A back-of-house addition to a 1911 home in the Irvington Historic District

Back of House Addition

Under the direction of Principal Designer Anne De Wolf, Project Manager Adam Schoeffel, and Site Lead Jamie Whittaker, ARCIFORM recently renovated this beautiful 1911 Irvington Colonial. Owned by Portlanders with deep local roots in need of space for their growing family, this home was remodeled and expanded to provide better function while preserving the architectural character of this residence. 


Through the side gate, you enter the backyard, where there is a new covered back porch and a grilling patio. The porch provides sheltered passage to the breezeway, a perfect spot for kicking off shoes and hanging up coats. Above the porch is a new balcony that overlooks the yard. All new details and materials were selected to closely match the existing structure, and new millwork was crafted by McCoy Millwork. Traditional rope and pulley double hung windows, from Versatile Wood Products’ Ingenuity line, were custom produced and installed at the entire façade of the addition. A motorized 12’ sunshade was carefully built into the eave in order to maintain structural and architectural details. A combination of cedar and Douglas fir was used for window and door casing, exterior lap siding, and the back porch wood balustrades, where exposure wasn’t as extreme.


This new light-filled space is a respite from the elements and a perfect transition to the interior. Tabarka Studio’s Izmir hand-painted terracotta tile from Tempest Tileroom creates a unique tile “carpet” in the entry. Near the basement door sits a custom bench with shoe cubbies below and hooks for coats above. A built-in bench seat with plush cushions rests at the end of the hall, a comfy spot to relax as you slide your feet into house slippers. Both benches were designed by ARCIFORM and crafted by Versatile Wood Products. 

Breezeway After

 Inlaid breezeway floor tile.
Inlaid breezeway floor tile makes a pretty, durable spot for changing muddy boots.


The kitchen is now the hub of the house with its roomier, more open layout, natural light and improved flow. New top-nailed white oak flooring matches the existing floor. New perimeter cabinets were painted white and topped off with unlacquered brass hardware. The custom-made walnut island offers plenty of seating for casual dining or chatting with the cook. A walk-in pantry offers plenty of storage for dry goods. All cabinetry was built by Versatile Wood Products, and the rich, handsome, soapstone counters are from Pental Surfaces.

Appliances include a range by BlueStar, a Miele dishwasher, and a Frigidaire refrigerator, all from Eastbank Appliance, while plumbing fixtures are by Kohler and Waterstone. The backsplash tile at the sink and range is glossy white thin brick by Fireclay Tile. The custom range hood cover was crafted by Versatile Wood Products. 

Kitchen has plenty of storage, prep areas and dining space.
Pretty and practical, the kitchen has plenty of storage, prep areas and dining space.
Larger kitchen, a priority for family gatherings.
The addition allowed for a larger kitchen, a priority for family gatherings.


Situated between the dining room and kitchen, a new WC opens to the entry hall. It’s a visual treat with a combination of deep blue paint and jovial floral wallpaper by Hanna Werning. Plumbing fixtures are by Delta, Signature Hardware and Kohler


A pass-through butler’s pantry and bar was nestled in between the existing dining room and kitchen. Bathed in a rich, deep blue, it keeps all the barware and bottles tidy and tucked away. Leaded glass at the bar upper were made to closely match the existing in the dining room built-in. 

Butlers pantry also keeps barware.
The new pass through butlers pantry also keeps barware for entertaining.


The dining room was already in great shape, but wallpaper brought the room a bit more pizazz. Walls above the paneling now boast glamorous jewel-toned wallpaper in the Art Deco print Han’i by PaperMint. 

The dining room's great bones now boast rich art deco wallpaper.
The dining room’s great bones now boast rich art deco wallpaper.


What was once a nursery became the kids’ bath with a bathtub, a two-sink vanity, and a view of the new balcony. Floors were clad with 1″ unglazed porcelain hex from Heritage Tile, 3×6 ceramic wall tile is by Daltile, and the walls were painted a soft rose hue. Plumbing fixtures are by Delta and Kohler via Ferguson. The five existing windows were maintained, flooding the space in natural light. 

A new bath for the kids is full of natural light and painted a cheery pink.
A new bath for the kids is full of natural light and painted a cheery pink.


The existing 2nd floor bath was expanded and made more luxurious and is now the master bath. On chilly days, radiant floor heating warms the marble basket-weave floor tile by Walker Zanger. The tub was removed and a roomy tiled shower installed, along with a double vanity and full height recessed medicine cabinet. Plumbing fixtures are by Delta, Kohler, and DXV. Painted in the same saturated blue as the butler’s pantry, the master bath feels sophisticated and inviting. 

How did the family feel about their newly renovated home? Here’s what they had to say, in their own words:

We’ve been living in our new space for about four months and could not be happier with how things turned out. We’ve been blown away with the flow and feel of the space, and the attention to detail on the build has exceeded our expectations. 

The details matter, and Jamie and the rest of the team crushed the details. We knew we were going with a high-quality builder when we decided to go forward with ARCIFORM, and the end product exceeded all our expectations. From creating a custom bathroom door with frosted glass, or making a bulletin cork board into a piece of art, the team excelled. We are so thankful for their diligent work. 

Adam was one heck of a project manager. His relentless attention to detail ensured that everything came together perfectly. We will never forget the art project he did with his daughter after hours to cut out hundreds of 6″ hexagons to ensure that the tile inlay was perfectly positioned in the new breezeway. He also was incredibly patient in managing our expectations. 

Anne, Marty, and the rest of the design team: Wow. Wow. Wow. You enabled our vision to come to reality. We were looking to create a space that was our home…cozy, warm, but with a timeless elegance and a dash of flare. You served up that vision on silver platter. Thank you for translating what was not always the clearest of design direction into something magical.

We LOVE our windows, island, cabinets, and other built-ins. Everything looks as if it was original to the house in 1911 and then kept safe in a time capsule for the past 100 years. The subtle and simple perfection shines through, and it’s clear that the team is comprised of true craftsmen.

The entire ARCIFORM team created something incredibly special for our family, and we are forever indebted to you. Thank you for all that you do.

After Photos by Christopher Dibble

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