Real Estate

Property Watch: A Rare and Dreamy Rummer in Garden Home

A larger floor plan with all the midcentury builder’s hallmarks, including a lush indoor atrium, windows galore, and vaulted tongue-and-groove ceilings.

By Melissa Dalton April 24, 2023

Here at Property Watch, we are well versed in Rummers by now, those midcentury-modern Eichleresque homes built throughout the Portland metro area, but especially concentrated in the Vista Brook (formerly called Bohmann Park) neighborhood of Garden Home. Still, we always get a thrill when another one pops up on the market, and this beauty tucked away off SW 84th Avenue is no different.

Technically, it’s a Rummer Model K-4 floor plan, built in 1968 on a .28-acre lot. According to the listing agent, Marisa Swenson of Modern Homes Collective and an avid midcentury architecture buff, this is a rarer floor plan amongst Rummers. “I only see a few of this model per neighborhood—and there are a few versions of it—with the gables turned to the side so a few different spaces in the home have the vaulted ceilings,” says Swenson. Plus, with four bedrooms and two bathrooms, including a dedicated primary suite, and an extra eating nook off the kitchen, this home is on the larger end of the Rummer spectrum.

Upon walking in, there’s the first hallmark of Rummer-constructed homes and arguably the one that gets all our hearts racing: the large entry atrium. Here, it’s capped in a vaulted skylight, with glass and sliding doors on three sides, and a plethora of thriving tropical plants in the inset garden beds.

The living room is directly across, also with a peaked ceiling, and another Rummer signature: a fireplace flanked on either side by floor-to-ceiling glass. All the better to appreciate how the tongue-and-groove ceiling extends outside, as well as the generous views into the backyard. Beside the living room, is a dedicated dining room, which then feeds into the charming galley kitchen.

There, of course, find more glass, in the windows lining the sink counter, and on either side of the bonus breakfast area, which looks into the atrium and, via floor-to-ceiling glass doors, the side yard. The latter has been upgraded with a concrete retaining wall and raised seating area to make for an eye-catching view, while the kitchen has its own updates, including new tile and quartz counters.

The bedroom wing is anchored by a skylit hallway, which has the third sliding door access to the atrium. The primary suite is on one end, alongside three more bedrooms and a hall bathroom. The understated updates continue throughout, like newer bathroom tile and vanities, but never in a way that obscures the cherished attributes of the Rummer form, like the sunken Roman-style bath-shower and more points of access to the yard, via sliding glass doors in the hall bathroom.

And just in case perusing this Rummer isn’t enough, you’re in luck. Restore Oregon’s annual home tour on May 13 is a celebration of the builder’s influence on the region. Called Mr. Rummer’s Neighborhood, it will take guests through four homes in Bohmann Park, including the former personal residence of Rummer himself.

Listing Fast Facts

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. 

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). Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].

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