It's enchanting. Fabulous. Glamorous, yet comfortable. It's the kind of house that pulls you down each hallway and around each turn, offering surprises, magnificent thrills and stylish rewards - kind of like a 1930s detective movie.
The architecture and fixtures provide suspense and drama.
The guests are probably sophisticated.
And the conversation is light, overlooking Oswego Lake, perched on a hill.
Designer and builder Dale Lumpkin described the space like a scene from the Nick and Laura Charles 'Thin Man' detective movies from that classic era featuring William Powell and Myrna Loy.
The Lake Oswego home belongs to John and Sarah Ward and their two young children, Johnny and Berkeley. Formal light fixtures and classic furniture paint a sensible and elegant backdrop, reminiscent of the 1930s and 40s.
'Every time they came home at night they always had martinis,' Lumpkin said of the characters in the 'Thin Man' movies. 'It was very sociable and the decorations were much like how John's house is.'
The distant time period is depicted in films by fashionable garb and martinis in hand. John Ward's expansive cocktail shaker collection blends nicely. He said his home reminds him of a Manhattan penthouse, but family friendly.
Now, the whole world can take a glimpse into the house; this month it's profiled in the 'Estates for Sale' section of Architectural Digest magazine.
'I've been reading that magazine for 30 years,' Ward said. 'When it finally came in the mail, we stood in front of the house and ripped it open.'
The home opens to vaulted ceilings, a checker-board marble floor design and sweeping staircase - setting the stage for the dining room with its sparkly chandelier and repetition of circles.
The sitting room in front of the home - with a zebra rug, large fireplace and light and bright demeanor - is special. You can almost envision Greta Garbo in a silk robe draped over the cushy sofa.
Part of Ward's cocktail shaker collection is highlighted in the kitchen, the other half adorns the illuminated wall in his den, framed by African mahogany wood panels. The family room incorporates a beamed ceiling and breathtaking views of Mt. Hood, the lake and Bergis Road.
'The sunrises are outstanding,' Ward said.
The lower level features a theater room, wine cellar and guest suite of special significance. The suite has a picture of an infant Ward in Germany at the hospital where he was born, a photo passed down from his grandparents. And next to it, a photo of he and his wife in 2000 at the same spot in Germany after realizing the street they were on was the same as her last name.
'I got down on my knee and proposed right there,' Ward said. 'It was like a sign from above.'
Interior finishes for the 7,700-square-foot home were chosen by Henry Brown Interiors and the Wards.
Upstairs, the 1,250-square-foot master suite is divine. Many furniture pieces are from the 1930s and found on the Web site 1stdibs.com - a Web site that scouts out unique vintage furniture pieces.
'Every Wednesday they'll send you updated items from all over the world,' Ward said.
The master bathroom is a favorite room in the house - with a cushy ottoman in the center, a huge closet, vanity and shower with a window; there's no escaping the view.
The master is almost the size of the original house on the lot before the Wards rebuilt the structure a few years ago with Lumpkin. The lot used to be the original, par three 15th hole on the Oswego Lake Country Club, Ward said.
And like any good cinematic resemblance, the Ward's home has a happy ending.
Ward said his family is looking forward to their next local building project when they relocate. And Lumpkin said this home was an adventure from the French Country homes he typically designs.
For more information about the home, contact Justin Harnish at Realty Trust at 503-699-8483.
To view the home in the October 2008 Architectural Digest visit the Web site at http://www.architecturaldigest.com/resources/estates/2008/10/estates?slide=8#globalNav .