Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New House at the Clark County Parade of Homes

We were out and about this weekend going to estate sales when I saw a sign in our neighborhood "Parade of Homes".  Growing up with a dad who was a stone mason, our weekend family activity was looking at new houses.  There were alot, as I grew up in Southern California.  We'd pile in the VW van, all 9 of us, and spend Saturday afternoons going through his current projects.   I still like to look at houses.  It reminds me of "the good old days".

A fully decorated house is much more fun though.   The current  street of dreams, advertised here has 4 houses in our area.  The house I am featuring is sold, or is custom built.  The flyer says $1,850,000.   We live in Vancouver, Washington, across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon.  The house is up the shore from the Columbia River, but has a feeling of sitting right down on the water.  (I wouldn't like to be right on the water....fear of flooding)

The brochure has a landscaped rendition of this house, called The Georgian.  The name is enough to make me want to see it.   Northwest design tends to lean towards contemporary, arts & crafts, or cabin.  There are wonderful old traditional houses, but it's a delight to see a traditional new house for a change, no creaking floors, low ceilings, leaking windows, peeling paint....  300 days of rain/year are not kind to northwest houses.

This is what it should look like with landscaping. 

The actual house doesn't have any landscaping yet to soften it.  I am wondering whether they are putting the shutters on the house.  There are a number of things that aren't quite complete yet. It sort of has a salt-box feel.  Maybe it's better without the shutters.   Sometimes less is more.
House with Parade of Homes attendees
Walking into the entryway, you get an immediate expansive view of the Columbia River.
View of the Columbia River and the Portland airport
The living room is painted a bright yellow (perfect for the dreary northwest days) with blue chairs, a linen chesterfield sofa, and a pair of yellow chairs by the fireplace.
The crisp print on the chairs is a nice contrast to the neutral palate of the floor and sofa.
It was very difficult to photograph the rooms as it was crowded, and I didn't have my big camera, I used my trusty pocket Fuji X10.

The fireplace had a sailboat painting, a perfect motif for this view room.

The display shelves at the back of the room looked like a page out of restoration hardware.   
It took me about an hour, but I finally was able to photograph the kitchen without anyone in it.
Beautiful white kitchen cabinets with grey marble, two islands, 3 sinks!
The kitchen was amazing.  The dining table looked like Williams-Sonoma chairs, with a rustic table.  It went nicely with the plank hickory floor.  It was a very solid floor, looked like an 1" thick product.  The bar stools don't look right to me.  They didn't seem to go with the rest of the design, but they could be stand-ins as this is a home show.

The first island has a tiny sink,
This island has bar stools on the other side.  A tiny sink for cleanup, perfect for washing cherries/blueberries in the summer.
Butcher block, farmhouse sink #2 in the second island.
The second island has a huge butcher block on one end.  Notice how it can be used and everything brushed off to the sink which is a bit lower.  Looks like a time-saver in cleanup.

Island #2 is definitely food prep.  No dishwasher here.
I didn't check, but I think the dishwasher is to the right of the sink.  Notice that there isn't a handle below the drawer, I assume it is a false drawer.
I don't know, as I'm not a cook, but it would seem to me this kitchen should have two dishwashers for the size!

The Wolf stove and ovens are quite the focal point.  I love the plain porcelain subway tile with an inset of marble herringbone mosaic tile.   Yea, and a pot-filler.  This house is so big, a monster-size family must live here.

The microwave is to the left of the refrigerator.

I always struggle with microwave placement.  If you are short, and are getting a bowl of soup out of the microwave, you could easily burn yourself at this height.

I love this urn.  I forgot to look underneath to see who made it.
Isn't it the perfect neoclassical shape!

You have two dining choices.  The kitchen table. 

Kitchen eating area.   I do like the brown rug.  I have always liked brown,
and not just because it hides a dropped piece of chocolate, hee hee.
The second choice is the formal dining, which is to the left of the entryway.
I love the wood paneling here.  Notice the built in china cabinet, a touch you'd expect in an old house.
Chairs have same fabric, different colorway as family room chairs?
You can see the entry with the pretty staircase.  I love the tight turn of the staircase, making it smaller.
It doesn't look as much like a typical mcmansion staircase. The red is the edge of the front door.

You enter the dining from the kitchen through the butler's pantry.

Small butler's pantry, perfect for storage.  There's a small wine
fridge on the left side.

At this end of the house you go to the garage, I can't remember if there was anything more behind the kitchen, I can't tell if there's a door to the left at the end of the hall.  The coat rack and benches are one of the things I covet in this house.  It would be so great if we could have something like this in our house in the country.   I sit on a bench in the garage, and throw my work clothes or jacket on the tool bench.

It looks like this is going to get a few hooks.

 The door to the right goes into the laundry room.
This has the same marble as the kitchen.  I just can't decide if I like the yellow walls.  My kitchen is the same color.
The monster utility room.   I always feel like I'd want a low counter for a sewing machine in here.  Wouldn't it be great to make a repair when you find out there's a problem?  Oh, my husband says a house this size has a maid.

Off of the kitchen is a wonderful sunroom.  It is designed to look like an old porch.  I've always wanted one of these.  It rains here so much, there are times you want to feel like you are outside, but it's raining too hard....

Enclosed sun porch
I love the way they built this--it has siding, looking like it is an original old porch.  Yet there are 3 sides of windows and french doors, allowing you to open them on the few days when it is nice enough.  The only change I'd make is run the windows to 18" off the ground, so you can sit on the sofa and look out the window.  Or go horizontal, and still see the river.... (that's what happens at my house)

Great views of the river and airport.

You can see a glimpse of a shingle style house next door.  It's on the market right now.  I should grab a few of those photos off MLS for comparison.   This property has one acre, so the neighbors are close by, but the lot is big enough that the house isn't totally crammed on it.

Now I'll take you back through the living room.  If you go down the hallway to the left, there is a powder room, office, and master suite.

The hallway to the left of the fireplace goes to the master suite, and powder room.

I don't know what happened here, I was trying to turn on my flash and got this picture.
Sorry it's so bad, but at least you can see the vanity.
Across the hall from the powder room is the office.

His/hers office.  I like the efficient use of space rather than having two people sit with their backs to each other.
Notice the grasscloth wallpaper!
I was surprised to see grasscloth after not seeing it for so many years.  Given the interest in that sort of texture - linen, seagrass, I guess it's back!  They got the memo, and it looks warm, breaks up all that dark wood.  This room has more of an arts & crafts feel to me, maybe the lamps.

The Master Suite

You enter through double doors to this beautiful room.  Again, like the kitchen, it's one of my favorites.  I think I am in love with the paint color.  It looks like my bedroom color (Filmy Green by Sherwin Williams), and the white mouldings really give this room some architectural pop.
Demilune table.  Where's my antique?

Beautiful tufted bed.
 I love how they don't make everything "match" with identical nightstands these days.  The lamps are a match, and the tables are the same height, but that's where it ends.  Of course, I have to comment on the end table, I really like this one:

I love this table.  I want patio furniture like this too.  Love that smoke glass, and I'm
an antique nut.  Can't believe I like something new!

Nice little seating area.  I thought a place to put on my shoes, but that was before I saw the closet.  French doors to the right.

 The fireplace wall has built-in shelves.   I love that.  A perfect place for my millions of books and collections.  The office really didn't have alot of shelving.  I wonder if there's going to be a tv over the fireplace?

In one house we watch tv all the time in the bedroom, and the other house we never do.  Doesn't seem logical.  I think it has something to do with the flow of the house.  The house where we don't watch tv has a bedroom upstairs, we tend not to go upstairs til we are ready for bed, vs the other house which is on one level.

Calacatta marble around the fireplace which is used in the bathroom.
I love a nicely made bed.  However, they need my Meile mangle!   I love my pressed sheets, at least for the first night!
I always like to note how people arrange pillows on a bed.

Love the calacutta  on the floor.  Not sure if I like the claws on the tub, but it does go with the hardware.  They seem fussy.  Oh, I know what I don't like.  I need that maid to catch the dust bunnies under the tub.  I'm not liking things that create more work.
Nice separate vanities on each side of the double doors.  The wife gets a makeup table.
The husband gets a little seat by his vanity across from the shower door.  Hmmm.
Is it a robe hook area? It needs a cushion.  I'm puzzled about the wood across the top.
That looks like a place that can catch dust. Achoo!
This awesome bath has a monster shower.

2 shower heads, an angled wall to the right has the other ones.  Beautiful calacatta marble.
Past the shower is the closet.  I can never decide if I like this or not.  If my husband is using the bathroom, is he really going to like the female entourage traipsing through it to make that big decision about what to wear, or borrow?  It's just a thought.  If it's just the two of us, then I don't care, it seems like a good idea to be off the bathroom.

I love the huge closet.  It's an L shape, and has tons of natural light and storage.   Love all the shoe storage!  I also love that it's treated like the rest of the house.  The bench at the end of the L has paneling behind it like the dining room, and it's painted to match the bath and bedroom.

You would think I'm done by now with all of the rooms, but we've only covered half the square footage, or less.

The Second Floor

Upstairs there are two sitting rooms, 3 more bedrooms, a theatre room, a bar... a pool table, and a library. The top of the stairs takes you to a long hallway.


You can see the open foyer and the hallway to the bedrooms.
The first room you see to your left is a sitting room.

Landing sitting area
Check out the modern lamp.

My favorite bedroom upstairs is painted two shades of gray--on different walls.

I love the drab gray with the crisp white and Tiffany blue splash of color.

Isn't this a dream room for a teenage girl.  

A perfect place to sit and talk on that iphone!

I love the repeat of the gray marble from the kitchen.

Desk to the right of the door as you enter the room.
The next room is the library. They have it set up as a music room.  Yea, that wouldn't happen in my house.  They'd be in the garage.
I love this library.  Lots of windows to let light in is important in the northwest.   
After the library, there's a bathroom, and two more bedrooms.
Must be a boys bathroom?  Love the counter & floor.  Except that maid needs to stay on top of the dust
on the counter. I like honed rather than polished for that reason.
 I'm not sure how to react to the next two rooms.  So here they are.

I vote for no headbard it that's what they were doing here.

I know everyone does bright colors in kids rooms, but what happened to calm, restful places?   I can't imagine putting a wound up kid to bed in here and expect them to go to sleep.  Yea, white duvet covers.  Must be really clean boys.  Or that maid is kept busy.

We're still not done.  Over the garage, there's a giant game room, I was surprised to see a brick fireplace, don't see those too often anymore.  I do like the fact that the firebox is BIG!

 The end table is metal.  It looks like some kind of industrial table.   That definitely has a steampunk influence.
The bar has a wood top.  It gives this room a very mens club feel.
 To the left of the bar is the theatre room.  The ambient lighting around the room was beautiful.  all the woodwork made the room really beautiful.  It's really tough to give any architectural interest to a theatre room, but I guess it doesn't matter, you can sit in there for hours, and the light is on for a few minutes...
Theatre room with an art deco feel.  it had ceiling tiles with a deco design.
The house was fun to go through.  It's one thing to look at a room in a magazine, and it's another to experience it.  This was a custom built house by Tamarack Homes.  In a previous parade, they built another wonderful home, I'll have to find the photographs and share them, it really was fabulous.

I'll have to do another post on the other homes featured.  This was my favorite.  I always like going and checking out what new products and trends are out there.  The tough part about Parade shows is you rarely see the "real" way people live.  I wouldn't want to put things in the room that possibly thousands coming through this house.    There's just enough so you can imagine living here, but it reinforces my theory--every room needs at least one period antique. I hope you enjoyed this tour as much as I did.  If you're in the area, it runs through Sept. 23.

Ok I'm ready for another project. 


  1. What pattern is that fabric that is on the chairs in the living room and the formal dining room? I am seeing it everywhere now.

    1. I am not at home, but they are a trellis or lattice pattern. I've seen it in a fabulous green and white on outdoor furniture that I'd love to have!

  2. By the way, there are shutters on it now. They're functional shutters, black, with iron "S" shaped stops to hold them open. They're beautiful.

    1. Thanks, I'll have to go check them out. I am a bit torn, the plain saltbox look was growing on me. I'll add a photo in a couple of days.

  3. do you know who the interior designer is?

    1. Yes, the interior designer was Cyndi Parker (www.cyndiparkerinteriors.com). She did 2 homes in the Parade.

  4. Thank you so much! I've been searching the internet for info on this house as it was my favorite and we are looking to build. If you happen to have your magazine still, would love to see the pictures of the floor plans that were included (I can't find mine :( )

    Thanks again! :)

    1. Feel free to contact me anytime and walk you through the Georgian plan or show you how we came up with the design. Niebry below was kind enough to post our company website (www.blondinodesign.com). If you use the "info" email it will come directly to me. Thank you for appreciating my work. - Mike Blondino.

  5. Andi - you can locate the floorplan at Blondino Design:


  6. I am so glad you guys were able to connect on this. The house was great in person, should you build another one, we want photos!

  7. I immediately fell in love with it when you showed the living room with a view. Yes, it might be a flood hazard, but still… it’s an awesome place to sit down and entertain people. Then again, I’d probably stay all day in the game room.

    It’s kinda ironic that they set up the music instruments in the library. But then again, to each their own. Heh.