Before & After: A Mullet Renovation Fills a Portland “Super Bungalow” With Daylight
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Before & After: A Mullet Renovation Fills a Portland “Super Bungalow” With Daylight

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
A remodel brings additional light into a 1907 craftsman by introducing a “glassy chunk of architecture.”

Located on a prominent, oversized lot in Southeast Portland, Oregon, this 5,000-square-foot, four-story "super bungalow" features a traditional Craftsman facade with cross-gabled bays, a covered porch, shake siding, exposed roof beams, and broad, open eaves. However, at the rear of the home, a cube-shaped renovation breaks the traditional mold.

The homeowners, Arrow and Jessica Kruse, lived in Los Angeles before they purchased this expansive home at the base of Mt. Tabor. Arrow had grown up in Portland, but after living in LA, the family craved sunshine—which can feel like a precious, rare commodity for half of the year in the Pacific Northwest.

The remodel—which focused primarily on bringing more light into the home—was expertly executed by the Portland–based firm Beebe Skidmore. "The house was a really nice, big house," says Heidi Beebe, the firm's co-founder. "They bought it because they liked it, and the change was just to make it lighter."

"In fact, we only changed 10 percent of the facade," she explains. The design, according to the architects, "leaves all of the distinguishing features of the original house in place, and replaces one of the original cross-gabled bays with a contemporary, glassy, operable, three-story chunk of architecture." The intervention floods the home with daylight, creates an indoor/outdoor connection on each level, and delivers a major spatial transformation that benefits and brightens every room in the house.

Before: The Rear Facade

The first priority of the remodel was to bring in more natural light.

The first priority of the remodel was to bring in more natural light.

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After: The Rear Facade

By changing the roofline, Beebe Skidmore introduced light and usable space to the third floor. "It was not a lot of extra space, but we got headroom," explains Beebe.

By changing the roofline, Beebe Skidmore introduced light and usable space to the third floor. "It was not a lot of extra space, but we got headroom," explains Beebe.

The new volume's orientation (away from the street and towards the skyline) preserves the historic continuity of the neighborhood. 

The new volume's orientation (away from the street and towards the skyline) preserves the historic continuity of the neighborhood. 

The renovation didn't introduce new square footage, however every room in the house benefited in some way from the remodel.

The renovation didn't introduce new square footage, however every room in the house benefited in some way from the remodel.

Before: The Kitchen 

This is how the kitchen looked before the remodel. 

This is how the kitchen looked before the remodel. 

The butler pantry and stairs were located at the back of the kitchen. Note the small window at the top of the stairs. 

The butler pantry and stairs were located at the back of the kitchen. Note the small window at the top of the stairs. 

After: The Kitchen

The renovation replaced the small window at the top of the stairs—and the entire wall—with a new full-height window.

The renovation replaced the small window at the top of the stairs—and the entire wall—with a new full-height window.

Jessica Kruse stands at the top of the former butler stairs. A cutout connects the top of the stairwell to the kitchen, bringing additional daylight into the space. 

Jessica Kruse stands at the top of the former butler stairs. A cutout connects the top of the stairwell to the kitchen, bringing additional daylight into the space. 

Before: The Great Room 

The original living room opened into the dining room, but both rooms received limited daylight.

The original living room opened into the dining room, but both rooms received limited daylight.

A view from the original living room towards the dining room.

A view from the original living room towards the dining room.

Beebe Skidmore removed the door and wall and opened up the the staircase while preserving the wood divider.

Beebe Skidmore removed the door and wall and opened up the the staircase while preserving the wood divider.

After: The Great Room

Beebe Skidmore opened up the space to create a giant, light-filled great room.

Beebe Skidmore opened up the space to create a giant, light-filled great room.

This view shows how the spaces in the great room connect to each other. The architects cut a light well through the center of the home to bring daylight all the way down to the kitchen. 

This view shows how the spaces in the great room connect to each other. The architects cut a light well through the center of the home to bring daylight all the way down to the kitchen. 

A view from the kitchen looking out at the dining room and the oversized sliding glass doors.

A view from the kitchen looking out at the dining room and the oversized sliding glass doors.

Now the family can easily enjoy indoor/outdoor living during the warmer months. 

Now the family can easily enjoy indoor/outdoor living during the warmer months. 

The outdoor space just outside the dining area. 

The outdoor space just outside the dining area. 

Before: The Porch

An enclosed porch was situated just off the master bedroom.

An enclosed porch was situated just off the master bedroom.

After: The Porch

The porch now serves as a master bath with a deep soaking tub.

The porch now serves as a master bath with a deep soaking tub.

A side view of the porch-turned-master bath as it sits above the kitchen.

A side view of the porch-turned-master bath as it sits above the kitchen.

Related Reading: 10 Mullet Homes That Are Traditional in the Front, Modern in the Back 

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Beebe Skidmore Architects / @beebeskidmore

Builder/General Contractor: Owen Gabbert LLC

Structural Engineer: Structural Edge Engineering, Jeremy Parrish 

Cabinetry Design/Installation: Big Branch Woodworking 

Photography: Lincoln Barbour