This week I caught up with ARCIFORM Designer Tara Douglas on a master suite remodel the firm completed last month for a couple in the Irvington neighborhood. A major focus of this remodel was to create spaces that suit their needs now while preparing for future aging-in-place.
A soothing color palette in the master bedroom: crisp white shutters and trim, bedding and walls in ethereal pale green
“The clients want to stay in their home for many years to come, so we incorporated design features that could be helpful later in life,” Tara tells me. The house, a beautiful 1925 Craftsman Bungalow, was in excellent condition, but rooms were small and the floor plan was cramped. The central focus was on reconfiguring a ground floor bath and two bedrooms into a new master suite. The goal was to combine classic and modern styles to echo the Craftsman details and feel of the house while achieving efficient, contemporary livability.
To that end, Arciform’s team reconfigured the existing space, turning the original bathroom into a walk-through closet, with the smaller bedroom becoming a new, more spacious bath. The original master bedroom was expanded, with the old closet now serving as a TV nook. The hallway includes a new broom closet and a full-height, built-in pantry cabinet. Existing wood floors were patched and refinished. The existing vanity and medicine cabinets were reused, with new surfaces and fixtures throughout.
“I started working on the project as the Design Associate, but took over as Designer once construction started,” says Tara. This was a perfect arrangement since, as the Design Associate, she had sourced all the products for the clients and was well-acquainted with the look and feel they wanted.
The Irvington neighborhood takes pride in preserving the historic integrity of its homes. The community’s Irvington Home Tour (on May 20th this year) brings more than 800 visitors to peruse the insides of these classic homes each year, so the team kept in mind that their work served both the needs of their clients and the historic sensibilities of the neighborhood.
A Victoria and Albert tub proved to be the perfect combination of classic grace and modern economy of design that the clients were looking for. A floor-mounted Ashbee Tub Filler by DXV is lovely in polished nickel. The freestanding limestone and resin tub sits elegantly in a room with louvered shutters, white cabinetry, stone countertops and a marble-clad shower. The clients love natural stone and, working with Alpha Stoneworks, they found a remnant of Superwhite Quartzite for the vanity countertop. In the shower, Carrara marble is echoed in the hexagonal floor tile, while charcoal gray tile in a chevron pattern provides pleasant contrast to the predominantly light room.
Throughout the new master suite this subtle interplay of classic and contemporary, warm and austere, elegant and functional sets the mood. Moldings and trim are classically white in Behr’s Ultra Pure White while the bedroom and closet walls are painted a fresh, soothing Sea Salt, complementing the original oak floors.
The new shower is tiled in Carrara 3×6 tile at the walls and 1″ hex on the floor. Shower fixtures are Kohler’s Artifacts. A new built-in cubby keeps towels close at hand.
The new space incorporates some very deliberate choices. Radiant heating under the master bath floor tile creates a warm, comfortable feeling and can be set on a timer. Although they do not need them now, blocking was installed in the walls of the shower and WC to provide support for future grab bars. The curbless shower provides a hazard-free transition.
This remodel preserves the beauty of one of Portland’s Craftsman homes while creating an enduringly stylish and functional environment that will provide years of comfortable living for its owners.
Tara (above) has worked for Arciform since 2015. She holds degrees in Residential Architectural Design, Drafting, Kitchen & Bath Design. PHOTO BY CHRIS DIBBLE. INTERVIEW BY SNOW BLACKWOOD
Stone Essentials 3×6 tile, Bianco Carrara from Z Collection: https://www.ztilestone.com/biancocarrarahttps://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/d2624a_be65c8fd96ef4cf2b5e380d81a931b6c.pdf
Victoria & Albert Monaco Freestanding tub from Ferguson: https://www.ferguson.com/product/victoria-albert-bath-monaco-69-x-32-in-double-ended-free-standing-tub-in-white-vmonnsw/_/R-4155750
DXV’s Ashbee Tub Filler from Ferguson: https://www.dxv.com/en/product/traditional-floor-mount-tub-filler-with-ashbee-lever-handles
Local fabricator Alpha Stoneworks for Superwhite Quartzite remnant:
Natucer’s Shapes porcelain Chevron tile in Oslo Charcoal from Z Collection: