Enjoy the tree-top view and the lush gardens surrounding this MCM home tucked at the edge of downtown St. Johns. Steps away from the town center, as well as spectacular Cathedral Park. Twelve minute walk across the majestic St. Johns bridge to Forest Park with it's miles of hiking trails. Minutes from U of P, 15 minute drive to downtown Portland. Master bedroom and adjoining study enjoy sweeping views of the St. Johns bridge, river, and beautiful Forest Park. An edge-of-city retreat.
My house is a 1957 Modern with clerestory windows, exposed beams, roman brick, etc. Surrounding the house are a series of lush gardens and peaceful outdoor living areas. The house is easy to miss from the street, though the plantings that screen the house from the road, and the plantings across the street provide an easy landmark.
A group of palms backed by towering golden timber bamboo mark the entrance. Once you step past the bamboo and enter the the garden a sense of calm descends, with colorful friendly fish to greet you in the entry pond.
The covered entry patio next to the koi pond is a great place for morning coffee while listening to tidbits of conversations of passers-by.
Indoors there are vaulted ceiling with exposed beams, skylights, huge windows, wood floors, lots of mid-century furnishings and regional art.
There is a lounge space overlooking the koi pond in front, and dining area/kitchen on the backside facing the river. From the kitchen sink one can watch the giant ships pass by, and listen to the water splashing just outside the window in the back fountain. Just off the kitchen is a deck with gas grill and bistro table, which is a chill place to hang out any time.
The kitchen itself is colorful and rather simple, but reasonably well-furnished. The original 1950's stainless steel oven is both eye-catching and fully functional, and a large fridge has plenty of room for your groceries should you want to do some cooking. There is an stove-top expresso maker, as well as a french press for coffee.
Just beyond the dining area is a folding mahogany door that separates the bedroom/bathroom suite from the common area. A short hallway leads to the master bedroom in back, and the wood-paneled study with its stunning view, an additional bedroom with comfortable full bed, and the beautiful, recently tiled bathroom.
The main bedroom has enormous windows overlooking the garden and the grand view, and a very comfortable queen size bed with all cotton sheets. Facing the river it is relatively quiet, though there is occasionally train traffic not too far away. Passing ships will occasionally sound their horns, but instead of being an annoyance its mostly a signal for me to go see what's coming. There are some massive ships that pass by here!
The study has a small teak desk and a couple side chairs and is a great place to get work done, read a book, watch the ships and birds, listen to the water, enjoy a cup of coffee while enjoying the view of the forested mountainside, or even have a meal. The house has excellent wireless, so streaming something to your device is always an option, though there is no TV on the main floor.
There is a second bedroom available for when two rooms are required. It is very comfortably furnished with its own full sized bed. It has a large window that faces east and is shaded in the summer by huge banana leaves just outside the widow. It's quite a remarkable sight.
When a third bed is required a queen sized air mattress with wood platform frame can be set up in the study, complete with premium bedding. Please inquire.
Off the kitchen is a staircase that steps down a few steps to the garage where the washer and dryer are available for guest use.
Linking the kitchen deck area to the front Koi pond area is a meandering garden that runs around the back and side of the house. A large deck with seating areas just below the kitchen is a nice place to enjoy the fountain/pool and interesting plantings. A couple of stone steps drop from the deck to the gravel terrace level that wraps around the south corner of the house. Here are more cool plants from around the world and some very interesting sculpture, and another pond nestled in the shade of feathery Japanese maples. There are places to sit and relax throughout, wether one is looking to warm up in the sun or is seeking a cool spot in the shade. I have been gardening since I was about 5, it's my profession as well as my passion, and the gardens here reflect that passion.
The entire main floor of the house is for guests to use freely. I rarely cook for myself, but I am in and out of the kitchen throughout the day, mostly to make coffee in the morning, Guests are welcome to use the kitchen and grill, and washer and dryer. During the day and into the evening guests are welcome to relax in the garden, though I do ask that after 9 pm guests limit themselves to the front entry garden/patio or the upper kitchen deck.
The folding door that separates the guest suite from the main living area provides plenty of privacy for guests while they are here, but I do ask that it remain open while guests are out of the house. This being my own home, I'm likely to want to listen to music louder or have friends stop by but I will always be conscientious of the needs of guests first and foremost. I, nor anyone else will enter the suite while guests are staying here, wether the folding door is open or not. I only have one party at a time ever staying here, and the house is locked securely when no one is home, so security is not an issue.
By having that door open while guest are away let's me know I don't have to be extra quiet, helps with air flow/temperature control, and brings in much-appreciated light from the sunny end of the house to the front.
Interaction with guests
I have a small landscape company and I work from home, so I'm here every morning and evening, sometimes on and off during the day, and most weekends to some degree. I absolutely love having visitors and am happy to make suggestions for all sorts of things. I'm definitely focused on my interests, and can talk endlessly about gardening and nature in general, favorite places (Australia!), and all sorts of other things now that I think about it. The lower level of the house is my primary living space but I am in and out of the main level enough to offer any kind of help guests may need.
Other things to note
As mentioned earlier, the sounds of the city are present here, though I rarely notice them anymore, instead focussing on the sounds of the various fountains around the house and garden. That said, the occasional ships horn or trains will be noticed by some.
Upon arrival unloading/loading can be done in my small driveway, but longer term parking is on the street near the house, where it is plentiful. For special needs I can arrange parking next to the house.
There is no smoking in the house, but smoking outdoors is ok, though please be aware of where the smoke is drifting (hopefully not directly into the house for example).
Anything in the kitchen is welcome to be used, but please clean up after yourselves. There is a dishwasher for small stuff, but washing pots and pans would be appreciated. It's nice to have a tidy kitchen without having to work around the last-users mess.
This is also not a particularly kid-friendly house with all the ponds and such, though kids are negotiable.
Hey g'day! I am a very friendly and enthusiastic guy living in Portland, Oregon. I am keenly observant and moved by the beauty of Nature and always strive to share that passion with others. Meeting new people from all walks of life and from different parts of the world has always interested me. So much to learn from others! I was raised in a big family in rural NE Ohio and enjoy both the company of friendly people and the solitude of nature.
Being an incessantly creative person I am always adding to or somehow changing details around the house and garden. I'm very much a kid at heart. Growing up I spent every waking moment outside catching snakes and frogs and climbing trees and gardening. As a landscape designer/gardener, I spend my days now in more or less the same way. Since so much of the year it's kinda rainy here, I bring my passion for color and beauty and nature indoors through the keeping of large planted aquaria. I meet people all the time who kept an aquarium as a kid, as did I, but I'm still thrilled at the amount of color and movement and personality one can have in one's own home in the form of big chunks of watery nature.
I have a soft spot for artists and other creatives and love having handcrafted art and artifact around the house. So much beauty in the details. I am definitely not fancy though and am comfortable living rather simply, especially when traveling myself. As a host I strive to offer guests a warm, inviting space to unwind and call home for a spell.