Real Estate

Property Watch: A Classic Neskowin Beach House with a Stylish Standalone Sauna

Natural and local materials, floor-to-ceiling glass for ocean and forest views, and a sauna outbuilding with a green roof

By Melissa Dalton September 12, 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 Neskowin retreat with floor-to-ceiling glass for ocean views. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].

Everyone has their favorite places to go on the coast—perhaps it's a crabbing spot on Nehalem Bay, or beachcombing near Face Rock in Bandon. For Stan Boles, longtime principal at Bora Architects, it was this retreat among the trees on Nescove Bluff. Designed by Boles and built in 1998, the home is an ode to everything great about both Neskowin and Northwest Regional Modernism, glorying in abundant natural and local materials, unfussy adornment, and floor-to-ceiling glass for sun and views.

A sleek charcoal entry gate that doubles as firewood and tool storage marks the entry. Follow the stone path through it, past a naturalistic forest garden and traditional Japanese bamboo fountain, to the front door, located in a glassed vestibule with a slate floor.

Working with a 50-foot-wide lot meant Boles couldn’t exactly spread out, nor was that really the intent: only two trees were cut down during construction in order to preserve the natural setting as much as possible. It was important to Boles to capture both the forest and the ocean, as he told Architecture Week: “That's something I love about Neskowin: You kind of feel like you're in the forest but you can see the ocean at the same time." 

To achieve this, the home rises three stories, with each level clocking in between 650 and 700 square feet, and clearly delineated in function. At the bottom, there’s a flexible space that can be used as either a bedroom suite, second living room, or studio, while the second floor hosts two rich, wood-encased bedroom suites.

The top level, as is customary in beach homes, is the best. There, find all the living spaces wrapped in three walls of glass, all the better to get sight lines into the leafy forest as well as out to the ocean’s waves. A dramatically angled ceiling covered in cedar guides your eye outward, and there’s a balcony on either end: one in the shade of the trees, the other for watching the sunset over the water.

The contrast between the interior’s abundant wood tones, from the floors to the wood paneling around the fireplace to the kitchen cabinets, is a striking contrast to the evergreens outside and the blue of the ocean. (Don’t worry, there’s also a dumbwaiter for getting groceries upstairs.) 

To top it off, in 2018, the most recent owners commissioned Portland firm Beebe Skidmore to design a sauna outbuilding. Topped with a green roof, encased in cedar and silestone, and adorned with an owl sculpture by artist Aleph Geddis, it’s as much of a draw as the beach, which is only a three-minute walk away.

Listing Fast Facts

Address: 49760 Nescove Dr, Neskowin, OR 97149

Size: 2,048 square feet/3 bedroom/2.5 bath 

List Date: 8/9/2022 
List Price: $1,775,000 
Listing Agent: Jeff Weithman, Real Estate Through Design, 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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