Real Estate

Property Watch: A Vista Hills Midcentury with a Sleek New Look

A groovy sunken living room, sliding doors and a ... fallout shelter?

By Melissa Dalton October 17, 2022


Editor’s Note: Portland Monthly’s “Property Watch” column takes a weekly look at an interesting home in Portland’s real estate market (with periodic ventures to the burbs and points beyond, for good measure). This week: an updated midcentury modern home in West Slope near Beaverton with pops of color and a throwback fallout shelter to boot. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].

As coveted as midcentury homes can be, without updates they can present problems. Things like outdated mechanical systems, old windows letting in moisture, and teeny-tiny kitchens are part and parcel with the vintage character. Some buyers relish the thought of tackling such challenges, while others prefer something more turnkey. Having undergone a recent remodel, this 1952 home in the Vista Hills neighborhood is a perfect fit for the latter group, with extra style points for its clean-lined look and top-notch finishes. 

Now the home is all about the new wood palette used throughout. This starts with the cladding on the exterior and moves inside to include new white oak floors, wood-framed windows, doors, built-ins, and cabinetry. The culmination is one entire wall in the sunken living room filled with artful custom shelves that flank a gas fireplace.

There's also an entire wall of Fleetwood sliding doors that open onto a new mahogany deck, injecting a distinct California indoor-outdoor vibe to complement the white walls and pale wood. Embracing the sun is also a thing in this home, as big windows punctuate all the main living spaces, from the formal dining room, to the curved alcove of the breakfast nook, to the two picture windows meeting over the sink. Three of the five bedrooms have a new sliding glass door that connects to the backyard. 

Fun pops of color, like the bright red stove and hood vent, orange tile in a bathroom, and banana leaf wallpaper in the entry, bring a little whimsy to the streamlined palette. 

On the approach, the home looks like it has only one floor, thanks to how it was skillfully integrated into its large, ¾-acre, sloping lot. And while that floor hosts all the main living spaces, the primary suite, the laundry, and four bedrooms and a bath, making it ideal for single-level living, there’s a daylight basement as well. It has the fifth bedroom and a separate family room, both with cheeky orange carpet tiles that nod to the home’s original era. There’s even a vintage fallout shelter still intact down there, so this house is ready for anything.  

Listing Fast Facts

Address:  3165 SW Underwood Dr, Portland, OR 97225

Size: 4,250 square feet/5 bed/2.5 bath 

List Date:  10/6/2022 

Price:  $1,695,000 

Listing Agent:Marisa Swenson, Dwell Realty 

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.