Modern Portland hillside home
See how an architect brought the spirit of the outdoors into his city home
High on a hillside overlooking snowcapped Mt. Hood, yet just a few minutes by bike from downtown Portland, the home of architect Webster Wilson feels like a nature-lover’s oasis in this city of caffeine, rain, and indie rock. One big factor is that the four-story house hugs the eastern edge of Mt. Tabor Park, 190 acres of cedar, fir, and spruce atop an extinct volcano. Another is that, although the budget was relatively modest, Web’s design is beautifully detailed, making use of Northwestern wood inside as well as out. The result—home to him and his wife, Maya Foty, and their two daughters—is simple and modern, yet positively cozy. websterwilson.com
The whole family out front, including their pointer, Starky.
Web Wilson enclosed the house’s staircase in a see-through shell of Douglas fir.
The kitchen is compact and clean-lined, with stainless steel appliances and countertops. The dinner table is Web’s own design, its legs powder-coated to match the chairs.
The slope allowed Web to tuck a separate apartment under the main house (a smart, budget-conscious move in these times). The Wilsons enter their house via the street level; their tenant uses a side entrance one flight down.
The east side of the house is one huge glass wall spanning the first and second floors, which bathes the entire house in natural light.
The second floor loft is so warm and bright that Web and Maya have taken to beginning their day there, sprawled in beanbag chairs, drinking coffee, and watching the sun rise over the mountains.
The treads on the staircase are made of the same warm beech wood that Web used for the kitchen cabinets.
The roof has a deck that the family uses for meals (when, that is, Portland’s mercurial weather allows) and, soon, for growing tomatoes and herbs.
The master suite sits at the western end of the top floor, with the trees of Mt. Tabor Park behind. At dusk, the top-floor master bedroom glows, resembling a little house in the big woods.