Portland architect Solomon Berg replaces a grow house with a streamlined home for his sister’s family of six.
Hilary and Jimmy Severson live on a picturesque country road near the hamlet of Stafford, an unincorporated community 15 miles south of Portland. When Hilary first drove down it eight years ago, she was so enamored that she returned with Jimmy the following weekend. A patchwork of fields and fences runs along its length, with clumps of trees shielding setback houses. While those homes skew from faux Tuscan villas to mongrel McMansions, the road has a classic bucolic charm the couple never forgot.
Fast forward to 2017, when they were seeking to upgrade to a larger house for their growing family and Hilary got a call from their realtor to go see a rare available home there. Despite knowing the area, she nearly missed the driveway. The small, rundown ’70s-built structure sat on three acres choked with briar bushes and rotting evergreens, although several mature maples and ornamental cherry trees protruded from the snarl.
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