Northwest Renovation Magazine

A Home Improvement Magazine


Ladd’s Addition in southeast Portland is one of the Rose City’s oldest planned residential developments. A designated historic district, the area is among Portland’s most architecturally rich neighborhoods, with most of the homes built between 1905 and 1930. When Karen and John Hopkins purchased their 1908 craftsman style house a few years ago, Karen was taking the first step toward realizing a simple personal goal — to own, live in, and care for an older home. After Before Working... more

For many Portlanders, a kitchen remodel is a chance not only to update appliances and aesthetics, but also to reconfigure the flow of an older home and bring it in line with how we live today. With multi-purpose bars or nooks to serve multi-tasking modern families, today’s kitchen is much more than just a place to prepare food. Photo by Anna M. Campbell Photo by Anna M. Campbell Photo by Anna M. Campbell Photo by Matt Niebuhr Photo by Matt Niebuhr Photos by Matt Niebuhr In... more

A lot of remodeling contractors do not let their homeowners do any work on their projects because — ostensibly — they say that the owner’s workmanship might make their project “look bad.” (And, in some cases this is true!) Or, they say, it is hard for the contractor to schedule around owners who are doing some of the work themselves, because the owner may or may not be able to get his or her part of the project done in a timely manner. (This, too, is true sometimes.) And, they say, they... more

Oregon’s brief but brilliant summer months demand to be celebrated with frequent backyard dining adventures. The trouble is, there’s never a great place to prep the meat for the grill. And where do you put the grilled corn while you are waiting for the sausages to finish? A chef with a sunburn is never attractive. And wouldn’t it be nice to have a sink to wash up as you go? Sounds like it’s time to upgrade to a full outdoor kitchen. A built-in bar and metal stools add seating options... more

Whether you need a new showerhead or just want a change, there are hundreds of choices out there. There are at least four different kinds of showerheads: fixed, rain, slider hand-held, and multi-everything. The fixed showerhead has several adjustments, such as for a strong flow, pulsing spray, and massage action. The slider shower systems have a slider bar and a hand held showerhead. What I call the multi-spray is usually a combination of the fixed with the slider, and also body jets. Delta Arzo... more

We knew we had our work cut out for us when we wholeheartedly agreed to collaborate on the redesign of this 1950s kitchen. Tom and Hilary, owners of this wonderful Mid-Century Modern ranch in Portland, OR, had specific ideas when it came to the new design. Having worked as a professional chef in her mother’s French restaurant while growing up, Hilary had precise notions of how a kitchen should function, and function it does! By implementing a few hard and fast commercial kitchen... more

I am a stair guy. I build and remodel staircase systems. When people ask me what I do for a living, more often than not my answer (“I build stairs.”) is followed by this question: “As in… spiral stairs?” For many, this is what building a staircase means. I have never been able to figure that one out. I have built and consulted on thousands of staircases. The number of spiral staircases I have installed is around 1/100th the number of my total staircases. They are impractical for many reasons,... more

There have been some interesting trends in the world of flooring over the last year. Some of the most notable advances have been in the ease of maintenance and installation. Oiled Wood Floors The realm of “what’s old is new again” can be seen in the development of oiled wood flooring. In this country, we decided to put the hardest finishes we could find on the surfaces of wood floors. These finishes protect the floor by forming a wear layer, in effect a plastic-type film on the surface of... more

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