Once upon a time, before World War 1, Portlanders often did not travel more than 10 miles from home in their lives. Veterans returned with tales of exotic places from their overseas adventures, among them, jolly Old England.
You are looking at the Stanton English Cottage, built in 1923. In that year, with 70 percent of Portlanders going to the thrilling new movie theaters weekly, English-looking homes were the rage.
The unpretentious cottage is the sweetest house of all styles. It is a romanic view of English Country Life as quaint and picturesque; conjuring images of tea, firesides, books, cooking, and warm family and friends. This is the quintessence of what home meant to the English, and inspired Tolkien’s home-loving hobbits, conceived of at about this time.
We redesigned this house from the ground up. Our work included: converting the unused attic space to three beds, including a spacious primary suite, two baths and a laundry. Then we added an entertainer’s kitchen and sustainable features to a new open floor-plan.
Outside, we added a terrace, a beautiful new fence, and a sunken garden with an outdoor theatre.
The 50-year cedar roof emulates thatch. In order to get this to bend, we used dense Canadian cedar, soaked in ammonia for months before heating. Multiple microwave ovens were placed on a man-lift so that shingles could be curved and installed hot.
John meets realtor Jarrin Benson for a walk-through of the English Cottage, and a conversation about the inspiration and design behind this McCulloch Construction classic.