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The Street of Dreams opens this weekend with five luxury homes - and plenty to celebrate
by: vern uyetake Steel Creek Homes’ “Cascade Splendor” on this year’s Street of Dreams, features large, light-filled rooms and organic design elements. The home feels expansive yet comfortable. Designated as this year’s charity home, Steel Creek Homes will donate $10,000 of the proceeds from the sale of the house to the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation.

Even though you probably haven't purchased one of this year's Street of Dreams houses yet, you're still invited to the block party celebrations beginning this weekend and running through Aug. 28. And you'll feel right at home with each home's designer touches, Northwest color palette and inspiration that only these creative, luxury homebuilders can dish out.

This year, minimalist style provides effortless elegance to the five Earth Advantage-certified showhomes on display at Brentwood Estates at the top of Tigard's Bull Mountain. Priced between $800,000 and $950,000, the tour that, in past years, was known to show off 12,000-square-foot estates now highlights the same craftsmanship in roughly 4,000 square feet.

'Today more than ever, consumers want to justify their investments. A great designer is someone who can help clients return to understatement without sacrificing emotion,' said Tammy LeFever, owner of Interior Motives and interior designer of the Pahlisch Homes home titled 'Paula Deen's NW Retreat.' 'Our wine station is a pared down wine cellar that still works for entertaining and collecting.'

Budgets were allocated for a quality-over-quantity approach and investments in technologies that provide a more efficient way of living - without sacrificing style.

'I see a return to clean, refined and more pragmatic lines and details,' said Candace White with The White House Collection, who designed the 'con Amore' by Brentwood Estates. 'Less is in fact more if done well.'

This year, the decor needn't be fussy. And for extra space, each tour home features an Accessory Dwelling Unit separate from the house to demonstrate its use as a home office, mother-in-law suite and a 'man cave.'

Throughout each home, designers chose items with purpose that reveal architectural elements put in place by five noteworthy builders.

Get a sneak peek

* Steel Creek Homes: The 5,130-square-foot 'Cascade Splendor,' built by Steel Creek Homes, would catch even Frank Lloyd Wright's attention.

The 'prairie-style' home offers a characterized, low-pitched roof, sleek horizontal lines and open interior spaces. And, while both its interior and exterior boast organic design elements such as stonework, stone-clad planters and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, the home feels both expansive and comfortable.

Enter the home through the front doors and notice the trio of large indoor planter boxes that fill the entryway with greenery. Embrace the dramatic great room, which features 16-foot ceilings and a wall of windows.

Overlooking the great room, the kitchen, with its granite countertops and stained-alder cabinets, is a chef's delight, proving that two of something - especially state-of-the-art appliances - is better than one.

With a 48-inch range cooktop and refrigerator, two dishwashers and two sinks, the room is completed with a slate, onyx and copper backsplash. An oversized skylight floods the adjacent dining area with natural sunlight.

When not enjoying the indoor entertainment area and its oversized TV screen, step outside and marvel at the outdoor fireplace and covered area, because when your home is built to embody the beauty of nature, it's easy to sit back and relax in its outdoor surroundings.

* Brentwood Homes: The 'con Amore' home was built as it is translated in Italian - with love and enthusiasm, exuding sophistication, casual elegance and thoughtfulness in the details.

The single-story, 3,360-square-foot home proves that perfection is in the particulars - including the covered terrace with a masonry pizza oven and the Travertine flooring with carpet inlay that provides a softer, quieter effect.

Known for its extensive millwork, this home features trim to match Tru-Stile paneled doors. The wood details wrap the spaces in sophistication as they highlight flooring materials and windows. Custom-designed, detailed European cabinetry features soft-close drawer guides, ornate hinges and large-scaled posts that anchor the cabinetry ends.

Find comfort in the landscaped setting and driveway and terraces made from hand-laid pavers.

Made from natural materials - including exterior cedar siding and trim, brick masonry and garage doors built locally by TJ Overhead Doors - the home accommodates large parties and is also a private sanctuary for a young family or a retired couple.

One space - featuring a Runco WindowWall screen, granite mini-bar and private patio - is waiting to become a teen getaway, deluxe home office, media center or guest wing.

* Pahlisch Homes: Based on the lifestyle of Food Network star Paula Deen, Pahlisch Homes' 'Paula Deen's NW Retreat' combines Southern comfort with a modern, Northwest lifestyle.

The 3,700-square-foot home features Paula Deen furnishings throughout and is the perfect layout for empty nesters who want to create a home where everyone - from grandkids to grandma - feels right at home.

From the oversized kitchen island to the inviting hearth-warmed outdoor patio, there is room to gather and share meals with the people you value most.

Enter the home through a large entryway with a luminescent, faux-painted, barrel-vaulted ceiling and den with an exposed dormer. Chilean walnut hardwood floors provide warmth in common areas with their unique distressing and color variation. And the dining room, with high ceilings and elegant light fixtures, makes a statement at large dinner parties. For convenience, a wine station off the dining room and near the kitchen can uncork fun at any time.

Comfortable furniture is arranged to encourage conversations near a large stone fireplace in the great room beneath a coffered ceiling. Open the double-wide sliding doors to reveal the outdoor living area complete with a full kitchen.

Let the Portland Trail Blazers inspire any gathering in the team's themed entertainment room, complete with a wet bar for convenience.

The self-contained 'Nana's Nest' apartment attached to the main house provides accommodations for a live-in relative or overnight guests. It is wheelchair accessible and boasts a private patio, because Southern entertaining is all about hospitality.

* DreamBuilder Custom Homes: The 4,006-square-foot 'Koderra' built by DreamBuilder Custom Homes combines Northwest contemporary design with spacious family living for an elegantly laid-back family home.

Named in honor of DreamBuilder President Tim Walker's two children, 'Koderra' brings sleek sophistication through its open floorplan, angular rooflines, one-of-a-kind window trim details and floating cabinetry.

Outside, an artisan water feature accents cedar siding and soffits beneath curved fascia gutters. The home opens to 10-foot ceilings and an expansive great room with a generous fireplace flanked by zebrawood cabinets. Opposite the fireplace, the hardwood floors climb up an evocative art wall. Notice the same flooring on the ceiling?

An ornate, wrought-iron staircase leads upstairs to two front bedrooms with views of the Coast Range; the boy's room features a secluded attic fort. Also for the kids, a spacious playroom has its own staircase.

A parents' playland? The master suite. A tile pathway leads to a Kohler bathtub that fills as water cascades from the ceiling.

While the home's technological and sustainable innovations - such as integrated speakers, home security, a high-efficiency furnace with three separate zones and an electric vehicle charging station - are useful, 90 percent of the furnishings were also locally made for the home.

Just outside, enjoy entertaining year-round on the covered patio with a barbecue, built-in speakers, ceiling fan, gas fire pit and natural gas lanterns. Need to practice putting stroke? Head out to the three-hold putting course just outside the 'man cave' - an accessory dwelling outfitted with a 96-inch electric fireplace and custom-designed poker table.

* Arbor Custom Homes: Looking for new ways to entertain? Visit the 4,497-square-foot 'Chateau Marseille,' built by Arbor Custom Homes - a retreat created for homeowners and their many guests that blends Old World charm with high-performance brilliance.

The exterior's stucco siding, meandering flagstone pathways and hedges reminiscent of a Euopean estate blend seamlessly with the rustic, trowel-finished interior walls and hand-hewn beams leading to a terrace. The French-, country-theme is carried throughout the home in a formal parlor and dining room and in the warm, open kitchen with a deep farmhouse sink and gourmet walk-through butler's pantry.

Just off the great room, sip wine on a terrace and enjoy the warmth from a gas fireplace and the entertainment of a flatscreen TV under the stars.

Upstairs, three luxurious bedrooms - one with a storybook theme - and a master suite with a freestanding sculptured bathtub convey a Mediterranean spa experience. Can you spot the bookcase that hides a secret door leading to a playroom? Children will appreciate the imaginative space to call their own - and parents can hide any unpacked toys with the swing of a piece of furniture.

When it's time to work, skip the commute and keep the professionalism with a home office connected to the main house for convienence but with a separate entrance for clients.

The home is Energy Star silver-certified to perform for years to come using water and gas conservation techniques and improved indoor air quality. Charge an electric car in the garage and use an iPad or smart phone to control its security and sound systems.

Ever-changing showcase

'A new NW Natural Street of Dreams represents new priorities for Oregonians - the show consistently evolves with the times. This year's homes are indicative of our post-recession state and represent a more economical and efficient way of living,' said Nancy Haskin in a press release. Haskin is the vice president of Portland Metro Home Builders Association's shows.

She continued, 'However, an economic optimism among the local building industry is prevalent, with every builder participating this year being new to the 'street.' One of the homes has already been placed in escrow.'

And after you've ooh'd and ahh'd over the five showhomes, be sure to mingle at the cooking demonstrations, concerts and wine tastings. Much emphasis of this year's event is on entertaining tour guests with cooking demonstrations Wednesday nights, Thursday night concerts with acts such as Tyler Stenson - a singer, songwriter originally from West Linn - and wine tastings.

This year's tour is presented by Banner Bank and Community Financial Corporation and will benefit the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation.

Roloff - star of the TLC hit TV show 'Little People Big World' created her foundation to provide funding to advocate for youth facing mental, physical, emotional and economic challenges.

For more information, a map to the site, tour times and ticket information, visit www.streetofdreamspdx.com.