The place you call home became the epicenter of your life last year during the coronavirus shutdown. Routines were reset; traditions reimagined, and where you lived became your workplace and sanctuary, favorite restaurant and vacation getaway.
The NW Natural Street of Dreams luxury home tour went dark last year and organizers, the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland, examined the summer event’s 45-year-old history of spotlighting only high-end custom homes. And, like the rest of us, they made changes.
The 2021 theme is “a dream for many,” and the tour, which runs July 31-Aug. 22 across two developments in Happy Valley, includes three custom houses and three model houses as well as a converted cargo-container home by Relevant Buildings of Oregon City and modular sleeping pods by MODS PDX.
All of the dwellings, whether it’s a one-of-a-kind mansion valued at $3 million, a model home for sale at under $650,000 or inexpensive-to-duplicate shelters, are energy-efficient, well designed and built with advanced construction techniques and materials.
The show’s main venue is Heritage Crest, a gated community at 12500 S.E. Mount Scott Blvd.
Red Hills Construction developed the nine-lot site and has built two luxury properties: a 7,338-square-foot Tuscan farmhouse with Wendy O’Brien Interior Planning & Design and a 3,834-square-foot Northwest-style house with interior design by Rebecca Denis of Greylyn Wayne.
Also at Heritage Crest, Anlon Custom Homes and Tiffany Thompson of Duett Interiors created a 5,132-square-foot Scandinavian-inspired farmhouse with a breezeway overlooking a hidden garden and a bonus room with a secret door to the gym’s climbing wall.
Not to miss: Marvin Windows’ Skycove, a projected glass structure embedded in a wall in the owner’s suite; think of an elevated, transparent window seat with natural light streaming in from four sides.
The construction science used for a free-flowing, wide-open floor plan can be adopted to houses at all prices, said Mike Harn of Anlon Custom Homes.
“We focus on how well a house will live for our clients,” he said, but everyone, when building or remodeling, should think about maximizing light in rooms, insulating interior walls for sound and having flexible spaces that can be a guest room or office.
The second development on the tour is Pleasant Valley Villages, a master-planned community at 11878 S.E. Bridal Veil Falls Place.
Pacific Northwest production builder Holt Homes allows owners to select flooring, tile and other finishes to reflect their taste and lifestyle.
Three different model homes on the tour have a smaller footprint than the luxury houses, but offer similar open floor plans and glass doors to outdoor living areas.
Of Pleasant Valley Villages’ 180 acres, 40 acres will remain as green spaces, said Lizzie Levin of Holt Homes. Since the coronavirus pandemic, “people are reassessing what’s important to them and how the land around them plays a role in overall livability,” she said.
With a ticket ($20), Street of Dreams tour goers will see ideas by the area’s top builders, interior designers, craftspeople and landscape architects.
Pyramid Heating & Cooling in Portland has installed a whole-house Air Scrubber that can kill up to 99% of surface and airborne contaminants. For spa lovers, the BainUltra bathtub offers light, heat and water wellness therapies.
There are subtle aging-in-place features, especially threshold-free showers and wide corridors, and lots of reclaimed wood beams and shelves, some from Salvage Works of Portland.
Despite changes, the Street of Dreams’ ability to wow has not dimmed.
The Tuscan farmhouse has a home theater with a 100-inch screen adjacent to an indoor gym with a half basketball court. The floor is the former court used by the Miami Heat. Upstairs is a kids’ sleepover room with four built-in bunkbeds, in addition to the home’s five bedrooms.
Interior designer O’Brien was standing near a dramatic wine wall in the great room when she said, “You can stay in this house for a long time before you get cabin fever.”
The 2021 NW Natural Street of Dreams home tour in Happy Valley is open Wednesdays through Sundays, July 31-Aug. 22. Show hours at the main site, Heritage Crest at 12500 S.E. Mount Scott Blvd., are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Show hours at the bonus site, Pleasant Valley Villages at 11878 S.E. Bridal Veil Falls Place, are 10 a.m.-8 p.m.