Grant Park Residence Complete

Half a year has flown by since we started designing the Grant Park Residence's kitchen remodel.  It's finally been completed with just a couple of finishing touches left.

For the center of the kitchen, the clients' opted for a table in the center of their kitchen to act as both an island for counter top utility and informal seating for everyday meals.  The kitchen sink, a deep drop in cast iron piece, is framed by the tall custom cabinetry for plenty of storage.  The clients have a beautiful garden in their back yard that they enjoy so we installed tall windows behind the range and put them into a deep 30" counter. There is also a small prep sink nearby to fill pots and wash items.  

The end of the sink wall houses the refrigerator and pantry space. The pantry cabinet also houses the microwave and contains (2) deep pull out drawers below and (1) short pull out drawer above for visibility and ease of access. More tall storage cabinets sit above the pantry and refrigerator. 

A desk nook was built with adjustable shelving to frame the window. The desktop is crafted from reclaimed wood from the house. The original old wood was too good to pass up. 

Deschutes Residence Up to Date

As promised, here is the latest on the Deschutes Residence to bring everything up to date.  

Below are some more detailed images to show progress on the residence's fireplaces. The exterior patio's fireplace is currently under construction and will be made of board formed concrete. The living room fireplace and master bedroom fireplace are made of dry stacked stone.  The living room fireplace anchors both the entry axis and the circulation axis. The entry axis continues straight through the living area and dining area and finally out to the view of the Cascade Mountains. 

Deschutes Residence, now with color.

It's been a while since we've had an update on the Deschutes Residence. These photos were taken at varying stages of progress a few months ago. We'll have another update the week of October 12th to share the current status, but in the meantime, enjoy! 

Deschutes Residence

Work is continuing at the Deschutes residence, which is now approaching its final form. Since our last update the majority of the framing has been completed, and installation of the roofing and windows has begun.

Deschutes Residence latest

We're excited to see our Deschutes Residence take form. When we visited on a beautiful day at the end of January most of the exterior walls were complete  and framing of the roof had just started.

Goose Hollow Heights Framing

Our Goose Hollow Heights project is progressing rapidly.

The house was originally built in 1914, and has been remodeled a number of times. These remodels included an addition to the house for the kitchen, which was built in 1989. Unfortunately, the cumulative effect of the various remodels was a ground floor layout which made poor use of the available space, and devoted a lot of area to circulation. The major part of our work is to open up this layout and create a more efficient kitchen with a new breakfast area. We are also adding a new covered entryway and mudroom at the southwest corner of the house.

Since our last update, the covered entry and mudroom addition has taken shape:

At the interior we had to deal with removing the original bearing walls. 12" deep glulam beams are now carrying the loads from the floor and walls above:

Corbett-Terwilliger Progress

The Corbett-Terwilliger Residence is nearing completion, and was looking beautiful on a sunny day back in October. One of our carpenters, Lindsay, was busy installing cedar shingles at the front porch, which is one of the last areas of exterior work.

The biggest change since our last update earlier this year is to the interiors, where we have concentrated our work on finish carpentry. The windows and doors throughout the house are cased with fir trim, and the stair hall has custom fir wainscoting.

The kitchen cabinets, built by our frequent collaborators Skyline Fine Cabinets, have all been installed.

Goose Hollow Heights Project Underway

Construction has recently begun on this 1914 Portland home with breathtaking views in the hills above Goose Hollow. 

The majority of the work will involve adding a mudroom entry to the south side, as well as a full kitchen remodel. This involves a tear down of the interior, as well as some light excavation on the exterior. 

Working on a home that is 100 years old can present challenges, especially when you start opening up walls and seeing all the work that has been done in the past. Fortunately, our crew and dedicated team of subcontractors has years of experience dealing with architecturally significant homes such as this one, and construction is steadily progressing. Stay tuned for updates as we follow the progress in the coming months. 

Deschutes Residence excavation

We last wrote about the Deschutes Residence in May, after a site visit to confirm the location on the property. Since then we have completed the construction documents, and obtained the building permits.

The house is being built by CS Construction in Bend, who forwarded us these photos of the excavations. This process is necessary to get enough depth for the foundations and crawlspace, while keeping the finished floor close to the average height of the exterior grade. Although the site is reasonably flat, there is a subtle slope across the length of the house. At one end the house will be built into the slope, with the finished floor being slightly below the level of the grade outside. At the other end, the grade will be built up to meet the garage slab. Splitting this difference avoids a large number of steps on the first floor, and keeps the building close to the ground.

After spending a good portion of this year thinking about the design of the house, it's exciting to see work begin on site. We look forward to updating our blog with the progress during construction.


The Corbett-Terwilliger house is coming along nicely. The exterior siding is completed and the crew has moved onto the interior trim. Cabinets are scheduled to be finished any day and the kitchen should be up and running soon. 

John basking the pacific northwest sun

John basking the pacific northwest sun

Looking Back at 2013

Skyline Residence Kitchen

Skyline Residence Kitchen

It's been another busy year for drw design build. A lot has happened since our last summary in 2012:

Corbett-Terwilliger Latest

It's a while since we last checked in on the progress at the Corbett-Terwilliger house. Since then, the majority of the exterior work has been completed, including new custom windows built by the homeowner.

The interiors are coming along nicely, and we hope to have a photo update shortly. 

Westover Cabinet Delivery

After a couple months of demolition, framing, electrical and plumbing changes to substantially increase the size of the kitchen at the Westover House, today marked the day we were ready to receive the new kitchen cabinets. They were delivered to us by our friends in Eugene, Skyline Fine Cabinets, who have also built the cabinetry for a number of jobs, including the Fairmount Blvd House and the SW Vista House.

Stair Rail Fabrication

As we near completion on the Skyline Residence, it's exciting to see the final items for the house being made. One of the last of these is a new steel guardrail for the existing stairwell.  The guardrail is being fabricated for us by Greg Forcum Art & Furniture, whose shop we paid a visit to this morning. The rail is looking great, and we will be excited to see it installed on-site later this week.

Skyline Residence Progress

The Skyline Residence is a project that we're really excited about, and it has been great to see it really come together in the last month. Since our last update, the cabinets and countertops have been installed, which has made a huge difference to the feel of the spaces.

Throughout the house, we have used a consistent language of walnut faced cabinets, with exposed birch plywood frames.  We enjoy the way this celebrates the construction of the cabinets, and provides a nice tonal contrast between the two species of wood.  By varying the countertop material, we have been able to give a degree of visual differentiation to different rooms: the kitchen uses Carrara marble; the bar and pantry a dark grey quartz; and the bathrooms use a white quartz.


Playing tetris with cabinets

Work is progressing well on our latest remodel, a new kitchen / pantry / mudroom / office near Council Crest.  For the last few months we have been busy demolishing walls and framing new ones; moving mechanical ducts and equipment; installing new plumbing and electrical; hanging sheetrock; and laying new floors.  It is an intense process, but always hugely rewarding to see a design leap off of the page and into reality.  While we were doing this work in Portland, the cabinet makers in Eugene were busy building the cabinets, which arrived on site this morning.

Everything we do is totally custom, and designed specifically for the clients we are working with. Early on in the design phase, we will concentrate on general issues, such as overall layout and locations for major appliances.  Once this is settled, we begin to get into more detail, and often work out what each and every drawer is going to be used for, and how large it needs to be as a consequence. While we are doing this, we are always thinking about how these cabinets will physically be built and transported to site. A good rule of thumb is that nothing should be longer than 8'-0", which is a standard dimension for a sheet of plywood. In at least one direction, the cabinets should be smaller than 30", so that they can fit through a standard width doorway.

Many banks of cabinets are larger than this though.  At the Fairmount Boulevard house, the kitchen island, for example, will be 18' long and 4' wide.  We therefore work out ways to break this down into smaller components, in a way that will look deliberate in its finished configuration. This is how the cabinets arrive on site, as seen in the photos above, before they are installed. As we have mentioned before, assembling these all on site is a bit like a game 'Tetris', and there's often little room to maneuver around the cabinets.  There is a lot of work involved in the install, particularly when everything is designed for tolerances to an 1/8".  The effort required, however, is worth it.

Fairmount Blvd House Cabinets

We recently got started on construction of a new kitchen / pantry / mudroom / office at a house off Fairmount Blvd, near Council Crest. Our cabinet makers, Skyline Fine Cabinets of Eugene, sent us some progress photos of the cabinets. The cabinet construction is a traditional face-frame style construction, with flush inset doors and drawers, which suits the traditional form house they are being installed in.

These walnut-faced cabinets will form part of the kitchen island.

These cabinets will form part of the pantry and the office file-drawers, and are due to go to the paint shop soon to receive their finish.

Skyline Residence Wood Floors

Since the last update on our progress at the Skyline Residence, we have finished the sheetrock work, and are now busy installing the hardwood floors throughout the main level of the house. The homeowners chose a rustic hickory, with a naturally large degree of variation in its color and tone.

Skyline Residence Progress

Construction is ongoing at the Skyline Residence, which we last blogged about when we were beginning demolition.  Since then, we have completed all the new framing, rough plumbing, electrical, and insulation.  There is still a lot to do, but the difference in the quality of the spaces is already apparent.

Living Room



In the living room, we have removed the dropped ceiling, a legacy of a remodel in the 1980s.  This gives us an extra 15" of ceiling height, as well as creating a cleaner, more defined space.  We decided to keep the fireplace in the same location, so that we could reuse the existing structure and flue.  The stone cladding has been removed, revealing the concrete block structure underneath, which we can now re-clad in a more contemporary manner.





The existing kitchen dated from the 1970s, and looked like it.  While the kitchen will occupy roughly the same location, we're starting from scratch with the layout, which required changing the location of some of the openings on the wall to the right hand side.  The dropped beam has been pushed up into the ceiling, allowing for a continuous flush ceiling.  New can lights have been installed in a neatly ordered grid.

The next steps are to sheetrock all the walls, begin installation of tile and wood floors, install new cabinetry, and begin finish carpentry.  We're excited by how this project is turning out, and look forward to sharing more photos of it.