the rest of the house and...a door that enters onto the new balcony.  This will be a special room.

The upstairs bathroom is a great space.  The layout is good but it just needs to be dressed up.  Right now this bathroom serves as one of the main bathrooms for the whole house but will now become master bathroom since it is right off the master bedroom. We are changing the floor plan upstairs to accommodate this change and to make the upstairs flow better.

Now the basement looks very dark but is actually quite bright for a basement.  The basement actually sits halfway above ground level making it somewhat of a daylight basement...sort of.  This space will be reconfigured as a secondary living area and bonus space.  It will be the perfect getaway...somewhat of a guest quarters when done.  (Don't worry about that water on the floor...we were defrosting an ancient freezer)!

This room was somewhat of a mystery.  We were unsure if it was another bedroom or an office of some sort.  We will be making this into a bedroom by reclaiming some floor space that was lost when the house was last remodeled.  It will now become the home's second master suite!

The basement bathroom is a good space...but could use some reworking.  We plan on moving the claw foot tub from the second floor down here and charming this place up a bit!  This bathroom will become the second master bath as well.  

Say goodbye to awkward this awkward bathroom!

This project really excites us.  It will be one of our biggest transformations to date and we can only imagine at this point what the house is going to look like a few months from now.  We actually started work on the thing a couple of days ago, so changes are already taking place and we are liking what we are seeing!  We will be posting our inspiration soon!


Tabor House. Done.

So it's been a while...but a lot has happened in these past few months!  Where do we start?  Well let's just say this house has surprised us.  Big time.  As we searched for our next project last fall, the Tabor House just sat there, for days, weeks, waiting for us.  We overlooked it a few times during our search, it just wasn't...right.  One day we had looked at another house in the neighborhood so we thought, let's just take a walk through.  Well, we weren't floored by our tour but the house had potential.  So we decided to give it a go.  That was the beginning.  Everyday after that, the house grew on us.  We pulled up the carpets to pristine oak floors.  We cleaned her out and reworked the layout.  Then we built the dormer...the house immediately changed.  This was going to be a good one.  Once the exterior paint went on, we were in love!  After that, inside changes started taking place.  We found and incorporated unique design and materials into each of the rooms and our love grew.  Well, now we are done and the house is gorgeous.  We were able to do things we have never done before on this house and it makes us want to push even more on the next project.  One thing is for sure, this house has shown us that even the most plain and ugliest house on the block can become the one of the best, that potential does not have a limit and that even we can surprise ourselves every once in a while!

We felt like we picked the perfect color for the exterior of this house.  A custom color that is actually a very dark brown with charcoal undertones really modernized the outside.  We balanced the modern with more traditional wood tones and brass accents. 

We like our interiors to be light and bright so everything went white...again!  We did however, keep the living room windows the original dark wood while painting the rest of the windows throughout the house the same color as the exterior.  

The whole house only had three major colors throughout with the addition of the unlacquered brass as an accent.  Whites, dark charcoal browns (also the exterior color) and medium grey/brown tones add contrast to each other while still remaining neutral and somewhat monochromatic.  This scheme makes the home feel bright and airy but also inviting and warm.

The tile in this bathroom was the main design inspiration for the whole house.  We felt it had a Navajo/Southwestern vibe...but more modern.  We love this tile!!!

We used a variety of different materials throughout the house.  Though very dramatic and eye catching, each room is still a blank slate to add as much or as little as the future owner wants!

All of the brass and fixtures throughout the Tabor House were custom finished by us.  The process was very time consuming but now all of the fixtures and hardware look like they have aged a hundred years and will continue to do so with normal use.

We custom made most of the lighting throughout the house.  It was a huge project, but well worth it in the end!  We wanted a Moroccan or worldly vibe with the lighting so we ended up creating this mercury glass effect on these amazing vintage shades we found.  The result is a beautiful reflective shade during the day and almost a prismatic light at night.

We kept the original (and gorgeous) front door.  It needed some work, so we stripped it down and applied a light white wash to the exterior to preserve the original color.  The door now looks perfectly aged and full of character...and that's a good thing!

The front door needed an awning.  Once painted, the front of the house was very stylish but a little serious.  We originally planned to build an awning from the beginning but the materials and the actual design of the awning changed as the house progressed.  We felt we wanted a welcoming house with a modern vibe but didn't want stray from it's traditional roots.  We decided on a natural awning to match the front door made from wood we salvaged from the Japanese tsunami that washed ashore while we were still living in Lincoln City.  Now the house feels modern and classic and now has a great story!

A lot of thought, inspiration and work went into creating this particular space in the kitchen.  Basically the first thing you see when you walk through the front door, this area is the center and main focal point of the whole house.  We created a "nook" that houses the range and framed that nook with a dramatic but slightly subtle arch that frames the area and houses the range hood.  To finish the look, we custom designed and built the island almost completely from salvaged materials.  We were very pleased with the result.

Now that the Tabor House is done, it's fun to look back and see how much this house has transformed since the beginning of the year.  The transformation of this house changed our hearts.  We feel we pushed ourselves (and the house) aesthetically to create a truly unique and custom home that is unlike any other in Portland.  It excites us to take the journey and lessons from this house and look onward toward our future projects.  We only wish we could have staged this one like we did The Morrison House...but...we sold her early!  Surprise!  Oh well, we'll have that opportunity on the next one!  Can't wait!