A Blooming Town

In Southwest Washington, Camas is a former mill town that has transformed into one of the best places to live, work and play in the Portland-Metropolitan area.

Over the last two decades, Camas, Washington has transformed from a former mill town to a thriving city attracting young families and small and large businesses alike.

Dawn Stanchfield, the owner of Lily Atelier, a boutique located in the historic downtown, has been both an initiator and a witness to the revitalization of this 23,000 person city in Southwest Washington. In 2003, she bought a historic colonial home and moved from a neighborhood on Prune Hill to the outskirts of downtown Camas and opened her boutique. “Downtown was charming and on the verge of revitalization,” she said. “I’ve loved living and working here.”

Today, Camas is home to a host of locally owned small businesses as well as larger investment and tech companies, including Fisher Investments and Hewlett Packard. Its proximity to Portland and the Portland International Airport has been a draw for commuters, who have the advantage of being able to live on the income-tax-free side of the Columbia River.

The Columbia River Gorge, nationally renowned for its recreation opportunities, is also a draw. Within Camas, named for a lily native to the area, the Lacamas and Round lakes attract boaters, and there are miles of connected walking trails around the lakes which are popular year-round.

Heather De Ford, a broker with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, said that Camas is a perfect place for those looking for the “live, work, play” lifestyle. In 2018 and 2019, Camas is the host of the Clark County Parade of Homes, a similar event to the popular Street of Dreams tour of contemporary luxury homes.

Single-family homes make up the majority of the residential real estate market, though apartment complexes and high-rises are in the long-term plans for the town’s future to accommodate for the expected growth of the Portland-Metropolitan area. Much of the real estate is new construction that has been built within the last decade. Portland-Metropolitan area. Much of the real estate is new construction that has been built within the last decade.

Population 23,331
Average home sale price $473,000
Home value increased 6.4% in the last year
Median income $84,643
30 minutes from downtown Portland

Young families are drawn to the town for the school district, which has regularly been recognized as one of the top in the state of Washington as well as the country by the U.S. News and World Report.

“Over the years, so many people are moving to this area from other parts of the country,” said Stanchfield. “They’re really looking for the sense of community and a great place to raise kids. We’ve watched it grow and develop as people have moved here and invested here.”

Even with the changes, the town has not lost its sense of community or its friendliness and charm. “There’s a big sense of community and support from families,” said Stanchfield. “It seems like the entire town shows up for the Friday night football games.”

Written by Bronte Dod

Unparalleled Illumination

With the return of winter, it’s time to get cozy, and there’s nothing better in the Pacific Northwest than snuggling up with family and friends next to the warm glow of a fireplace. In any room, a fireplace provides ambiance, decorative charm and a warm place to gather. Thanks to new technology, designing with fire has never been more fashionable, fun or environmentally friendly. Whether you’re starting from scratch or remodeling an existing fireplace, here are some of the hottest hearth design trends to spark up your home.

Move Over Refrigerators, Here’s What’s Cool
Based on heat reflective technology originally developed for use by the military, advancements in fireplace heat distribution are unlocking a whole new world of design opportunities in the home. According to Mara McCloskey-Becker, marketing manager for Bend Fireside, these new heat distribution systems guide the convective heat of gas fireplaces from the front of the unit, just above the glass, to a location higher up on the wall. “This reduces the clearance to combustibles and accommodates TV installations closer to the fireplace,” said McCloskey-Becker. By reducing excessive radiant heat directly in front of the fireplace and maintaining a cool wall surface, cool wall systems reduce energy consumption, permit the placement of art and media around the fireplace without heat barriers (mantels), and enable the use of flammable finishes like wallpaper and wood around the unit, providing unlimited options for elevating the atmosphere and style of your home.

Less is More
When it comes to modern fireplace design, minimalism and clean lines are all the rage. “The latest trends in fireplaces that homeowners and designers are really gravitating towards these days are fireplaces that offer a ‘clean face’ frame,” said McCloskey-Becker. “The clean perimeter of the fireplace face really complements the minimalistic contemporary style that’s popular in homes.” This clean face design, with no grills or vents in direct view, delivers a sleek and slim-lined look coupled with large glass viewing areas for a contemporary design that blends seamlessly into its surroundings. It also complements the long, rectangular design of modern linear fireplaces and corner gas fireplaces, trending hot commodities that allow homeowners to create beautiful fireplace feature walls with an arresting aesthetic and eye-catching ambiance. These super-minimal fireplaces leave room for the elements to make their mark.

More is More
Although a longtime living room fixture, fireplaces are a comfort best enjoyed everywhere. In recent years, a fireplace for every room has made a comeback thanks to innovative technology and a growing demand for elemental living. With the advent of the direct-vent fireplace, a chimney and hearth are no longer needed, which means you can pretty much install a fireplace seamlessly into any room without running into ventilation obstacles or space constraints. Position one in your bathroom for a toasty soak in the tub, and place one in the bedroom while you’re at it for a cozy night’s sleep—a well-situated fireplace can make any room snug and warm.

The most popular among homeowners today is the addition of a wood-burning, open-hearth fireplace in the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of every home, and the heart of every home needs a hearth to go with it. A unique wood-burning fireplace designed for cooking adds a welcoming, established feel to a kitchen, creating an intimate space and structural interest. Plus, you can make wood-fired pizza, a delicious luxury born of style and purpose.

Fireplaces—whether gas, wood burning or electric—are a time-honored amenity that never go out of style. No matter what sparks your fireplace fancy, there’s a design that complements your aesthetic sense and personality while showcasing a spectacular fire view in any room of your home.

Written by Mariah Wilson

A Contemporary Castle on the Lake

They say first impressions count, and the first impression of this European-inspired home in Beavercreek, Oregon does not disappoint. Inside this private gated community, the home sits on a two-acre lot surrounded by trees, with a welcoming half-circle driveway and large grass lawn leading to the dramatic entrance of this home that could have easily dropped from the French countryside.

The 5,605-square-foot home is completely wrapped in stonework evocative of old European architecture. The covered front entrance is appointed with a two-level turret topped with a custom finial spire that, along with the steep pitch of the roof, adds a dramatic element to the newly-built custom home.

And that’s all before you step inside the home and are greeted by cathedral ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and an expansive view overlooking the private Beaver Lake.

“For such a beautiful property, it really requires a prominent statement of a house,” said Brent Gunter, the owner of the home and a Cascade Sotheby’s real estate broker.

Gunter said that the construction of the home did not cut any corners. “The home is built really solidly,” said Gunter.

The home was specifically designed for the lake in a collaboration with John Moist Designs from Portland and Visbeen Architects.

While the exterior has a classic European style, contemporary finishes and an intentionally designed interior combine to produce a timeless aesthetic. One of the ways the architects and builders achieved this was by using natural elements as much as possible. The main floor and staircase are made with three-quarter-inch solid oak. Natural slate was used in the bathrooms and marble was used in the kitchen. In the living area, a grand stone fireplace brings a warm element to the open floor plan.

The kitchen is an entertainer’s dream. The large island with seating and the ample counter space looks out onto a dining area that could comfortably host large gatherings and parties. A farm-apron sink, bronze hardware, carrera marble countertops and a butler’s pantry are just a few of the elements that complete this gourmet kitchen. With windows that look out onto the lake, you’re never far from the incredible views this house offers.

In fact, four out of the five bedrooms have a view of the lake. The master, which was built on the main floor, has one of the best views of the surrounding scenery. A sliding glass door from the bedroom opens onto a private balcony overlooking the lake. The master bathroom includes a double-slipper clawfoot tub that was custom designed and built for the space, along with a large standing shower and separate vanities.

The ground floor also includes a formal den or office space. Upstairs are four bedrooms, each with their own en suite bathrooms. The unique turret space, also upstairs, was designed as a kid’s study.

Below the main floor, the basement includes a wet bar and a bathroom. A large living area opens up onto a covered patio, offering year-round opportunities for indoor and outdoor entertaining. Step off the patio onto a large grass lawn and the shore of the lake.

The home was built on one of the last lakefront properties available. “It was built as a custom luxury home for someone who wants to enjoy lakeside living,” said Gunter. The fifty-to-sixty-acre lake is only accessible to the residents in the gated community. The quiet lake offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and standup paddleboarding.

Beavercreek is an unincorporated hamlet less than a ten-minute drive southwest of Oregon City. Its population of less than 5,000 people makes it an ideal place to live for those working in the Portland-Metropolitan area as well as those looking to retire in a quiet neighborhood with access to city amenities.

The westerly facing windows at the back of the house offer stunning sunsets over the lake. “It’s an inspiring landscape,” said Gunter, fit for an inspiring home.

For more details click here.

Written by Bronte Dod