Editor’s Note: Portland Monthly’s “Property Watch” column takes a weekly look at an interesting home in Portland’s super-competitive real estate market (with periodic ventures to the burbs and points beyond, for good measure). This week: an updated English cottage in Alameda-Beaumont, with views of the Southwest hills. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].
Coming home to this stylish cottage would be like stepping inside a magazine spread every day. There’s a reason for that, as the 1934 home belonged to designer Benjamin Silver, who gave it a top-to-bottom refresh recently, leaving no detail untouched in a deft mix of old and new.
Let’s start with the storybook exterior: Silver kept the leaded glass windows and restored the stucco on the front façade, then re-pointed the brick and added new stucco elsewhere, before painting the whole home black, which looks sharp against the new copper gutters. Neighbors have knocked on the door to ask the exact shade, but alas, it’s a custom mix by Silver from Benjamin Moore.
This style and era of home, while always charming and wonderful from the outside, can be a bit cramped and compartmentalized in practice. But here, Silver added 225 square feet to the rear to create a generous kitchen and dining room, and foster a more open floor plan on the main level.
An arched doorframe between the living room and dining room syncs with the arched alcove over the fireplace, the curve of the front door, and the coved ceilings. Leaded glass doors off the main room, flanked by built-in shelves, lead to what’s technically a main floor bedroom, but which could be a lovely, light-filled study. The new solid white oak floors have been stained a rich brown, in warm contrast to the creamy restored plaster on the walls.
In the kitchen, Silver packed in a lot of functional storage, then kept the walls free of uppers to keep clutter to a minimum. Even the six-burner Italian range tucked in a marble alcove is white, so as to fit right in with the cabinetry. All the better to draw the eye out the windows over the kitchen sink, their black frames crisp against the marble counters and backsplash, and capturing the view of the all-new backyard.
But first, up a staircase with its original wrought-iron railing restored, there’s a principal suite – with territorial views of the Southwest Hills and its own fireplace – and a bedroom and hall bathroom. Most of the bathrooms have custom walnut vanities and marble finishes, making everything feel rather seamless.
Silver also dug out the basement so as to gain higher ceilings. Down there, the impeccable attention to detail continues, with another bedroom, a bathroom with marble walk-in shower, a built-in walnut desk, and a family room with the third fireplace.
Also: the prettiest hand-painted Moroccan tile in the laundry room. All of the mechanicals also received an upgrade, with all new plumbing and electrical, new sewer and water line, and an earthquake retrofit.
Outside, the back feels like a well-appointed courtyard, with a patio for dining en plein air surrounded by evergreen plantings and a bubbling fountain, making it no less magazine worthy than everything else.
Listing Fast Facts
Address: 3051 NE 38th Ave, Portland, OR 97212
Size: 3,052 square feet, 4 bedroom/3.5 bath
List Date: 2/21/2022
List Price: $1,695,000
Listing Agent: Sanam Dowlatdad, Where, Inc
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.