Before & After: A Low-Slung Ranch Gets a Lofty Update

Jeff and Teresa Metke, the team behind Metke Remodeling & Luxury Homes, completed the remodel of their traditional midcentury ranch house in a quick five months. This total home remodel took an aging two-story daylight ranch down to the floor line, leaving only the basement and garage intact. The main floor was reoriented and square footage added toward the canal to create a flowing indoor-outdoor living space full of light and charming views.

Metke Remodeling & Luxury Homes has a philosophy of “doing no harm” when it comes to building and remodeling. Their approach is to reuse and repurpose existing space and materials, while planning for a home where every room has daily purpose and function. “It’s crucial to our mind-set to make what exists function differently, and better, to the extent that’s possible,” says Jeff. Teresa agrees, explaining, “Our previous house was about the same size as this one, but we had rooms we rarely went into. We use every room in this house — every day.”

Photos of the home taken before the remodel

Jeff and Teresa repurposed what they could from their former home and the original ranch. Storage cabinets from the old garage and kitchen cabinets from the original kitchen moved into storage and laundry spaces with new facings and hardware. An older refrigerator got a custom facade to tie in with the downstairs kitchenette — which also uses the original kitchen dishwasher. Toilets and a bathtub were also repurposed.

Originally, they both envisioned a more traditional, Cape Code-style exterior, but as they came up against some of Lake Oswego’s building restrictions — especially as they applied to main floor square footage and lot size — they had to go higher. “The overall finished modern look allowed us to maximize the footprint and create height and openness within the requirements,” explains Teresa. “I also love how Giulietti | Schouten blends interior and exterior elements to create seamless space.”

Post-Remodel Living Room and Fireplace | Photo by Jason Kaplan

Strategic window placement in the home orients it toward the canal while providing abundant light without sacrificing privacy. “Out every window is a beautiful view, and there is hardly a window blind necessary for privacy,” says Teresa. On the occasion they do pull a blind, an innovative new product from the Hunter Douglas brand allows a seamless shift of sheer and opaque fabrics.

Jeff and Teresa Metke form the foundation of Metke Remodeling & Luxury Homes, a family-run business. Jeff Metke is the recipient of a 2016 Remodeler of the Year award from the Home Builders Association of Portland.

This home will be showcased in the upcoming 2017 Tour of Remodeled Homes, March 11th and 12th, hosted by the Portland Professional Remodelers Organization and presented by Standard TV & Appliance. The tour allows you to see the best work of local builders and remodelers in-situ. Other remodelers include: Mountainwood Homes, Petrina Construction, Cooper Design Builders, Hamish Murray, Rebuild LLC, Zuver Construction, Highland Ridge, SLS Custom Homes & Remodels, and NW Renovation & Design. Tickets go on sale February 22nd. | Photo by Jason Kaplan

The home is also designed to see the Metkes throughout their remaining stages of life. Jeff, a Certified Aging-in-Place (CAPS) specialist, approached the design to maximize how they live now and how they want to live in the future. Creating a self-sufficient living space downstairs for their younger son gives him the option to remain at home longer (if he chooses) while completing college. Once they are empty nesters, the space can be used as a mother-in-law suite for aging parents.

Focusing on mobility and accessibility, the main floor has a guest suite designed to become the master bedroom and bath if and when the Metkes may need to live on one floor. “The whole home is designed with barrier-free showers and wide doorways. Walls have already been equipped to handle support bars,” explains Jeff. Teresa points out the wine “cellar” also on the main floor and visible from the kitchen and living room. She laughs, “I love the contemporary look to this wine storage, and there are so many unexpected benefits to having this extra-large cooler space just off the kitchen, but let’s be honest: No matter what age you are, do you really want to have to haul down to the basement to find your wine?”

Photo by Jason Kaplan

Photo by Jason Kaplan

Two levels of outdoor space give all ages unfettered access to functional four-seasons living. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open the upstairs fully to the patio, while inset lights and heat lamps keep it cozy. A poured-concrete fire table by Cement Elegance out of Bend, Oregon, acts as a gathering place.
Teresa deploys a neutral color pallet throughout, adding interest with textural elements. Hand-carved tiling in the powder room was sourced from Oregon Tile & Marble.

Vinyl flooring from Armstrong, sourced at Contract Furnishings Mart (CFM), throughout the basement has the beauty and texture of tile while being hard-wearing and warmer to the foot. “CFM is our go-to source for most interior finishes. Vinyl flooring has come a long way. A tiled approach makes it simple to replace a damaged portion, while its flexibility on uneven surfaces makes it a great choice for older-home remodels. It’s also very budget-conscious,” says Jeff.

Top-of-the-line kitchen appliances, smart home features and unique lighting give the house a sophisticated but approachable vibe. Teresa’s expertise with melding natural light, task lighting and accent lighting makes every room infinitely inviting. Luxe details like a small chandelier fixture in the master bedroom closet don’t overpower the home’s artful balance of modern and traditional elements.

The original plans for the remodel