For architect Timothy Schouten, the renovation of a 1956 gem by noted architect Van Evera Bailey presented a head-scratcher of a challenge. A quintessential example of Northwest Modern style, the hillside single-story home came with floor-to-ceiling glass walls framing views of downtown Portland and the snow-capped Cascades, large roof overhangs, and, as with much of Bailey’s work, a vaulted ceiling crowning the living area. But the home came with a quirk: It had just one bedroom. The other bedrooms, along with a family room, were tucked into a separate guesthouse built in 1987.
Understandably, homeowner Todd Sprague wanted to flip the script, giving the main house more bedrooms and reducing the size of the guesthouse. So, he asked Schouten—who worked on the project with his partner, David Giulietti, and design assistant Jake Weber—to craft a second-floor addition. “Adding another story was certainly going to change the roofline and eaves,” says Schouten. “We looked for a solution that would provide two bedrooms upstairs and retain the classic gable front elevation without stripping away the large eaves at the front or rear.”
Now reborn, the home remains close to the spirit, if not also the letter, of Bailey’s original, with the changes capitalizing on the existing structure and bringing in a sense of gracious luxury. “That’s really what those midcentury architects did—a very minimal sort of design where you’ve got the long eaves and you’re maximizing glass,” Schouten says. “The key for us was just to enhance that, to showcase the warmth of the wood and the way the house fills with light.”