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Movin' on up

What does it feel like to walk on water?

Step inside David and Sheila Moore's home and find out. Upon entrance to their recently remodeled Lake Oswego home, exterior luxuries become interior realities. From any given room, views of Oswego Lake swallow you - and set you free.

Once a two-story daylight ranch, the home grew vertically to incorporate an additional story. Rich wood details give the home character and warmth while oversized windows frame dynamite views of the waters edge.

The beginning stages of the remodel project was featured in the Dec. 22, 2005 edition of the Review and Tidings, during its framing stages. Now completed, the home was reconfigured to include a third story home entryway and master suite, newly configured kitchen, three separate bedrooms for the kids and plenty of windows.

'It's such a great setting so we tried to bring the outside in so when you walk in the front door all you see are the surroundings,' said Gary Mimnaugh, owner of Lake Oswego-based GTM Constuction, Inc. that completed the project. 'It feels like a ship, like you're on the ocean.'

The water-theme was incorporated into metallic tile details on the fireplace, granite countertops that change color in the light as well as wavy wood designs that frame the kitchen at the ceiling. Comfortable and oversized furniture in chocolate browns and light greens blend sophisticated comfort and casual details.

'We just wanted a place that felt like you were on vacation while you were at home,' said David.

Welcome home, relax

A small pineapple carved from wood was installed in the center of a ceiling beam in the family room and functions as a centerpiece statement. The inlay sets the mood for the house upon entrance - detail oriented, well crafted and as relaxing as an island vacation.

In a constant wavelike motion, air travels through the home freely. Considering the lot is narrow and steep Mimnaugh wanted to break up this gradual slope and use it to the homes' advantage, not inconvenience.

'Everything flows better - from the parking coming in all the way through the lower deck,' said David.

Before, a rickety staircase led from the driveway above to the lower home foyer. The newly constructed third story now serves as the entrance, providing easy access from the driveway and dynamite-purpose once inside.

Oversized and elongated two-story windows stretch from the ceiling to the open living room above. In all directions windows of varying sizes provide peek-a-boo lake views. It feels as if the house floats on water, and that was the idea - incorporate the serene setting into everyday life.

'We wanted there to be a little touch of water, wherever you stand,' said Sheila. 'Now I can see boats go all the way across through the windows from (one room to the next).'

Using space efficiently

A dramatic curved staircase proved a challenge at first, but in the end was Mimnaugh's favorite accomplishment. The new third-story entryway had to lead to the family room and kitchen below without cutting into the room too much.

'We had to get it in there to preserve the space. We looked at it a bunch of different ways - open underneath, free standing. It's basically a lot of lumber,' said Mimnaugh.

Friends have said the house is a Frank Lloyd Wright tree house, Sheila says that 'whatever it is,' it's just plain comfortable - heavy with lumber, smooth with clean lines and incorporating original trees on the property.

After eight years, David and Sheila finally have a master suite with an attached bathroom. A private balcony overlooks the lake and interior windows near the ceiling bring natural light in to the bedroom. One window opens up to the family room below.

'I wanted to pass all the light through the different rooms so even though there's walls, there would be good light transfer,' said Mimnaugh.

A fireplace is cozy in an angled corner. The attached bathroom is also light and bright with natural light and Carrera marble floors flow with additional wavy tile details.

Simmering views

Before, the kitchen was hidden in a corner. Mimnaugh reconfigured the home so that the kitchen flowed into the family room and overlooked lake views.

'I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen as a stay-at-home mom with three kids. And I'm Italian,' said Sheila.

The space incorporates state-of-the art appliances and mahogany trim and cabinets, centered around a large island with bar stools. The granite opalescent countertop changes color as sunlight hits it from surrounding windows.

Just off the kitchen a new tiered decking system leads to the waters edge and boat dock. A heater warms visitors on the balcony during colder months.

On the bottom floor of the home, a second staircase leads to the original master suite, which was converted into guest quarters. A bar serves the entertainment room. And David finally got his pool table out of storage.

During the 10-month remodel the Moore's relocated to a nearby apartment complex but visited their home often. While the quarters for the family of five were tight, so grew their love and appreciate for one another.

'We found that home is where we are. The minute we moved out of this house into an apartment, the house was just a house. We can live anywhere together,' said Sheila. 'But it was really nice to come back to such a beautiful home.'

Gary Mimnaugh with GTM Construction, Inc. in Lake Oswego can be reached at 503-635-2059.