A tight budget, limited space and common sense make it impossible for most people to have a basketball court inside their home. But improvement ideas should at least start without limits and that’s central to the 46-year-old NW Natural Street of Dreams luxury home tour.
The crowd-pleasing show lets people walk through new houses filled with fashionable decor and, of course, over-the-top elements meant to excite: An all-glass window seat that levitates over a garden, 300 bottles suspended on a wide wine wall and a robotic lawn mower are part of the 2021 Street of Dreams tour, which runs through Aug. 22 in Happy Valley.
Last year’s event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but with COVID-19 protocols and precautions in place, and despite labor and material shortages this year, Portland-area home builders and designers are meeting tour goers’ aspirations to see ideas and devices that make life easier.
The pandemic has increased people’s desire to entertain at home and feel as if they’ve escaped to a five-star hotel in their bedroom, indulging spa in their bathroom and relaxing resort in their backyard.
All of the homes on the tour have a great room with an island to gather around and glass doors that slide away to an outdoor oasis. Some have two suites, one for elderly parents to age-in-place, as well as steam shower areas with touch pad controls for a TV and a freestanding tub that delivers light, heat and water wellness therapies.
Street of Dreams designers show how to arrange a kitchen, maximize storage in a pantry and laundry room, and create a flexible space that can transform into a quiet home office or study area.
“It was so nice to see the visitors really enjoying the show after the pandemic lockdown,” said interior planner and designer Wendy O’Brien, who partnered with developer and builder Red Hills Construction on a Tuscan farmhouse.
“We heard ‘wow’ and ‘no way’ followed by high-fives when people saw the half basketball court and a teenage girl squealed when she entered the girl’s bedroom,“ with an arched alcove and “You Glow Girl” neon art over the upholstered headboard, said O’Brien.
Most people considering building, buying or remodeling a house who attend the show want to learn about advanced construction techniques as well as energy-efficient approaches that can be adapted to any home.
The show producers, the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland, selected the 2021 theme as “a dream for many” and with a $20 ticket, tour goers will be able to visit new houses in two Happy Valley developments:
Heritage Crest, a gated community with three multimillion-dollar custom houses, and Pleasant Valley Villages, a master-planned community with three model homes staged for the tour and for sale from $550,000 to $650,000.
An off-the-grid, converted cargo-container home by Relevant Buildings of Oregon City will be temporarily on view at Heritage Crest as well as three, single-person shelters designed by Base Design Architecture and made by MODS PDX.
The modular sleeping spaces were furnished by Tiffany Home Design and Kevin Twitty Interiors, and will be donated at the end of the show for use by houseless veterans through the nonprofit Do Good Multnomah organization.
“Please stop by the MOD unit as you enter the show and get a glimpse of an alternative housing option to help provide safe and dignified housing for those in need in our community,” said Brenda Ketah, executive director of Home Builders Foundation-HomeAid Portland, which funded the project and coordinated donor contributions.
On the first days of the event, Rebecca Denis of Greylyn Wayne interior design and home staging said people inside the Northwest-style house she furnished were interested in spaces that are comfortable and highly livable for people of all ages and abilities.
Visitors to the Scandinavian-inspired farmhouse by Anlon Custom Homes and Tiffany Thompson of Duett Interiors were treated to a curated mix of vintage and modern styles in a soothing setting, and plenty of ideas from around the world: A curved powder room takes its décor cues from Chefchaouen, Morocco and futbol fandom is on view in the media room that has a glitter carpet.
• Photos from the 2021 NW Natural Street of Dreams Model Homes
Here are the highlights of each of the three luxury homes at the 2021 NW Natural Street of Dreams’ main venue, Heritage Crest at 12500 S.E. Mount Scott Blvd.:
Bill and Serge Krasnogorov of Red Hills Construction developed the nine-lot Heritage Crest community and have built two luxury properties, including a Northwest-style house with Rebecca Denis of Greylyn Wayne interior design.
The home’s name, Ohana, which means “family” in Hawaiian, guided everything, from the layout to outlets, in the owners’ quest to welcome multi-generations of their Hawaiian relatives. The single-level house allows for wheelchair accessible areas with wide corridors and curb-less showers.
Spaces across the 3,834-square-foot house are open and cozy, said Denis. Sliding glass doors, windows and even a see-through fireplace in the great room draw in the outdoor environment.
A subtle color scheme of green and blue were inspired by the Hawaiian islands, but they are “not tropical,” and can be used with contemporary, modern and traditional furnishings, said Denis. Built-in cabinets and doors are painted in Farrow & Ball Down Pipe, a dark gray with blue undertones.
Rough-sawn fir beams in the kitchen, dining room and great room bring a sense of longevity and warmth to rooms painted in Sherwin-Williams alabaster. White walls, ceilings and trim are slightly altered with different sheens.
The home’s extended eaves shade against summer sun but allow in winter’s sunlight. Other energy-efficient features include premium wall insulation, radiant floor heating and electric patio heaters.
Red Hills Construction worked with Wendy O’Brien Interior Planning & Design on the 7,338-square-foot, Tuscan-inspired Zion Farmhouse. The owners wanted enough room for their family to enjoy sports, music and other hobbies at home, while also having large spaces to entertain.
The great room has a glass wall that slides away to seamlessly connect the interior to outdoor seating, concrete-and-steel fireplace and pool area.
The lounge-like home theater has a 100-inch screen, a wet bar with a rugged-live edge counter, and plush seating. Richly colored walls hold oversized pop art of musicians and Donyale Luna, the first African-American model on the cover of British Vogue.
Tour goers in the kitchen like the curved eating bar, which serves as an additional dining table. It’s attached to the quartz island, but the surface is wood, not quartz, a stone material that can be “hard on the elbows and cold, especially in the winter months,” said O’Brien.
Upstairs is a kids’ sleepover room with four built-in bunkbeds, in addition to the home’s four bedrooms plus a primary suite that “is all about romance and relaxation with rustic beams and a fireplace,” said O’Brien.
Mike Harn and Scott Bowles of Anlon Custom Homes and Tiffany Thompson of Duett Interiors created a Scandinavian-inspired farmhouse named Hygge, which refers to coziness and is a design style used to achieve a sense of comfort and wellbeing.
Serenity starts in the walls here. The high-performance home has walls that are extra insulated for temperature control and soundproofing, and pipes are set in cast iron “so you never hear water running,” said Harn.
A sense of calm comes from furnishings; each piece was selected to be practical and aesthetically beautiful. Imperfections should be honored, said Thompson, gesturing toward beams salvaged from a strawberry farm.
A rectangular glass window seat, Marvin Windows’ Skycove, with natural light streaming in from four sides lets you sit and listen to the rain. “The more you celebrate Oregon, the more you fall in love with it,” said Thompson.
There are many surprises in the house with 5,132 square feet of living space. A bonus room, up a half-flight of wood stairs, has a secret door, concealed by a splash of hard-to-miss red paint on the wall. Open the door and enter the exercise room, which has a climbing wall.
Or continue up the stairs to the children’s bedrooms and bathrooms. A girl’s bedroom has circles on the ceiling and a black-and-white, polka-dot bathroom tile floor.
A small craft room has a series of artfully, asymmetrically stacked corner cabinets that are functional and playful. The cabinets are covered in Miller Paint’s Shark Fin, which changes hues, from gray to blue-green, depending on the light streaming through a large window.
“I wanted to play with shapes and objects just as kids use spaces,” said Thompson.
The 2021 NW Natural Street of Dreams home tour in Happy Valley is open Wednesdays through Sundays, July 31-Aug. 22. Show hours at the main site, Heritage Crest at 12500 S.E. Mount Scott Blvd., are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Show hours at the bonus site, Pleasant Valley Villages at 11878 S.E. Bridal Veil Falls Place, are 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Event parking for Heritage Crest, which includes the luxury houses and a temporary site for the shipping container home and sleeping pods, is available one-half mile away at Happy Valley Nursery at 10800 S.E. 129th Ave. A shuttle will transport ticket holders to and from Heritage Crest. There is very limited accessible parking at Heritage Crest. Park at Pleasant Valley Villages to see the model homes.
The show’s COVID-19 protocols will follow Oregon’s and CDC guidelines and the number of people in the homes at one time may be limited. Unvaccinated tour goers are asked to wear a mask while in the homes.
— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072