The homes at Abbey Wood are unique - on the inside and out.

Feeling a bit like a cottage, think Hansel and Gretel - window boxes, storybook woodsy setting - meets a manor in southern Europe - high ceilings, French doors, lots of natural light and classic architecture. The homes make a statement.

Built by Crosswater Homes, LLC, the development is nestled between a 1.33-acre private greenbelt and city-owned Pennington Park. Just a turn signal off Boones Ferry Road in Lake Oswego, the six homes are close to everything, yet seem far away from the weight of daily routines.

In fact, 65 percent of the building site was left untouched so homeowners can enjoy Northwest greenery.

'The greenspace is about the size of a football field. It's a private space that will be owned by these folks,' said Linda Masters, broker with Re/Max Equity Group marketing the project. 'Probably when they all sell, the homeowners will get together and decide what they want (for that space) - probably walking trails.'

A natural solution to city living

Every home has a sunroom and patio overlooking the natural landscape. Ranging between $849,000 and $1,219,900, the homes are what Masters calls 'single-family attached,' - not condominiums, similar to townhouses, but not as tall as the typical homes.

Her husband, John Masters, and son, Ross Masters of Crosswater, designed and built the homes in groups of two. And their design layout looks like a quaint village.

'It was really a planning decision because we wanted to protect the space in the back,' Ross said. 'And the only way we could get it to work in front was to share a common wall. Otherwise they would have been built back further (on the property). We protected a lot of trees by doing that.'

The different house plans - with names such as The Aspen, The Mountain Ash and The Sierra Redwood - look similar but different; houses have either light or dark wood finishes and exterior garnishes are European inspired with gabled architecture.

With a 'quality over quantity' approach, the yards require little maintenance and yet, the houses themselves feel quite big. The Grand Fir plan is 3,364 square feet and features three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and two gas fireplaces.

With 10-foot ceilings, arched doorways, a vaulted master suite on the main level, Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors and solid, two panel wood doors finished with bronze hardware, the homes stand alone as a piece of art. Floor to ceiling custom cabinetry are in the kitchens, also with Juparana Persia slab granite countertops.

All kitchens are equipped with commercial grade appliances. Microwave drawers hidden within the island make food preparation easier. Built-in wine coolers are standard.

Libraries upstairs in some homes feature built-ins and floor to ceiling paneling, all overlooking the living room below. A bonus room wired with audio speakers can be used for extra living space, an in-home theater or exercise room.

'It's a flex room,' Ross said of its versatility. 'And it's ready to go so all you have to do is bring your TV.'

Large storage areas are built into the homes' eaves.

'I put a really wide door in there so people can store couches,' Ross said.

The Masters said that the homes are built for those leaving a larger home, those with families and those desiring luxury living with low maintenance upkeep.

Building with a green thumb

Driveways are paved with pervious concrete to eliminate water run-off. Rainwater is then absorbed directly into the concrete and then to the ground below. Infiltration trenches were added to collect additional water run-off to maintain clean streams.

Long-lasting natural materials such as stone and cedar incorporate the exterior siding. Eco-friendly products and techniques went into each Abbey Wood home. The homes feature The Unico System, a highly efficient device used for heating and cooling, Linda said.

Each home at Abbey Wood is situated on its own lot. The natural materials and timeless composition transport the visitor somewhere else. And the common backyard unites the neighborhood.

'It's kind of a mix of a cottage and Old World rustic,' Ross said. 'They remind me of (houses) you see in Lake Tahoe.'

Each home overlooks western red cedars, big leaf maples, alders and grand fir trees in a sunny setting and are just seconds from a major commute-way. English style gardens wrap the property.

'They are very cheerful and light and bright. It's peaceful. When you come off Boones Ferry Road you think it might sound stressful because (that is) such a busy road,' Linda said, 'but here, it just feels great.'

For more information about Crosswater Homes, visit the Web site at Linda Masters can be reached at 503-358-0311.

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