Northwest Renovation Magazine

A Home Improvement Magazine


We spend at least a third of our lives in a single room. We turn there for comfort, refuge, and daydreaming. So why don’t we give more thought to our bedrooms? Not to get too personal about it, but it may have something to do with our private and public selves. We give our all to impress and entertain others, so the kitchen and other main floor rooms get our primary focus. But the bedroom is private, and if no one else is going to see it, we may think it unworthy of our attention — to our own... more

In the fall, what home cook doesn’t feel a yen to bake? With the cooling weather, we’re eager to fire up the oven, smell the spice of pies, and bite into still-warm cookies. While baking offers the sensory delights of kneading dough and browning crusts, working in an efficient, functional, and attractive kitchen is the real icing on the cake. In the main cooking zone, the colonial-style hood and cabinetry tie the kitchen’s character to the rest of the home. Wide aisles enable free-flowing... more

Think back on some memorable moments in your home from the past 10 or so years. Chances are many of them have been in your kitchen. In mine, I’ve not only cooked, eaten, and entertained, I have made my first candles, had pivotal conversations with my daughter, and watched our border collie pup delight in her first Thanksgiving turkey (“Look, Ma, I can reach the counter!”). Integrating multiple functions, the island/dining table also unifies the room with its more appropriate scale. BEFORE A... more

Our lives should dictate how we use our homes, not the other way around. But living a 21st century life in an early 20th century house can be challenging. Take, for example, the small size of common rooms found in many early 1900s residences. They don’t work for those modern families who cultivate more time together. So how does the owner of a vintage home incorporate a more open floor plan and conquer the great divide of so many walls of separation? With some foresight and finesse, a successful... more

What other room tells the story of our society like the kitchen? From an overheated, cramped outbuilding relegated to servants, it became increasingly civilized, integrating into the home and gaining status as an independent realm ruled by the “little woman.” Today, with celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain wielding knives and mallets like knights at a joust, it’s no wonder men are now enthroning themselves in this culinary kingdom. Dark cabinetry gives presence to this... more

A fireplace is more than just a place to warm yourself on a cold day. In any weather, it sets the atmosphere for its surrounding environs. A home with the right fireplace will feel more comfortable, both because of its heat on a winter day and its aesthetics year-round. Likewise, a house with an unharmonious hearth will feel disjointed. If you suspect you’re not getting enough from what should be the centerpiece of your home, you have a few decisions to make before dismantling that mantle. When... more

A custom-designed daybed makes room for sewing and crafts by day and rolls out to provide a queen-size bed by night. The above photo shows the bed closed The under-sized entry into the attic space was moved and incorporated as a cabinet door (far left) into the entertainment center, which now commits the room to a new statement and purpose. The pull-out work surface in the sewing room’s bookshelf lends an area for cutting fabrics and other tasks, without imposing on the graciousness... more

His own nightmarish experience as a client inspired Wade Freitag to found one of Portland’s most respected design/build firms, Craftsman Design and Renovation. An architectural designer at the time in 1994, Freitag hired a general contractor to restore his 1907 dream “fixer” home but ultimately finished the job himself. Arts and Crafts kitchen integrates period style cabinets with the latest appliances for a timeless design. Mid-Century kitchen combines restored and new cabinets... more

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