Featured Stories

Sculpting a new space

by: Vern Uyetake, Keri Davis designed and decorated a two-story addition to her garage. Detached from her house, which is shown in the background, the new space includes a guest room, bathroom, desk area, media room with wine cellar and patio sculpted from a sloped front yard.

When Keri and Scott Davis say their Lake Oswego home was built on the water they aren't kidding. Beginning at the front door, the lake splashes beneath their 3,200-square-foot traditional house. A dozen families' homes lining the lake near Millenium Park and the railroad track also live a cabana lifestyle - with large water-world backyards and skinny lots.

'The cabanas that are built over the water are unique because (they) only have a front yard. A lot of people on the lake have a backyard. The lake is our backyard,' said Keri Davis.

The Davis' lot is unique. From the street, two single-car garages are separated by a gate leading visitors down a long path to their front door. A well manicured courtyard - with curved hedges, grass, cozy spaces for afternoon lemonade and tall trees for privacy - provide an area for the couple's two kids to run around and play.

In-laws visit regularly and Scott enjoys working and relaxing at home. So, a year ago the couple decided to add a large patio to their front yard and include room for guests to stay while they visit. Just completed, the space serves as an extension of their home and entertaining space.

While evenings on the back patio overlooking the lake are comfortable, Davis said often it's the uninvited guests that ruin their parties.

'As soon as it gets dark it's hard to sit on our back deck because of all the bugs that come out at night. Now, we figured we could move up here,' said Davis.

By adding 660 square feet to one of the garages, the family gained a two-story space detached from their main house. Davis - owner and designer with Keri Davis Design - transformed the interior spaces of the guest house to match the interior of the home and provide added areas for guests, the kids and work opportunities.

Now, there is a guest suite and bathroom, above, and an entertainment room, below. Scott often uses the built-in desk for business while Davis uses the space to meet with clients.

With its crisp lines, soft color palette and large windows the upstairs bedroom feels like a cozy slice of Nantucket living with contemporary accents. Seagrass green painted walls glow with natural sunlight and provide a calm backdrop. And while wood finishes aren't distressed from salty Atlantic Sea air, bright white accents make the room feel clean and ready for guests.

'This is my taste and my style. It's traditional with a contemporary twist. I tend towards crisp, clean and light (finishes),' said Davis.

To conserve space, a Murphy bed was installed in a wall behind wainscoting details. The bathroom's Carrera marble finishes provide elegance.

The downstairs entertainment room feels like a secret hideaway beneath a ship. Pine encases the room, which is complete with a fireplace, cozy couches and a wine cellar.

'This room was designed for my husband. I call it 'the man room,'' said Davis. 'He wanted a wine cellar and some special space.'

Open the French doors and visit a brick patio where a large gas log fireplace is the focal point. Built-in seating surrounds the fireplace. Small built-in lights surrounding the stairs twinkle under the moonlight and provide additional ambiance and a clear pathway.

The couple worked with local company Keith Abel Residential Design to build the addition, Davis said. The company built their house a few years back.

As the sun peeks out from tall surrounding trees and the sounds of boats echo from the backyard, Davis said she's looking forward to the summer.

'I can't wait to have a fire in the fireplace, get comfy seating (on the patio) and spend evenings up here - after dinner maybe have a glass of wine and really enjoy the space,' said Davis. 'I love when the weather is nice.'