Editor’s Note: Portland Monthly’s “Property Watch” column takes a weekly look at an interesting home on the market in Portland’s super-competitive real estate market (with periodic ventures to the burbs and points beyond, for good measure). This week: an Arbor Lodge bungalow with a backyard that just won't quit. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].

We’ve had a run of small houses recently on Property Watch, and here’s a third to round out the list. The story of this North Portland bungalow starts with the backyard. Even though the lot is a bit smaller than Portland’s standard 50-by-100-foot, you’d never know it standing at the back door. And note, that door is several feet off the ground, which typically makes achieving any sort-of indoor/outdoor flow an issue—but this house is the exception to that rule.  

Two decks cascade down from the door to a generous, ground-level patio made of concrete pavers. The highest platform fits two lounge chairs, the second has room for a dining table and grill, and the patio is plenty big enough for a party. The patio is banded by a black metal trellis with cheerful string lights, and even comes with a projector screen for outdoor movie nights. Drought-resistant plantings soften the concrete’s edges and look stylish against the backdrop of the modern black fence. 

Inside the house, the upper floor is equally airy, especially considering the small footprint. Two large picture windows anchor the living room, which feeds directly into the kitchen.

The vintage cabinetry there, including an original corner built-in at the sunny eating nook, has been painted a crisp white to keep the scheme light and bright. 

There are two bedrooms with a jack-and-jill bathroom shared between them. The bigger one, just off the living room, has two big windows for light, and the smaller one would make for a great kid’s room or home office. The downstairs hosts the laundry, a workshop, and even a carpeted crawl space. 

Updates like new white oak floors, the tile in the kitchen and bath, a gas range, and the restored wood windows and exterior paint all feel fresh and modern, without taking away any of the old bungalow charm. It’s great how this house makes the most of a small footprint, and yet, there’s still more: the 240-square-foot detached garage along the back alley is another opportunity for growth, storage, or more.

Listing Fast Facts: 

Address:  6606 N. Knowles Ave, Portland, OR 97217 
Size:  1,362 square feet, includes the semi-finished basement with laundry; 2 bed/1 bath  
List Date:  12/8/2021  
List Price:  $499,900 
Listing Agents:  Michelle McCabe and Allie Seifert, Windermere Realty Trust 

Melissa Dalton is a freelance writer who has focused on Pacific Northwest design and lifestyle since 2008. She is based in Portland, Oregon. Contact Dalton here. 

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