Name: Lola, Eric and Mena
Location: NE Portland, Oregon
Size: 1250 sqft
Years lived in: just under 1
Lola and Eric live in a unique modern space full of clean lines, huge windows, and simple furniture. Stylish design aside, it's their happy smiles and laughter while hanging out with 3 year-old daughter Mena that stands out as the most wonderful feature of the home.
Lola and Eric, both engineers from the East Coast, moved to Portland, Oregon about five years ago. They wanted to live in a bright space in their North East neighborhood, relatively small with plenty of natural light. When they came across a 600 square-foot home in walking distance to great restaurants and parks, they jumped on it, with plans from local architect Ben Waechter of Waechter Atelier, in hand. Lola and Eric were able to file for a FHA 203K renovation loan, paying for just 3% of the price of the new home, instead of the traditional 40% down. This creative maneuver enabled the couple and the architect to create one of the most visually striking homes in Portland. Waechter transformed the space, while maintaining the foundation, into a 1250 square foot modern family home.
When inside, it's evident that Lola and Eric love efficient, minimal designs, which they say is both great looking and easy to clean. (An important consideration, especially with kids and friends.) Lola and Eric are great cooks—when I was visiting I heard talk of beans with bacon (mmm!) and possibly a fish dish— and one of their main goals for their new home was to have a great table that could seat a dinner party comfortably. The kitchen and dining space are so relaxed and lovely, they have a hard time ushering guests into the equally-stunning living room. The downstairs living/cooking space has that enchanting blend of minimal, sleek elegance with casual family comforts. It's a wonderful, relatively small place, where Mom and Dad can sip coffee from gorgeous glass cups and darling Mena can be 'cooking' with her own kitchen playset and pink bouncy ball.
As you travel upwards through the home, the bedrooms are spare, but again, relaxed. The light that floods each room makes for a fresh, bright vibe — so critical in rainy Portland! The crown jewel, though, is the rooftop deck, which spans the footprint of the house. It's very private but incredible to have this entire extra room for the summer and fall. Having moved into their house in September, they are now looking forward to their first summer of hanging out outdoors on this amazing deck with a view of the neighborhood. Cheers to a great summer up there, Lola, Eric and Mena!
Our style: minimal, clean, functional.
Inspiration: bright Swedish apartments that make the best of small spaces.
Favorite Element: the kitchen has been great to use and it's easy to clean when we're done.
Biggest Challenge: creating a design, getting bids, choosing a contractor and getting a good assessment all before closing on our loan.
What Friends Say: where's all your stuff?
Proudest DIY: designing the kitchen
Biggest Indulgence: the roof deck.
Best Advice: finding a contractor and an architect that were on-board with our budget and were good at looking for creative solutions.
• keeping the overall size small had by far the biggest impact
• location is within walking distance of almost everything we need
• constructing with a tight envelope and using efficient windows and blown-in cellulose insulation
• small, efficient appliances.
• Miele induction cooktop
• Liebherr fridge
• IKEA oven/micro
• Asko dishwasher & laundry.
• KWC Ono kitchen faucet
• Kohler Stillness bath hardware
• Kartell Four dining table
• Eames dining chairs
• LCW lounge chair
• Case Study daybed
Accessories: Bowers & Wilkins CM-series speakers
Rugs and Carpets: Photon rug, commercial carpet
Window Treatments: rollers/track from a hospital supply co w/West Elm curtains
Flooring: Salvaged fir w/tung oil finish
• Visit the Architect: Atelier Waechter
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(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)