Grand Transformation for a Home in McVey-South Shore, Portland

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Grand Transformation for a Home in McVey-South Shore, Portland

Inspired by his time spent living in Japan, this homeowner wanted to transform his home into something more reflective of his minimalist style.

Before After
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The Initial Consultation

Interiors of the 1990s often seemed to be an ode to cherry wood, but the new owner of this two-storey home wasn’t a fan of the look. Having recently purchased the property, he wanted to stamp his style on it with an open concept main floor, reconfigured lower level, and a modern, minimalist design.
While working with an architect, the owner reached out to Refresh Renovations for project quotes and was connected with Remodeling Consultant, Chris Kuhr. During their initial consultation, the owner explained he had a tight timeline; the unit he was renting was being sold and he needed to vacate. With no time to waste, Chris got to work and managed the project from start to finish. 

Costing and Working Drawings

The homeowner’s past renovation experiences had been marred by inadequate communication and poorly managed expectations. Chris put his client’s mind at ease, assuring him he’d be the single point of contact throughout the project, and expectations would be managed upfront during the concept and costing phases. 
From the architectural plans the owner provided, Chris determined an original estimate of $350,000. However, material selections and final changes still needed to be made. Having moved to the Pacific Northwest from Japan, the homeowner had a specific style in mind and wanted to be fully involved with the design. Once details were confirmed, the final cost came in at $457,000.

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Construction during COVID

Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing permits were necessary, so while the crew started to strip the main level down to bare bones, Chris got moving on the paperwork. To stay on track, Chris instructed the crew to work around the not-yet-permitted areas. And there was plenty to do in the meantime; gutting the entire main floor required adding significant structural support to the upper and lower levels to safely accommodate the open concept floor plan. 
COVID proved to be a real problem during this renovation, with supply chain issues of materials causing numerous delays. Chris worked closely with the owner to make alternative selections without compromising the results. 
The delays meant the timeline was pushed back by eight weeks, but Chris maintained open communication with the owner throughout the process to manage expectations and the renovation was wrapped up in approximately five months. 

An Airy and Modern Living Area

Though the previous living area had plenty of square footage, the layout was staccato and compartmentalized. Now, it’s perfectly balanced with dedicated kitchen, dining, and living areas that flow seamlessly together. 
Traditional shaker-style cabinets have a modern twist with their shade of gray-blue and contrasting black handles. The white countertops and splashback are a neutral background for this pop of color, while the splashback’s rippled texture offers a subtle yet interesting feature. A central island, with a gas stove top and seating for three, anchors the kitchen. 
Statement lighting is a new feature throughout and really comes to the fore in the home’s open-concept living area. A trio of wired cubicle pendants illuminate the foyer, an abstract fixture hangs above the dining table, and a row of glass prism pendants light up the kitchen, all complemented with natural light from multiple skylights. 

Beautiful Bedrooms 

With a spacious and simple design, the four bedrooms feel light and airy, modernized with dark stained wood flooring, pot lighting, and crisp white window framing. What used to be the master bedroom has been converted to a standard bedroom by removing the dated fireplace, creating more space and allowing the lush PNW foliage outside the balcony to be the focal point.
Positioning the master bedroom at the front of the home gives it the original bay window, freshened up with a new white trim. Gone is the domineering built-in book shelving; in its place is an elongated window which lets in natural light and gives the new master bedroom an open and restful ambience.
Downstairs, the office and previous guest bedroom have been combined to give the homeowner a flexible room to use how he wants. Well-lit with numerous pot lights and two massive timber beams spanning the length of the room, it could double as guest bedroom, office or hobby room. 


The master ensuite has a spectacular wet room with a contemporary trio of rainfall showerheads, a large freestanding soaker tub, and built-in corner seat. The minimalist design is a nice contrast to the other full bathroom, which also has a wet room. 
Muted turquoise cabinetry, blue glass pendant lights, and a stone-tiled backsplash that runs from countertop to ceiling behind the double vanities make the Jack and Jill bathroom feel more decorative and fun compared to the chic and understated master bathroom.
Throughout the remaining bathrooms - two powder rooms and a full guest bathroom - design elements such as stack bonded tiles and statement lighting can be found, but each room boasts its individual style. 

Final Thoughts

The changes made to this Portland home are significant and nothing short of amazing. The home now has four bedrooms, a flex room with beautiful exposed beams, three full bathrooms, and two powder rooms. Chris is thrilled with the outcome: “The house came out great…the result is an open, bright, and modern space. I particularly love the kitchen and master bath in this home.”

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This project was completed in
March 2022
Project description
Inspired by his time spent living in Japan, this homeowner wanted to transform his home into something more reflective of his minimalist style.
United States
Project duration
5 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Supply chain issues and permitting delays
Interesting aspects
Lavish wet rooms
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Chris Kuhr is Remodeling Consultant of Freeride Development Inc., a franchisee of Renovation Franchise North America, LLC, doing business in Oregon.

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