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. 

Goose Hollow Heights Complete!

We completed our work at the Goose Hollow Heights a couple months ago. The project included an interior remodel to create a kitchen and breakfast nook more in keeping with the style of the house, as well as the addition of a new mudroom.  Major bearing walls were removed and replaced with new beams, in order to open up the interior layout. New windows were added in the kitchen to replace an unsympathetic window and door system added during a previous remodel. The cabinets were custom built for the project by our frequent collaborator Crownwood Construction.

Nettle Creek Residence

Work recently came to a close at the Nettle Creek Residence.  The owners were looking for a kitchen upgrade. The space was originally split in half with hanging upper cabinets creating a cramped U-shaped kitchen and small dining area. The heaviness of the space was amplified by the use of dark stained wood. 

The goal was to open up the space and bring in more of the nice southern light.  We removed the hanging cabinets and the soffits, widened the windows to open up the views, and installed new french doors to the deck.   New appliances and finishes rounded out the kitchen remodel.

 The final touches will include a dining table set at the end of the island and new hanging pendant lights over the island.


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. 

Alphabet Condo, update

Work is drawing to a close at the Alphabet Condo, which we posted about early last month. Since then, tile and countertops have been installed, which complement the existing architecture of the space very nicely.


Since the start of the year, we've been working on a remodel of condo in NW Portland's Alphabet District. It's a beautiful building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After buying the unit, our clients approached us with a number of improvements they wished to make before moving in, including a complete remodel of the kitchen and bathroom, as well as new cabinets for the living room and master bedroom.  After the inevitably messy phases of demo and rough plumbing / electrical, we've begun to move into finish work.  Mostly recently, the kitchen cabinets, built by Crownwood Construction, arrived on site, and it's now possible to see what the project is going to look like.

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:

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.

Westover Residence Renovations

drw design build is about to begin demolition on a new renovation project in the Northwest area of Portland.  The residence is beautiful and solidly built 1911 Tudor Home situated on a sloping site.  The new owners have hired drw to expand and update the kitchen, as well as other improvements through out the home.  The design will blend with the traditional elements of the home while providing modern amenities and generous work space.

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.

Cable Hill House Photo Update

We recently commissioned some photos of our Cable Hill House, and are really pleased with how they turned out.  Photos by Scott Larsen.

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.

Looking back at 2012

2012 has flown by for all of us at DRW.  We've been working on a number of interesting projects, brought to us by new and repeat clients alike.  Thinking back on the year, a lot has happened.

We wish everybody a very happy New Year, and look forward to 2013.

SW Vista House Kitchen Finished

Friday was our last day working on the Vista House Kitchen, which we previously wrote about just after the cabinets were delivered.  The project was a complete remodel of the kitchen, which included the demolition of a bearing wall to allow the kitchen to expand into space previously used as a pantry.  All the cabinets, tile, lighting, countertops and appliances are new, but were designed to compliment the 1925 house.

We would like to thank our clients, both for giving us the opportunity to work in their house, and for their patience while they were displaced from their kitchen.  We're very pleased with how the project turned out, and hope that they will be equally happy as they use the kitchen for years to come.

SW Vista House kitchen

We consider ourselves very lucky that a previous client of ours has invited us back into their house to build a new kitchen.  In 2010, we completed a remodel of their previously unfinished basement, and put in a new master bathroom.  Their house is always a pleasure to work at, and has beautifully proportioned rooms, but the existing kitchen didn't reflect the way the clients actually live.  The layout of the kitchen hadn't changed since the house was built in 1925, and had a narrow galley style plan, and a separate pantry.  By removing the wall between the kitchen and the pantry, we could create a more open and spacious layout, with a center island. While this is a more contemporary plan, we wanted to ensure that the new kitchen didn't feel like it belonged to another house.  For the past month, Skyline Fine Cabinets in Eugene have been building the cabinets, which have a traditional American face-frame construction, with 3/8" overlay doors and drawers.  Meanwhile in Portland, our team were busy demolishing the existing kitchen, inserting a new beam where we removed the bearing wall, and coordinating the plumbing, electrical, sheetrock and floor tiling.

Yesterday marked an important milestone, when the cabinets arrived.  Right now, it's like a game of 'Tetris' as all the pieces come together.  Once the cabinets are in place, we can install the appliances, and the final measurements can be taken before cutting the stone for the countertops.