His­tor­i­cal Re­fresh

RE­CON­FIG­URED TO MEET THE FAM­ILY’S NEEDS, A WALL WAS RE­MOVED TO CON­NECT THE KITCHEN WITH THE DIN­ING ROOM. AF­TER THE RE­MOVAL OF PLAS­TIC CEIL­ING TILES, BEAMS WERE EX­POSED AND PAINTED TO BE CON­SIS­TENT WITH THE REST OF THE HOUSE..

Atomic Ranch - - Contents -

Ev­ery­thing about this mid­cen­tury home was fan­tas­tic—ex­cept the kitchen. But an over­haul stylishly re­con­fig­ured the space while keep­ing the spirit of the well-pre­served orig­i­nal home in­tact.

Thanks to the care of pre­vi­ous own­ers, many of the home’s orig­i­nal fea­tures were not only in­tact, but in pris­tine con­di­tion.

“It was very ex­cit­ing, I just re­ally felt like the space was

call­ing us more than any­thing,” Marisa Swen­son re­calls about her Gre­sham, Oregon home. “We weren’t ac­tively on the hunt for a mid­cen­tury home. A lot of them are high main­te­nance and at this stage in my life, I wasn’t re­ally in­ter­ested in a high main­te­nance house,” she ad­mits. In fact, Marisa, a real es­tate bro­ker who spe­cial­izes in Mid­cen­tury Mod­ern, first vis­ited this 1960 Port­land area gem with the in­tent of list­ing it. But her keen eye quickly noted the well-planned ma­te­ri­als, com­bined with an ef­fi­cient de­sign, and she fell in love. In­stead of list­ing the prop­erty, Marisa and her hus­band, Peter, pur­chased the home and moved in with their two chil­dren in 2013.

“The struc­ture it­self was in in­cred­i­ble shape,” says Marisa. The orig­i­nal owner was a com­mer­cial con­trac­tor with a com­pany that’s still in busi­ness to­day. When the home had been built, “he had ac­cess to a lot of com­mer­cial grade prod­ucts and that’s what he used in the house,” she con­tin­ues. With no ma­jor plumb­ing, elec­tri­cal or foun­da­tion is­sues, the cou­ple first fo­cused on paint­ing, floor­ing and yard work.

IF IT AIN’T BROKE

Thanks to the care of pre­vi­ous own­ers, many of the home’s orig­i­nal fea­tures were not only in­tact, but in pris­tine con­di­tion. Guests are still greeted with gor­geous ter­razzo floor­ing from 1960 in the en­try. Once in­side, a unique re­cessed brick fire­place show­cases the first owner’s ex­per­i­men­tal spirit in the liv­ing room, which is par­tially sep­a­rated from the en­try with orig­i­nal wooden built-ins. A sec­ond fire­place in the din­ing room fea­tures a scal­loped hood—one of Marisa’s fa­vorite de­tails—and sits next to a built-in bar­beque that ap­pears to have never been used.

Both the mas­ter and main bath­rooms have orig­i­nal floor-to­ceil­ing til­ing and built-in fea­tures in­clud­ing a tis­sue box holder and swivel tooth­brush hold­ers. Ac­cessed from the hall­way, the main bath­room’s pris­tine blue and pink til­ing is com­ple­mented by Formica coun­ter­tops and cab­i­nets in blue and pink with gold flecks. Not to be out­done, the mas­ter bath­room’s lush color com­bi­na­tion of white, char­coal and ca­nary yel­low tile is paired with bright pink and black Formica.

CUS­TOM SPACE

“But then when it came to our kitchen, it had been re­mod­eled in 2004 and it was ba­si­cally fall­ing apart. Doors were com­ing off the hinges, it just wasn’t the style we wanted and it didn’t meet our fam­ily needs,” says Marisa. The kitchen and din­ing room quickly be­came the fam­ily gath­er­ing place, but Marisa ad­mits that “We were al­ways run­ning into each other.” The com­part­men­tal­ized kitchen was sep­a­rated from the din­ing space by a par­tial wall, and

the dropped ceil­ing felt con­fin­ing and in­con­sis­tent with the rest of the home.

Orig­i­nally in­tend­ing to keep the same kitchen foot­print, an ar­chi­tect and de­signer team changed Marisa’s mind with sev­eral in­no­va­tive op­tions to re­con­fig­ure the lay­out to meet the fam­ily’s cur­rent needs. “They opened our eyes to re­ori­ent­ing the en­tire space,” she says. Beams were ex­posed and re­stored in the kitchen ceil­ing while sky­lights were moved to max­i­mize their place­ment be­tween beams. A small win­dow was re­placed with larger ones, repli­cat­ing the look from other parts of the home. Con­crete floor­ing re­ceived a pol­ished fin­ish, and a wood slid­ing door was added to cre­ate a path into the hall­way. Now open and airy, the up­dates al­low for more fam­ily time in their fa­vorite room. “We are al­ways in that space and now it’s in a con­fig­u­ra­tion where we’re able to spread out, but also be in the same space,” says Marisa.

HIS­TORY REC­OG­NIZED

With so many unique and well-pre­served orig­i­nal fea­tures, it’s fit­ting that Marisa’s home is now on the His­toric and Cul­tural Land­marks List in the city of Gre­sham. Look­ing ahead, Marisa en­vi­sions pos­si­ble up­dates for the back­yard “We have a green­house right now, which we like, but we want to do an out­door pa­tio cook­ing space. But af­ter do­ing this kitchen ren­o­va­tion, we’re go­ing to take some time off!”

A SMALL WIN­DOW ON THE FAR RIGHT WAS EX­PANDED, REPLI­CAT­ING ORIG­I­NAL WIN­DOWS ON THE OP­PO­SITE SIDE OF THE HOUSE. ORIG­I­NAL TO THE HOME, A CURVED WALL DIS­PLAYS THE AD­DRESS NUM­BERS WHILE PRO­VID­ING PRI­VACY AND WIND PRO­TEC­TION FOR THE FRONT DOOR.

OP­PO­SITE: FIRE­PLACE AND AN ORIG­I­NAL BAR­BEQUE BRICK CRE­ATE A UNIQUE BACK­DROP FOR THE DIN­ING ROOM. CAR­PET TILES WERE RE­MOVED FROM THE FLOOR, AND THE CON­CRETE UN­DER­NEATH WAS POL­ISHED FOR A DURABLE YET SLEEK FIN­ISH.

RE­MOV­ING DRAPERIES, A PRI­VACY SCREEN, AND OVER­GROWN PLANTS HAS AL­LOWED FOR IN­CRED­I­BLE VIEWS FROM THE MAS­TER BED­ROOM.

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