Musings on Tabor

Our minds have been whirling lately with ideas and thoughts on what direction we want to take the Tabor House design-wise.  We like the idea of changing design direction with each house because each house is different, and a lot of design styles appeal to us.  We enjoy the challenge of switching it up with every house because it keeps us on our toes creatively and we get the unique chance to create depth within our portfolio with the design styles that speak to us.  Another factor that is just as important in the way we go about creating a vision for a home is through our salvaging.  Sometimes we will find a unique item or material and our design either revolves around it or we find a way to work it into the design.  This is probably one of the aspects of our job that we love the most...it's our version of treasure hunting!  Anyway, what is speaking to us in terms of the Tabor House?  Let us show you!

Bill Ingram Architect

During our time off, we were able to get away and see some amazing architecture and design.  One thing that appealed to us was the use of dark charcoal brown on exteriors.  Used in a monochromatic way, this color has a traditional yet modern feel without being too edgy.  We found the perfect brown that we will be using on the exterior of the Tabor House that we plan to accent with rustic wood tones and aged brass.

Speaking of aged wood tones, this is the perfect example of what we are trying to achieve.  We discovered the art of cerusing or applying a lime wash to wood a few months back and we are dying to try this out.  We have yet to test it but our plan is to accent the exterior of the house with this washed wood look as well as the floors throughout the house...to be continued!

Commune Design

During one of our salvaging trips, we scored an amazing tile that was pretty much the jumping off point for the interior design on Tabor.  Before that tile was discovered, we really wanted to incorporate a worldly feel into this house through materials and lighting.  The combination of the two will live up to the traditional qualities that we have always loved while adding a little bit of modern flair.  A perfect example of this marriage would be the kitchen above...stunning! 

Tracery Interiors/cococozy

For the longest time, we have wanted to create a built-in range but have never had the right space or layout to accomplish it.  Well the circumstances in the kitchen at Tabor have worked in our favor and we have the opportunity to create a jaw dropping focal point not only for the kitchen, but the house.  We are excited about this one.


We are also toying with the idea of incorporating this perfect green into the house somehow...the verdict is still out on this one.  The use of color and materials in this space blow our minds!  Aesop's interiors never fail to impress.

Although a lot of these inspiration pictures appear to be more on the darker side, we are actually planning on making the interior light and bright.  All white walls, lots of light from the windows with only accents of darker shades.  This bedroom above is how we want Tabor to feel.  Bright, worldly, warm with a touch of modern.  

Tim Barber Architecture

This staircase is jaw dropping.  We may tackle something like this on Tabor's staircase but it all depends on the other patterns we choose (and choose not) to incorporate into the design.  Again a touch of modern and worldly...love the dark window mullions. 

The bathrooms will have the same modern, worldly vibe as the rest of the house (or even more so) but the master bathroom will benefit from an added shower somewhat comparable to this one.  We will also be using darker greys with brass for the shower but it will look and feel much different from this one.

There you have it!  A little glimpse into Tabor's future.  Lot's of great items, lighting and materials have been stacking up and we are excited to put them in place!



We're back at it!  After some much needed time off, we were able to find our next house and here we are, our first official/non-official day back at work.  Out of all our past projects, this house is probably in the best shape of them all...BUT it's funky and needs some serious layout and cosmetic changes.  Though there's always a list of negatives when it comes to a fixer upper, this house has a plentiful list of positives...one being the location.  Just a short walk up the hill from the Morrison House, we are very pleased to be back in the neighborhood again!  We have always talked about doing multiple homes in an area and being able to secure another home in the Mt. Tabor / Montavilla neighborhood really excites us.  Mt. Tabor is one of our favorite neighborhoods in Portland and just coming off a remodel in Montavilla, this house just fit into place. 

A lot of work needs to be done on the exterior of this house.  Obviously the roof is the first thing to be remedied but our main objective for this place is to give it some appeal from the street.  Right now it's showing some wear and it's not very inviting.  Our plan is to take away the left dormer and replace it with a bigger, gable dormer that is built flush with the face of the existing house.  The new dormer will give the home some presence from the street and take away that large expanse of uninviting roof.

This is the view upon entering the house.  The entry is a part of the living room which is completely walled off from the rest of the house.  This wall will be opened up to the rest of the house including the kitchen.  Yes, we will be saving that door!

The living room is very charming and a decent size.  We love all the windows and the cove ceilings plus the oak floors under that carpet!

The main floor bathroom is a good size.  Horrible layout.  We will be changing the layout, updating the tile and adding some beautiful fixtures to make this room really shine.

The main floor bedroom is a great size and has lots of light, we will be sacrificing it however to make a larger kitchen and dining area.  This room will be the new dining room.

The existing kitchen and dining room are small and very choppy.  Our plans involve opening them up to the living area and reworking the layout.

This dining area will become a part of the kitchen while wall to the right will be taken down.  The now main floor bedroom will become the new dining room!

This gives a good idea of the layout issues with this house.  These walls will all be opened up into the hall and living room to accommodate modern living.  This will create a large kitchen with generous cooking and prep spaces and an overall large, open feel throughout the house. 

Another view.  These walls will all be open!

Minimal changes will be made in the upstairs hallway.  We plan on adding some warm lighting and updating cosmetically to make it more inviting.

The upstairs guest room will be getting the biggest makeover in the house.  This room is where the dormer will be placed which will make it larger and a more functional room.

The master bedroom is a decent size so we will be making minimal changes in here as well.  We plan on making more functional closet and storage space for this room and removing the bulky, nonfunctional closets flanking the window. 

The master bathroom will be expanded and changed layout-wise.  

The wall to the left will be taken down and that area will be home to the future shower.

Another view of where the shower will be.

The current basement is large and full of possibilities.  We plan on making it a multi-functional space that is perfect for anyone.

Other than completely updating the area, we plan on adding two full bedrooms in this space as well as a laundry area and a theater room.

This room will become the house's second living room or theater/entertainment room.

Exiting the house from the basement back door we will be creating an outdoor entertaining area (with no deck above it)!

The deck will be removed from the house and we will create a large lower patio for outdoor entertaining.

We plan on keeping the front door but giving it a facelift.  It's going to be gorgeous!

The garage is pretty charming in itself but we will be salvaging those cabinets and putting them back in the kitchen!  Aren't they awesome?

That's it.  Of course there are numerous details left out that would take a year and a day to explain on here but the main points were addressed!  Add curb appeal.  Open living and entertaining spaces.  Update bathrooms and kitchen.  Keep the character and add more where it's missing.  Create a functional floorplan.  Add extra living space downstairs.  Create outdoor living.  Sneak peek of exterior color?  Check.  This is going to be a good one.

She's not much now but with every visit, this house is growing on us.  Can't imagine how we will feel when it's all done.  Stay tuned...


The Morrison House: A Modern Victorian Farmhouse

The Morrison House is done.  We got her on the market last week...showings and open house through the weekend, and still didn't get a chance to take pictures until yesterday.  We can hardly keep up with ourselves these days!   One thing is for certain though, this house is very photogenic.  We want to live here.  Of course, our belief is to create homes that we would live in ourselves, but this house...is just different.  It was different from the beginning and it shows even more so now.  You just don't find a home like this in Portland and if you do, it's rare.  We knew this when we bought the place and our mission was to not only preserve the character it had left but to make it even more special than the house it was when we purchased it.  The results?  A modernized Victorian farmhouse that feels casual yet elegant.  We love this house.

Our main objective of this house was to open the living, dining and kitchen to create large living and entertaining spaces for modern living...large enough for an eight foot farmhouse table!

Like mentioned before, we wanted a modern farmhouse look for the house.  We clad the walls with wood to look like the tongue and groove walls you would find in an old farmhouse.  We kept the original wood floors looking rustic and added the modern element with minimal color.  The only color added was the charcoal seen throughout the inside and the outside of the home.

Custom cabinetry and brass hardware played into the more traditional elements of the home.

We were able to move the shed to a new location on the property and paint it in the same color scheme as the house.  We thought it would be perfect for a studio or guest quarters.

We installed these salvaged wood shelves from floor to ceiling inside a niche that was created by the underside of the staircase.  Not only do they fit perfectly in this space, they create much needed storage for the kitchen.  Plus, these shelves were salvaged from another old Victorian in town...the stair treads from the front porch!!

Like The Port House, we created these built-in closets to flank each side of the bed.  Instead of being a big bulky closet in the middle of the wall, we feel these are more of a feature and together create the same amount of storage space.

The fireplace was original to the house, so we just modernized it a bit with charcoal paint and a stucco hearth.  It now feels grounded and grand.

The master bath is a force to be reckoned with.  Like the lower bath, we kept the color minimal and added interest with the tile in the shower and our industrial lighting.  The space is now large and bright and nothing less than a retreat.

The yard is one of the best features of this house.  A little larger than normal in Portland, the house sits in such a way we were able to create multiple large entertaining spaces.  Or favorite space would have to be this dining area surrounded by arborvitae.  Very Tuscan.

When we first bought the house, our first plan of action was to close off the entry from the living room to define each as separate spaces while making them feel more intimate.  We custom built the walls of glass, metal and wood to create that separation while the glass still let the light flow through.  The metal added the touch of modern we needed to complete the space.

We wanted both bathrooms to feel casually elegant so we went minimal on the color, used natural stone, salvaged fixtures and added a little elegance with high-end polished nickel faucets.

These built-ins were a part of the house when we bought it.  We loved everything about them so all we did was give them a new coat of paint and new brass hardware.  They sing now!

We opened up the entry to the kitchen create better flow when entering the house.  After some research, we believe that the home originally flowed this way (the living room may have been more closed off originally) and we were right when we uncovered the original opening that led into the kitchen!

We are so happy with the way this house turned out.  The potential this house had to begin with was incredible and we feel blessed to have been able to work on such a rare home in Portland.  Now it's time for a small break...and then we're back at it!  It's exciting to think of what our next project might be...anyone know of any amazing houses out there?  :)

For before pictures of this project click the link: