The renovation of the main floor of a large 1950’s house involved a new kitchen, master area, and guest bath. These spaces became elements in a larger strategy to address the lack of daylight and legibility in the original plan.

The main interior bearing wall was exposed along its entire length and articulates itself as a primary organizing device. The existing stairwell was opened up, visually connecting the levels and bringing in light from above. A series of structural modifications created larger openings on both interior and exterior walls, further improving the natural light conditions and clarifying the house’s organization. This included a series of headers upset into the floor assembly above, resulting in continuous ceiling planes in the main social areas in the front and in the more private spaces at the back. Enlarged framed openings in the dining area subtly articulate this distinction.

Repositioned walls allowed for greater privacy, minimized the need for doors, and resulted in a surprisingly open plan for a house of this era. Storage areas, closets, and a new guest bath are concealed behind hidden panels integrated with the original trim details. A full height sliding door allows the master area to be closed off on occasion.

existing floor plan
proposed floor plan

Location: Portland, OR
Project: 2016
Client: private
Program: house renovation
Area: 1,700 sq ft