Property Watch: Pretty and Pastoral on Sauvie Island
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: a rambling ranch on Sauvie Island. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].
As early as 1940, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission started purchasing land on Sauvie Island, much of it from dairy farmers who were struggling with annual flooding. Eventually, the agency amassed around 11,543 acres to form the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, which protects critical wetland habitats, wintering waterfowl and more than 250 other species, and provides a playground for hunters and recreationalists alike.
Then there’s the farmland, specifically, the 12,300 acres zoned for Exclusive Farm Use, which Portlanders enjoy via the occasional summer music show, U-pick outing, or corn maze. All of that is to say, with just over 1,000 year-round residents total, on both the island and its waterways, this is the kind of place where people are potentially outnumbered by farm animals and birds. Such has long been the island’s appeal, for those seeking a rural preserve that’s also just a 15-minute drive from NW 23rd Avenue's restaurants.
If that’s your thing, check out this delightfully refreshed ranch. Built in 1972, with more than 4,000 square feet, and on two private acres, it offers a lot of room to roam, inside and out. So-called “rambling” ranches, nicknamed that for their width and spread on larger plots of land, were popular post-World War II, thanks to the growing use of cars. Or, as one Sunset Magazine headline put it back in the day: “Where there’s room, let the house ramble.”
In terms of shape, this one stays pretty true to type, but its inky black exterior and bright lime green front door hint at the luxe updates inside. Take the living room, which still has some of its ’70s panache, by way of a textured brick fireplace feature wall, now painted white for a crisper effect.
The nearby dining room is quite large, with a sliding glass door to an entertainer’s deck, while the kitchen has custom wood cabinets and a built-in breakfast nook, orange gourmet range, and live-edge open shelves for display.
The main floor has three bedrooms, including the primary suite with its own sliding glass door to the deck, tiled walk-in shower, and a soaking tub under a window, and a hall bathroom with a cheeky lime green floor. There’s a lovely transparency and lots of natural light throughout, thanks to large picture windows and the glass doors, capturing both the peaceful pastoral setting and moss-covered trees all around.
Down a wood-paneled stairwell, find a daylight basement, with high ceilings, polished concrete floors, and a little over 2,000 square feet that includes two bedrooms, a full bathroom, utility room, and second fireplace in the family room. It’s the perfect place to stash kids or guests, as more glass sliders there offer easy access to the gardens, goats, outbuildings, horseshoe pit, zip line, hot tub, and fire ring.
Listing Fast Facts
- Address: 19114 NW Sauvie Island Rd, Portland, OR 97231
- Size: 4,048 square feet/5 bedroom/3 bath
- List Date: 3/9/2023
- List Price: $1,695,000
- Listing Agent: Erin Rothrock and Russell Clum, Cascade Hasson Sotheby's International 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.