Remodeling Tips from a Master

deeproot March 6, 2019

Real Estate

Remodeling Tips from a Master

Is it just us, or are kitchens these days getting ludicrously beautiful? Don’t even ask us how much time we’ve spent scrolling through @kitchen_posts_daily‘s Instagram.

Looking around, you might be like a lot of us thinking a remodel would be fun, and how about that added value when it is time to sell? Yes and yes please. 

It’s not just kitchens either, it seems like everywhere you look in Portland, people are mixing their heritage homes with stunning modern updates.

On the other hand, home renovation sounds scary. No one wants to be at the mercy of a project that can go awry suddenly and without warning. But those Rejuvenation light fixtures are so tempting, and the kitchen is getting a tad dated…

Those who’ve completed a successful renovation will tell you it was well worth the effort. Case in point: our recently listed NE home on Fremont.

Designer Adele Taylor really went hard on a complete overhaul of the property, which just went pending. 

Japan born and Portland raised, currently residing in Los Angeles, and no stranger to ground-up projects, Taylor recently took on the challenge of converting her father’s Portland home into a modern abode that thrives on a perfect balance of flow, functionality, and design.

One key to such a successful renovation, in this case, was Taylor’s passion for preserving the home’s original architecture. While the Fremont Street home retains its exterior shape (albeit with new paint), its interior has been transformed into an open, inviting, and functional space with that perfectly blends the classic with the innovative.

“I hate remodels that don’t respect the actual integrity and bones of what something was.”


“When I design, I design for the people who are going to live there instead of for myself.”

Taylor’s aim throughout the project was to create something clean, organic, and modern. What was once an interior made up of a small galley kitchen, an unnecessary number of doors, and a stairwell that wasn’t up to code, is now an open kitchen and a spacious living room split by an original walkway widened to make the space more inviting.

A bright, roomy dining space opens to a gleaming kitchen with a large window complete with a dining bench concealing extra storage. The kitchen peninsula counter stands in the open space and, paired with some incredible pendant lighting, dramatically divides the kitchen from the private living areas of the home. Taking the stairs will lead to a cozy landing area for the master suite. From there, what was originally two bedrooms is now a gorgeous master full of livable details.

As Taylor explains, modernizing and redesigning a living/dining/kitchen space is an invaluable reward for one simple reason: it’s where you spend most of your time.

“The bulk of your living and entertaining works incredibly well in this home,” she says.


This masterful overhaul wasn’t built in a day. Home renovation this thorough take plenty of planning, time, and smart budgeting…though Taylor admits they did go a little “above and beyond” on this property. Opening the walls of this particular home provided its share of surprises, the biggest of which was just how much work needed to be done. The house was in poor condition and left little to be salvaged. The home ended up getting completely stripped down to the studs.

Apart from the dilapidated sections that couldn’t be preserved, the final design retains its exterior look, as well as some windows and the fireplace that punctuates the newly configured living room.

Unexpected hurdles are commonplace in the renovation process, but pressing on is worth the trouble. In this case, a house with family history and significance located in a vibrant neighborhood in need of a major redesign now boasts modern, stunning features to prospective buyers. Its thoughtfully designed spaces flow seamlessly and openly, prompting buyers’ imaginations to work out how exactly they would utilize each space.

The new layout is conducive to both indoor and outdoor living. Taylor was sure to fill every part of the house with nooks and spaces to dine, read, relax, entertain, or daydream.

“On those really amazing days in Oregon when the sky is super blue, throw open the windows,” she says. “Have a little dinner party. Have dinner outside.” While the entire process is fun for Taylor, the benefits of its successful completion are passed on to whomever makes the house a home for years to come.

Opt for Excellence.

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