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Collection by Amara Holstein

Portland's Cape Cod Remodel

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With its slim profile and sleek gray exterior, Lola Oyibo and Eric Boardman’s home in Portland, Oregon bears little resemblance to the house it used to be. Unable to afford the 40% down required to build a new house, the couple instead opted for a FHA 203K renovation loan that let them put just 3% down—and hired architect Ben Waechter of local firm Atelier Waechter to give the place a massive facelift. Formerly a nondescript 1947 Cape Cod-style structure, the house “had a horrible kitchen and had no built-ins or historic elements worth keeping,” says Waechter. Plus, it was only 625 square feet, which was overly crowded for the homeowners and their two year-old daughter, Mena. Keeping the footprint, foundation, and framing intact, the architect stripped the structure down to its bones, opening up the interior and adding a second story to give the family 1250 square feet —and a sweet modern space—in which to live. "It's the idea of reuse," Waechter says. "We recreated a building that had reached the end of its lifespan, infusing it with another hundred years of living."

Natural light and fresh air pours in through the six windows (each three feet wide by six and a half feet tall) that...
The first floor of the house used to be a warren of five tiny rooms, and the first thing you saw when you walked in the...
A commercial-grade gray carpet runs up the steps and throughout the second floor.
An IKEA vanity is suspended off the floor, making it easy to clean.
Natural light and fresh air pours in through the six windows (each three feet wide by six-and-a-half feet tall) that...
The roof deck sprawls across the whole footprint of the house, overlooking the neighborhood, and is Oyibo’s favored...
Even though the rooms became larger as walls came down, and a second story was added, the renovated house is still a...
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