Real Estate

Property Watch: A 1908 Buckman Cottage with Artistic Flourish

Small square footage, but plenty of studio space in this Buckman charmer

By Melissa Dalton March 7, 2022

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: a cozy, artsy home in the Buckman neighborhood. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].

Part of Portland’s charm is how we have it all when it comes to housing stock: from single-story worker’s bungalows to grand mansions that grace postcards, and at Property Watch, we love to peek inside them all. Buckman is one of Portland’s oldest neighborhoods, annexed to the city in 1891, and as such, has its own mix of housing, from commercial buildings with multiple apartments that popped up along the streetcar route, to Arts & Crafts duplexes, to Foursquares and smaller cottages with less ornamentation that are just as important to the city’s history, but can be hard to classify architecturally.

This 1908 home on SE Ash may count as one of the latter, these days distinguishing itself with an array of artistic touches that make it both cozy and one-of-a-kind. Owned by a painter and her husband and profiled on Houzz for their stylish interventions, the owners worked with Michael Arrington of MSA Design, as well as many local artisans, to get the look, combining industrial urban loft accents with the Portland cottage bones and a dash of artistic whimsey.

At the entry, the inset covered front porch segues into a small foyer, with the living room directly to the left. There, the owners tucked a steel-wrapped gas fireplace under the window, flanked by custom cabinetry by Artisan Woodworking & Design, who also worked in the kitchen. From the living room, there’s a view through a wide cased opening through the dining room, to the remodeled kitchen, making for a nice flow to the floorplan.

In the kitchen, the owners exposed the rafters at the ceiling, syncing them with a thin brick accent wall and stainless-steel tile backsplash over the stove. The central island has a quartzite counter waterfalling to the floor, as well as an eating counter made of live-edge Oregon walnut. Clever choices, like an inset compost bin in the counter, pull-out pantry, and a slim Liebherr refrigerator, maximize the smaller footprint. Through a glass door, a former porch was enclosed to become a cheery, sun-filled office.

Throughout, the home’s original details were preserved, like the Fir floors, windows, and stained casework, to comingle with the artistic additions. Those include a floral stained-glass window the owner made for the first-floor powder room, as well as a chandelier over the kitchen island that she dreamed up and fashioned with the help of Hippo Hardware.

Upstairs, there’s two nice-sized bedrooms, each with mini-splits to ensure a cool night’s sleep during summer heat, a laundry closet with a pull-out ironing board, and a large, remodeled bathroom with glass-enclosed shower, clawfoot soaking tub, and heated floors.

In the basement, find two studios: one in the former tuck-under garage, complete with glass carriage doors to get the North light, and a custom metal gate at the sidewalk. And instead of a yard to maintain, there’s a lovely side porch accessed through glass doors in the dining room, and screened from neighbors by a vine-covered trellis. All the better to people watch from this fantastic location three blocks from East Burnside and Southeast 28th Avenue, which is known for being an eater’s paradise. You could spend a month trying all the restaurants within walking distance—just be sure to top off one of those nights with a movie at the iconic Laurelhurst Theater.

Listing Fast Facts

Address: 2532 SE Ash St, Portland, OR 97214

Size: 2,121 square feet, 2 bedroom/1.5 bath

List Date:  2/25/2022

List Price: $650,000

Listing Agent: Karoline Ashley, RE/MAX Equity Group

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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