Tag Archives: basement remodel

Portland Remodel Ideas to Pay Tribute to the Rose City

indoor bike rack home

reflect portland culture in your home

Photo: Stuart Seeger

Roses that grow like weeds, fiercely loyal sports fans, microbreweries around every corner. Not to mention the gorgeous evergreens and the ever-present Mt. Hood marking our skyline on clear days. There’s no doubt about it, we Portlanders have it pretty good.

If you love the Rose City as much as I do, there’s no reason your home design can’t reflect it. This post will give you some tips for showing your Portlandia pride in your interior design and decor.

But first, let’s see why matching your home’s style to your location is such a good idea in the first place.

Homes Reflect Culture

There’s a reason people don’t usually build cozy log cabins in the middle of downtown Los Angeles or airy beach houses in Fairbanks, Alaska. The best homes embrace their location. Why?

Your location is part of your culture. If you’re like most people, your culture helps define who you are and what you care about. When you showcase the things you love in your home, you’re surrounding yourself with things that make you happy. It’s not just that, though. You’re also telling friends and other guests an important story about who you are and what you stand for.

There are many ways to pay homage to Portland culture in your home. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.


trail blazers cup bobbleheadPortland sure loves its sports. TV rooms, rec rooms, and remodeled basements are all ideal places for your Trail Blazers shrine.

If you’re a Rip City fan, the possibilities are endless. Get the team’s logo painted on your TV room or rec room wall. Or take this opportunity to remodel the basement and make it into a sports room. Frame your old jerseys from seasons past.

Do you have some of those bobbleheads or official Trail Blazer water glasses they sell at games? Put them to good use by showcasing them near the TV or as decorations on bookcase shelves. Want a little inspiration? Take a look at how incorporated a local family’s love of the Trail Blazers into their basement remodel. 

Prefer soccer to basketball? Tack your Timbers scarves up on the wall or drape them over the sofa in your TV room. Frame that autograph you got from your favorite player. Or make a table out of a log slice, like the ones they give to players who score goals or get clean sheets at the end of the game.

Rain Patterns

Don’t walk around downtown with an umbrella unless you want people to think you’re from out of town. Portlanders aren’t afraid of a little rain. In fact, we welcome it after long, hot summers like this one.

Why not incorporate rain into your home next time you do a kitchen or bathroom remodel?

Small mosaic tile patterns — sometimes called “rain patterns” — are popular in backsplash and shower designs. They look great, and they’re a subtle way to show your fondness for Portland’s weather.

rain patterned tile bathroom shower

Photo: Brandon Barré Architectural Interior Photographer

Another option is rain-themed wallpaper — great for kids’ rooms and reading nooks. It’ll make you want to grab some slippers and hot chocolate before you curl up with your favorite book and cup of tea.

rain patterned wallpaper

Photo: Abigail Edwards


Portland is the Rose City after all. Celebrate our most famous flower with a bouquet of roses on the dinner table whenever they’re in season.

Different roses bloom at different times throughout mid spring to fall. Many roses bloom only once in the spring, while others bloom twice a year: once in the spring, and then again in the fall.

roses living room

Photo: Tres McKinney Design

Sadly, roses only last so long once they’ve been cut. You can make long-stem roses last longer by hanging them upside down to dry them as soon as they start to whither. Here’s an easy-to-follow tutorial.

Rose-patterned throw pillows are another alternative to fresh bouquets. They’re guaranteed to stay in bloom all year round.

Recycled Elements

Recycling is a big deal in Portland because so many of the city’s residents care about the environment. If eco-friendliness is important to you, you can do your part by using recycled or reclaimed materials. Reclaimed wood offers a rustic look that’s perfect for the Pacific Northwest. It’s great for flooring, kitchen cabinets, and furniture.

For a fun and easy DIY project, grab some reclaimed wood boards of varying lengths and put together a unique headboard for your bed.

rustic reclaimed wood headboard

Photo: Buckets of Burlap

Creative Bike Racks

If you’re one of more than 17,000 people who bike to and from work every day, you need a place to keep your bike. Don’t feel like you have to stow it in the garage or shed where it’s hard to get to.

Your bike is an important part of your daily routine. You may have spent quite a bit of money on it. Maybe you even love you bike the way some people love their cars. Why not let it be part of your home’s decor? Try a creative and functional bike rack like this one:

indoor bike rack home

Photo: Matthew Williams

Homebrew in the Basement

This one is a bit of a larger project, but it’s more than worth it for true craft beer lovers. Wouldn’t it be great to take your guests down to your newly remodeled basement and serve them your own homebrewed beer?

If you have enough space, you could even include a bar, like this basement:

basement brewery bar

Photo: Kal Wallner

Live With What You Love

If you’re a true Portlander at heart, chances are there are other things you love about Stumptown too. Are you a coffee expert? Invest in a fancy coffee machine for your kitchen. Are you an expert on Bridge City? Get some Portland bridge art from Etsy to hang on the wall.

The goal is to bring more of what you love into your home and, of course, show off your Portland pride.

Did I miss anything? What other famous Portland things would you love to have in your house?


Other photo sources: William Beutler, eric molina

Home Remodeling Projects You’ll Have to See to Believe

1920s Arts & Craft Home in Portland

We would like to show you some of our recent remodeling projects, including a gorgeous 1920’s Arts and Crafts home, as well as a mid-century kitchen and an industrial chic basement. But we’re not just going to show you the finished product, we’re going to look at how things were before the remodeling work began.

Keep reading and I hope you’ll find inspiration for your next remodeling project.

Period Glamor in Portland, Oregon

1920s Arts & Craft Home in Portland

Results of a 1920’s Arts & Crafts home remodel in Portland.

Let’s start with that 1920’s Arts and Crafts house I mentioned. It’s loaded with historic charm and period glamor.

The house, located near Portland’s beautiful Washington Park, was purchased by a family of 4 who relocated from Phoenix Arizona.

This home remodeling project started with the outdated kitchen and powder bathroom. They weren’t a good fit for their lifestyle and didn’t match the home’s true character. All of the original windows needed to be reworked, lighting fixtures replaced and windows dressed up.

1920 before and after kitchen final

Before/After kitchen comparison.

The kitchen, last remodeled in the 1980’s, had modern white cabinets with slab door fronts, a Saltillo tile floor and a layout that lacked sufficient counter space.

By removing walls and widening the entry to the kitchen, we captured all of the previously wasted space in the new design.

Polished nickel plumbing fixtures and extra-wide Shaws apron sink fit beautifully into this classic kitchen. A cozy window seat was built into the kitchen that provides a hangout space for reading and homework right next to the desk.1920s Period Glamor Style

Each custom painted cabinet was designed with a specific need in mind to keep this busy family well organized. Charging drawers for each family member are hidden in the butler’s pantry.

Polished nickel was used throughout for all of the lighting, plumbing and hardware because of the inherent elegance and warmth it gives off. The new layout boasts a Carrara marble island with matching table at the far end.

We worked to achieve a glamorous yet classically elegant style for our client’s home. We stayed true to the home’s original details while infusing the owner’s’ style into every nook and cranny.

Now the family cooks, bakes and entertains in style.

So Chic You Won’t Believe It’s a Basement

Industrial Chic Basement Before and After

Before/After Comparison of an industrial chic basement remodel.

A 1970’s basement turned into an industrial chic basement with a transformation you’ll have to see to believe.

The homeowners, two busy doctors, needed extra space for their soon to be teenaged children. Dark wood paneling, an unused fireplace, a maze of hallways, low ceilings and a cramped, outdated bathroom added up to one unused, unappealing space.

Enter Mosaik Design and Remodeling

In addition to livability and function, our goal was to create a space that reflects the people who live there. We began collecting memorabilia, artwork, old photos, and other sentimental items that help tell their story.

Nostalgia and a Love of Sports

We started with a baseball glove that belonged to the homeowner’s father, who passed away during the project construction. She said it brought back wonderful memories of attending Mariners games together. It now holds a place of honor in a custom, locally-made display case above the kitchenette.

The family’s love of the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Mariners shines through in the new ping pong room. A life-sized poster of Clyde Drexler, with a reclaimed fir frame, takes center stage along with custom-framed kid’s artwork, signed by Mariners legend Ichiro Suzuki.

A foosball table rounds out the game room experience. Stadium lighting, locally produced sustainable furniture, and pops of red against the blue-grey and white walls, give this space a fun, contemporary industrial vibe.

Kitchenette & Bathroom

Layers of lighting, the perfect yellow paint and an open shower with glass mosaics and a pebble floor took the bathroom to a whole new level. Vintage fixtures from Schoolhouse Electric add a bit of whimsy along with towel “hooks” sourced at a local salvage store, Old Portland Hardware and Architectural.

The kitchenette houses a microwave drawer, an under-counter fridge and even a garbage disposal. All are must-haves for messy kids and their friends. The colorful glass backsplash brings everything together and the hardworking quartz countertop ties in with the blue-grey cabinetry and custom sofa.

A Family Room with Global Flair

The family’s love of travel brightened up the family room. A large, colorful wall map is the focal point and shows the children’s love of new people and places with stickers of their choosing.

A recent trip to Spain served as the inspiration for the incredible local collage-style paintings of each child. A collection of vintage globes evoke both memories of places visited and excitement for the next journey.

Vibrant colors play off the artwork and map. Global fabrics for pillows and poufs, a blue Eames chair, FLOR tile squares and beautiful blue-grey cabinetry are all balanced with a super comfortable, low maintenance, grey sofa. Locally made of course! Behind the cabinet doors are custom partitions for 150+ DVD’s, board games, gaming storage and AV components.
Can you believe this:

Industrial Chic Basement Before


Turned into this:


Basement Remodel by Mosaik Design and Fig Studio


The homeowner’s complete trust in us as a design and remodeling company was refreshing. And we loved how the kids were really involved with the project, sitting in on many presentations and helping with the DVD storage and pouf selections.

I think they were having as much fun as we were! They spend most of their time in their newly remodeled space and show it off to their friends as often as they can.

Read more about this amazing basement transformation over at Houzz.

Mid-Century Makeovers

These photos show how we remodeled the first floor of this Mid Century ranch. The outdated and cramped kitchen, bathroom and hallway now shine through with a modern feel that suits the young homeowners to a tee.

Mid Century Kitchen Before & After

Before/After comparison of Mid-Century kitchen remodel.


Mid-Century Bathroom Before & After

Before/After comparison of Mid-Century bathroom remodel.


Mid Century Hallway Before & After

Before/After comparison of Mid-Century hallway remodel.

More of Our Favorite Transformations

We’re not the only ones with great before and after photos of home renovations and restorations. Here’s a few more of our favorites:

And finally, an amazing kitchen remodel video:



Considering a Remodeling Project of Your Own?

There’s nothing more exciting than planning and executing an amazing remodeling project, breathing new life into your home.

Let’s talk about any upcoming projects you’re thinking about starting. And I’d love to see pictures of any projects you’ve recently completed, too!

2013 Tour of Remodeled Homes: Capturing Space without Adding on

basement before remodel   Basement Remodel by Mosaik Design and Fig Studio

How often these days we hear the buzz words, reduce your footprint.

It’s a term that refers to sustainable living; a hot topic here in Portland, where many people are committed to taking up less space, not more. An increasingly popular remodeling idea, many homeowners are excited to learn they can capture unused spaces – basements, attics, garages and ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) to increase sq footage and add character and functionality to a home.

We were honored to be invited to participate in Portland’s annual Tour of Remodeled Homes, which included a total of 14 homes around the city and a wonderful variety of remodeling projects.  For our showcase project, we transformed a dingy basement to increase living space… without actually adding on.  The basement – 1700 sq. feet of unused and virtually forgotten space – was a diamond in the rough just waiting to be re-purposed!

More than 200 people dropped by our Tour home to see how we transformed the narrow, maze-like basement (empty for 16 years) into a bright, fun and practical living space. This re-purposed space increased the value of the home and, even more importantly, provides a wonderful area for relaxing, entertaining, and enjoying family and friends.

Click to see a short recap of the show, including a video glimpse of our basement transformation (near the end of the short, 2 minute clip) – you won’t believe your eyes!  Check it out and be inspired!  2013 Tour of Remodeled Homes – Transforming Basement Space




Energy Efficiency and the EPS Score


Basement Remodel

This basement remodel, featured on the 2013 Tour of Remodeled Homes,  had a Home Performance Test conducted on it before the remodel began so we knew how to improving it’s energy efficiency.   After adding  (2) new high-efficiency furnaces, all new windows, all new ductwork, sealing all cracks, and adding extra insulation and soundproofing in the entire basement, we had the home tested again.  Now we can see, in the form of a score, what a huge difference these upgrades made:  The EPS or Energy Performance Score.

What is an EPS? 

This year, Energy Trust of Oregon has really begin to  promote this enery scoring system.  All new and existing homes are eligible to receive an EPS.  This new tool according to Energy Trust of Oregon “provides a standardized estimate of a homes energy use and associated carbon emissions.  The score also allows for comparisons of one home’s energy use to another, without the influence of varying occupant behavior. Homeowners can also use the tool to compare the typical energy use of the house in its current state versus what it could be like after energy upgrades”.

We believe this will become a vital tool for homeowners to decide whether to purchase a home or not based on the EPS.  Also, it is a standardized, tangible method that offers results in writing.  Most importantly, it is another way to feel good about improving your home’s energy efficiency and value.


Family Friendly Basement Remodel



Our homeowners, a pair of busy doctors, were in desperate need of extra play space for their two pre-teen children.  This 1,700 square foot daylight basement in Southwest Portland went virtually unused except to store Christmas decorations and a mish-mash of cheap furniture collected throughout the years.  The dark wood paneling, unused fireplace, maze of hallways, low ceilings, and a cramped, outdated bathroom only added to its unpopularity with the family.  An oversized guest bedroom took up valuable spacebut sat empty except for two or three times a year.Ironically, the worst style offender, the unfinished under-house garage got the most traffic because that was where the ping pong table lived.  Unfortunately, it was at the opposite end of the home and out of mom’s earshot.

Knowing this would be a large undertaking both financially and logistically, the homeowners considered moving and even looked at otherhomes on a couple of occasions.  But in the end, their love of the SW Vista Hills neighborhood and close proximity to schools, work and downtown, led them to the decision to stay and remodel.  Enter Mosaik Design& Remodeling and interior designer Jenny Guggenheim with Fig Design Studio.

This basement remodel is the perfect example of skillful, sustainable design, since  reclaiming space you already have instead of adding on is kinder to the environment, less costly and far less disruptive than moving.  The best design for this lower level was a clever, multi-purpose approach that would satisfy each family member’s needs, personal style and interests.  The new design included removing almost every wall by adding large steel beams, raising the ceilings by reworking both furnaces and the ductwork, sealing each and every air gap, adding new soundproof insulation, new 4 inchwhite oak hardwood flooring, installing all new windows and opening up the staircase.  The under-house garage was divided and became a perfectly-sized guest bedroom on one side with a storage and workout area, complete with a plasma TV, on the other.

We wanted to create a livable, well-functioning space for this family, but more importantly, we wanted to create a space that told a personal story about the people that live here.  So, we began collecting memorabilia, artwork, old photos, and many other sentimental items to help tell their story.  Among these is the baseball glove that belonged to the mom’s father, who passed away during the project construction.  She said it brought back wonderful childhood memories of when they attended Mariner’s practice games together to catch balls.  It now holds a place of honor in a custom, locally-made display case above the kitchenette.

The kitchenette, easily accessed from both main areas, houses a microwave drawer, an undercounter fridge and even a disposal at the sink.  All area must-haves for hungry, messy kids and their friends, says homeowner mom.  The colorful glass backsplash brings everything together and the hardworking quartz countertop ties in with the blue-grey cabinetry and custom sofa.  Chrome corbels from Rejuvenation, which originally held train luggage racks, now add vintage charm and integrate seamlessly into the travel theme.

The homeowner’s love of the Portland Trailblazers and the Seattle Mariners is especially evident in the new ping pong room.  The life-sized poster of Clyde Drexler, with it’s reclaimed fir frame, takes center stage along with the custom-framed kid’s artwork, signed by then-Mariner Ichiro Suzuki.  The couple purchased a foosball table to round out the total experience and have another game available for multiple groups of friends.  Finally, stadium lighting, locally produced sustainable furniture topped with reclaimed fir and pops of red against the blue-grey and white walls, give this space a fun, contemporary industrial vibe.  Originally, we planned to paint the walls in here “Blazer Red”, but as time went on, it didn’t feel right and I was losing sleep!  When we landed on the blue-grey, everything fell into place.

Another central theme for this remodel was the family’s love of travel, which was incorporated into the family room area.  A large, colorful wall map is a playful focal point that also allows the kids to place stickers on all of the places they have visited.  During the remodel, the family traveled to Spain, which was the inspiration for the incredible local “collage” style paintings of each child.  They take their place of importance on the entertainment center, lit with art lights.  The collection of vintage globes, Moroccan poufs, pillows in globally-inspired fabric, the guest bedroom dresser and hand-printed wallpaper were also inspired by their recent trip, evoking excitement for the next journey.

The fresh blue Eames chair, custom rug design made from FLOR tile squares and beautiful blue-grey cabinetry are all complimented with the super comfortable, low maintenance, grey sofa–locally made of course.  Behind the cabinet doors are custom partitions for more than 150+ DVD’s, board games, gaming storage and media components.

The bathroom remodel was greatly improved with layers of lighting, the perfect yellow paint and an open shower with glass mosaics and a pebble floor. The vintage fixtures from Schoolhouse Electric  add a bit of whimsy along with the towel “hooks” sourced at a local salvage store, Old Portland Hardware.   The mirror frame, built from reclaimed fir, really adds a sense of warmth when paired with the newly framed “Portland” artwork that was previously collecting dust in an upstairs office!

One of the most refreshing things about this project was the homeowner’s complete trust in Mosaik Design & Remodeling.  It is not very often that you get to have complete aesthetic control.  Also, the kid’s were really involved with the project, sat in on many presentations and helped with the DVD storage and pouf selections.  They were having as much fun throughout this whole process as we were and spend most of their time in their newly remodeled space by showing it off to their friends as often as they can.  As they have both said, “Who wouldn’t want to be here all of the time?  It has everything you would ever want as a kid”.  Our homeowners couldn’t be happier with their newly reclaimed square footage.  Now, the “kids can just be kids” while mom listens to them laugh and play—music to her ears.