Woodlawn Gem Sparkles After Renovation

Photography by Seth Gardner

When Roger and Elizabeth Gomez got the call to renovate a 960-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-bath mid-century modern home in Portland’s Woodlawn neighborhood, they had their work cut out for them. After 30 years as a rental, the home was showing its age. But with some savvy layout changes by and inspired design touches by the husband-wife duo behind Bridge City Contracting, they transformed a diamond in-the- rough to a gem in one of Portland’s most desirable neighborhoods.

Working with a limited budget and a tight turnaround, the couple tackled the front door first, moving it from the side alley, where it was uninviting and hidden from view.  Facing front, the entrance was ready for upgrades, including a welcoming front porch and a mid-century-style door with four privacy panels to bring more light into home.

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Inside, the designers reconfigured the living room and kitchen into an open concept space, with clean lines and a neutral color scheme and unifying flooring throughout.

“Homes in this area are smaller, and we wanted to keep things light and airy,” Elizabeth said. “So we opened it up to give it a more contemporary feel, great for entertaining friends and family.”  

As a designer who works with homeowners in food-obsessed Portland, Oregon and Washington, Elizabeth knew the kitchen was important, and this one delivers in both form and function. The result is streamlined and functional, featuring modern fixtures and cabinets combining high-gloss fronts with walnut veneer.  A large center island, with a waterfall white quartz countertop, grounds the space and provides an area for food prep and socializing. provides an area for food prep and socializing.

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The bathroom, while small in size, is high-impact, with globe glass pendants and an accent wall of three-dimensional textured tile in the tub surround. The project’s energy upgrades included adding a tankless water heater, natural
gas for cooking, forced air heating, new insulation and updated windows throughout.

“Our approach was to keep it clean and simple,” Elizabeth said. “We wanted to stay true to the neighborhood and the Pacific Northwest influence with colors and materials, and a mid-century modern look that’s popular in the city.”


  • Increase the natural light in your home with sidelights, vertical windows positioned on either side of an entry door. They are commonly paired, like these from Milgard Ultra Series Picture Window in Satin Privacy.
  • White ceilings appear higher, clean, airy and fresh, while neutral paint colors are wonderful for small spaces. Try: Farrow and Ball Skylight. Benjamin Moore in Abalone, Restoration Hardware in Graphite, or Magnolia Paint in Gatherings.
  • When space is tight, a kitchen island can provide additional seating, storage and functional work surface while creating a visually appealing focal point. Pictured: Super White Honed Quartz Countertop by Pental Surfaces.

 For more small space dwelling tips, information about Bridge City Contracting or to check out more of the project “before and after” photos go to bridgecitycontracting.com