Real Estate

Property Watch: A Council Crest Mid-Century with Lots of Modern Style

Come for the mid-century character, stay for the outdoor spaces, amazing home office, and well, everything really.

By Melissa Dalton April 11, 2022


Editor’s Note: Welcome to Portland Monthly’s new “Property Watch” column, where we take regular looks at interesting homes 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 on-point Council Crest mid-mod home with exceptionally smart updates. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].

According to author and architect Sarah Susanka, who coined the term “the not-so-big house” and explains successful architectural elements to the mainstream via her series of books on the topic, “A gracious entry starts at the street.” That can be hard to accomplish with certain American housing styles, such as when a garage dominates a frontage—which makes the evident care taken with this 1965 house all the more successful.  


Perched on a corner lot in the Council Crest neighborhood, new stone retaining walls band the site, leading to a generous stone stairway inset with planters, which guides people up from the driveway and two-car garage. Once through the gate at the top, visitors are met with what feels like a private courtyard, thanks to a paver patio with outdoor dining area, and decks that wrap around two mature trees, as well as a blue-tiled fireplace for lounging around.  


Inside is equally chic, due to a recent remodel, which updated the home’s amenities without sacrificing any of its cherished mid-century character. In the open plan, the vaulted cedar-lined ceilings and their heavy beams were retained overhead, as were the large picture windows, massive white brick, two-sided fireplace, and clerestories lining the angled roof.


The remodel added interior windows between the living room and an adjacent office (also counted as a bedroom), so as to continue the line of upper windows, spread sunlight, and encourage more acoustic privacy throughout.


The full bathroom nearby even retains its original wallpaper, pink fixtures, and brass accoutrements.  


More modern interventions fit right in, including the aforementioned office outfitted with a cantilevered bay window and a plethora of custom cabinetry, the blue-green color contrasting nicely with the prevailing wood tones. In the kitchen, the sleek dark cabinets and stone counters are lit by three new skylights, and designer wallpaper from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam draws the eye to the far wall. 


There are three bedrooms and two baths upstairs, with the primary suite boasting its own patio accessed by sliding glass doors, a spacious bathroom with blue-tiled walk-in shower, and an in-house sauna. The downstairs level is quite the bonus, as it can function as its own independent one-bedroom/one-bath apartment, complete with a fireplace, full kitchen, media room, and grill space on the private deck.   

Listing Fast Facts 

Address: 3747 SW Chehalem Ave SW, Portland, OR 97239 

Size:  3,181 square feet/4 bedroom/3 bath 
List Date:  4/4/2022 
List Price:  $1,395,000 
Listing Agent:  Courtney Davies and Kaja Taft, 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.

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