For the past 40 years in the warm days of summer, a group of builders, architects, interior designers and other building professionals put on a showcase event. The Street of Dreams is one of those rare opportunities for the general public to see a collection of homes highlighting the best Portland has to offer in home construction. This year’s Street of Dreams saw a total of 9 homes - eight built from the ground up and one remodeled home.
The nine homes range in size from 4,100 to 5,600 square feet with price tags mirroring other custom homes of equal size. All of the homes are beautiful in their own ways. As a designer, I go to The Street to see those special moments in design that are stunningly creative or just beautifully executed. Not to be especially critical (but this is a review article), there were only a few of the homes that really blew my socks off, but that should be expected. Design is an objective endeavor and not everyone will like everything. Don’t get me wrong, all of the homes were beautiful and well designed, it's just that I’m looking for those “wow” moments - those moments that make we wish I had designed that element first. This review is about the "wow" moments (from my perspective). So, let's get started.
Moment #5 - Mid-Century Evolution, built by Mark Stephens with interior design by Ron Thompson Design. This beautiful Mid-century inspired home had a number of details I would consider great design. In the kitchen, however, one simple element really caught my attention. The teal blue walls behind the open shelving gave the design team a great opportunity to bring a strong color story to the room and a way to highlight the white serving pieces. The beauty of this solution is how changeable it is if color preferences change in the future.
Moment #4 - The Adeline, built by Cornerstone Construction Services, LLC. with interior design by Garrison Hullinger Interior Design. So many times we see an everyday item done the same way it’s been done forever with no thought to coming up with a more creative way to present the item. Well, the builders and interior design team surprised me with this one. This armoire-style set of cabinetry is the linen closet for the upstairs. What a genius way to camouflage what is usually just another boring set of cabinets.
Moment #3 - Anyone who knows JBi knows that we are lovers of tile and pattern. Well, here we have our two favorite design elements combined into one powder room. The Highland Couture, built by Pahlisch Homes Inc. with interior design by Carin Atterbury, presented an absolutely beautiful moment in the powder bathroom. The tile floor is a small stone mosaic made up in a plaid pattern. Combined with the cream and gray wall covering is a beautiful combination of pattern. And now I’m completely bummed because I’ll never be able to use this tile - darn it!!
Moment #2 - Well, we’re getting close to my favorite moment. Before we get there, let's look at The Atterbury built by BC Custom Construction with interior design by Carin Atterbury (another one!). It’s another great use of materials that is both stunning and also incredibly functional. This master shower has everything today’s showers need (read “must have”) - a built-in bench, shower head and hand-shower. But, it is the use of a granite slab on one wall that really makes the statement here. The darker color and subtle movement in the stone make this the perfect design element. However, the use of slab in a shower is also incredibly functional by minimizing grout lines and increasing cleanability. That’s being smart with design in multiple ways and I certainly applaud that.
#1 - Yay!!! We’re here. My favorite moment from this year’s Street. Again, let me reiterate there were so many beautiful homes designed and decorated in ways that everyone should be incredibly proud of. But, there can only be one “best of” moment. Now, let's just say that I'm a huge fan of the design work done by Maison Inc. In this year's Street, they took on the very first remodel project as part of the event. The Shaw House remodel was completed by Cornerstone Construction Services. On a street filled with large grand homes, soaring ceilings and expansive spaces, to take on the remodel of a modest home is certainly quite an undertaking. Of course, they did it with complete aplomb. Original designed by Portland famed architect John Yeon for a couple in the 1950s, this house is a beautiful example of the sophisticated side of mid-century design. The kitchen Maison designed in the Shaw House is clearly my favorite moment from this years Street. I love, love, love the treatment done to the vent hood. It's not your typical stainless steel hood or standard cabinetry-based hood, this is a simple matte black rectangle cover that conflicts with the delicateness of the rest of the room. The other element I'm (slightly) obsessed with is the island. While other designers have done waterfall countertops, it is the selection of this particular stone that is so special. The softness in the veining and subtle movement make this island a real show-stopper.
Congratulations to all the builders, architects, interior designers who pulled off a great 2015 Street of Dreams. I look forward to next year's event and more great moments in design.