Happy Birthday, House!

Our house was built in 1913, which means it turns 100 years old this year. Happy Birthday, House!

Portland White House
The Portland (OR) White House


We’ve done a lot to the house over the 32 years we’ve lived here — remodeled the kitchen (twice), remodeled the upstairs bathroom, remodeled the main floor bathroom (twice), finished the basement, rebuilt the garage, and rebuilt the back patio (twice).

Now we are embarking on a second remodel of the upstairs bathroom. When we moved into our house in 1981, the upstairs bathroom had a tub but no shower. We replaced the tub with a larger Jacuzzi-style tub but didn’t add a shower because we had chosen to relocate the tub under a picture window. It’s time to add that shower now.

We’re going to replace the jetted tub with a clawfoot tub, add a custom shower on the opposite wall, and replace all the other fixtures in the bathroom. We’re not doing the work ourselves, I hasten to add. My husband and I are not do-it-yourselfers when it comes to these kinds of home improvement projects.

Although my website/blog was created to chronicle my sewing and quilting life, I’ve decided to include the transformation of our upstairs bathroom. Demolition starts next week!




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12 Responses to Happy Birthday, House!

  1. Love remodels, and what a beautiful home to be remodeling. Can’t wait to see what you do. Is your home in NW? It looks like one of the ones on Cornell as you approach 23rd from up the hill.

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Bill. My house is in the Colonial Heights neighborhood in SE Portland, not too far from the Hawthorne District.

  2. Yvonne says:

    You have a beautiful home. Good luck with the re-modelling.

  3. Nancy B. says:

    Love the house.

  4. Theresa Morgan says:

    Congrats on the birthday!!
    Plus your home is picture perfect!! I’ve always wanted a wall to put flowers in like you did….

    • Dawn says:

      Thanks, Theresa! That wall went in during the 1990s. Before that the front lawn sloped down to the sidewalk at a very steep angle. It was hard to mow!

  5. Ellen in Oregon says:

    Dawn, you have a beautiful home & for having reached the century mark it is not looking its age at all. Craftsman style homes are among my favorites. I also live in Portland and believe we are lucky to have so many beautifully historic homes reaching the Century mark. Congratulations to your home on its 100th anniversary. It is great to see homes like yours gracing Portland’s neighborhoods like the architectural gems they truly are. I am sure you must be looking forward to completing the renovations you have planned. I’d be doin the Happy Dance if it were happening here.
    Since the house is celebrating its 100th Birthday, I thought I would share with you what a couple of friends did to mark the occasion when they had renovations done in their older home. They wrote a short letter about their history with the house, why they love living there and what it was like to live there in that time in history (like a time capsule). They put it in either a box or bottle and had the contractor place it in the wall before the new sheetrock went up. They hoped that in another 70 years or so the next homeowners, doing their own updates, might find it & read about what it was like to live in the house in 2013. I think they put it in the wall behind the vanity or somewhere likely to be opened up in 50 or so years. I thought this was a great way to celebrate the house & leave an historical treasure waiting to be found by future owners. I believe the idea is based on a tradition where the contractors used to leave something in the wall of a new home to bring the owners good luck while they lived. Having an interest in archeology I thought this was a very interesting idea.
    I am looking forward to reading your posts and seeing the before/after photos. I am sure you are excited about the prospect of getting a a whole new bathroom (not to mention the fun of decorating it) — lucky you.

    • Dawn says:

      Ellen, I absolutely love the notion of putting a note in the wall for future homeowners to find. Thanks so much for the idea!

  6. Anne Bender says:

    The memories of times spent in the Portland White House are priceless! Our first sewing circles, the many Oscar celebrations, dinners and visiting with our foreign professors will never be forgotten.
    It has owners with a generous heart and a great spirit, may it last another 100 years!!
    Happy Birthday!!

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