Contemporary finishes take center stage

The Renaissance Homes Design Studio offers interior and exterior selections catering to many different popular home styles. But contemporary finishes and features are currently taking center stage with more and more customers asking for a refreshing, sleek look at home design. Whether it’s refining millwork, minimizing ornamentation or incorporating linear or large scale tiles, there are many subtleties that embrace contemporary home style for today’s busy, yet minimalist lifestyles. “Many homeowners are embracing strong architectural lines, low pile carpeting, large scale hardware, metal accents and chrome,” said Renaissance Homes’ Director of Design, Lynnette Sandgren. “Mixing classic elements into a more contemporary design is very fun,” she continued. “For example, your kitchen could have flat cabinetry doors and still utilize a farm sink.” Contemporary home architecture can meld historic elements with current lifestyle concepts, resulting in a home that is connected to nature, warm and inviting and easy to live in. According to Realtor.com, contemporary home architecture can include: An irregular, asymmetrical facade Strong, geometric shapes Large windows, often tall and seemingly randomly placed in the facade Clerestory windows One or two stories A distinctive roofline usually with wide overhanging eaves Natural, often local, building materials Sustainable, eco-friendly flooring and countertop materials Extensive use of natural light Open floorplans Flexible layout to adapt to changes in family needs Green heating, air-conditioning and plumbing systems to conserve energy Solar energy systems. Solar savings: In partnership with Solar City, Renaissance Homes is proud to offer its customers the option to incorporate a solar system to create further energy savings. Tile layouts: Contemporary touches can come in pattern layouts, as well. For example, by simply installing tiles in a straight set – lined up, as opposed to the traditional brick set – sophisticated lines are created in a bathroom shower, bathtub surround or...

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Attend the April 12 Design Studio Open House

You’re invited to a Design Studio Open House Saturday April 12 from noon to 2 p.m. Enjoy refreshments and light bites as you preview the Renaissance Homes Design Studio featuring all interior and exterior finishes that complete a Renaissance home. From lighting and plumbing fixtures, tile details, carpet samples and hardwood floors to trim details, countertop selections and more, the Design Studio in Lake Oswego is where all Renaissance homes clients choose selections to personalize their home. The Design Studio, located at 16865 Boones Ferry Road in Lake Oswego, is a wellspring of ideas and innovative materials. Choose all your interior and exterior design selections in one location alongside our award-winning design team. Enjoy coming home to your green built, energy-efficient home customized to your unique style and lifestyle desires. This is the fun part. Click here to learn more about the Design Studio, view a map and take a virtual tour of the idea rooms. Enjoy coming home to your customized space. We can’t wait to get inspired with you at our open house this weekend. For more information about homes in Sherwood, Lake Oswego and West Linn, contact Jack Hall at 503-545-3982 or Leslee Lahey at 503-969-0125. For information about homes in Portland, contact Amanda Anduss at 503-969-4939 or Lee Wells at 503-899-7754. Renaissance Homes is an award winning Street of Dreams custom home builder specializing in green building for the Portland market. Visit our Design Studio to personalize your next...

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Renaissance Style: Top 10 Staging Tips

Just like in life, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. If you are selling your home, make sure when prospective home buyers come see your home, it is ready! 1. Declutter Clutter makes homes seem small and disorganized. Pack-up now…you have to do it anyway. Everything in the home will be viewed by the potential buyer. Closets, drawers and refrigerators will be opened. Remove furniture blocking walkways. LESS IS MORE. People need to be able to freely walk all rooms. Consider removing dining buffets, king size beds, “extra chairs”… 2. FIX Tackle the “honey-do” list. Anything that is broken – fix it or have it fixed. Buyers DO NOT want to move into a home and repair your old problems. DON’T send the wrong message to the buyer – that the home has not been properly maintained. 3. CLEAN Deep-clean. Everything should sparkle. If you can’t clean it – you need to replace it, including carpet. Remove odors – especially pet beds and litter boxes. You can’t sell it if you can smell it. 4. ORGANIZE Now that your closets are decluttered – hang clothes with space between and color coordinate. Shoes lined up. Keep floor clean. Organize the pantry and kitchen cupboards. Remove everything on the counters including small appliances. 5. DE-PERSONALIZE Disassociate yourself with the home. Picture yourself handing over the keys. Buying a home is an emotional decision. You want potential buyers to make an emotional connection with your home by thinking “I can see myself living here.” – Remove political and religious items. – Remove family photos. – Remove and replace favorite items such as the dining fixture you are planning to take with you. 6. NEUTRALIZE Now is the time to paint. If you are not a painter… hire...

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Metro | Introducing Sleek Modern Architecture

Bright green doors, blue walls and European look kitchens? What is that? It’s the new metro collection from Renaissance Homes. Practical, open floor plans, sleek modern designs and energy efficient. “For me, building homes is about innovation and creating a space that people want to call home,” said Randy Sebastian, Renaissance Homes President. We combined our own passion for style and detail with a practical edge to deliver a design that looks sensational and functions perfectly. The metro collection is a new series of homes that Renaissance has had on the drawing board for a long while. “We’ve been coming up with ideas to build a collection of modern homes for about a year. Our design team conceptualized it and the right property came along for us to build it,” said Randy. “I love it!” The new collection of homes with a nod to modern home design offers clean lines, simple proportions, open plans and abundant natural light. The homes are designed with an aesthetic toward efficient use of space and feature distinguishing pops of color, abundant use of glass and low pitch roofs. This type of design allows you to live in the modern era where minimalism is a hit, comfort is a plus and glass means elegance. There are certain distinctions in modern home design that you’ll notice in this collection – balance being a major factor in the design. Modern houses often experiment with and showcase the newest construction materials and techniques, including steel, quartz and chrome – often with an industrial look to them – emphasizing the concept of progressive architecture. The main floor plan features few enclosed rooms, so it resembles a single continuous living space. Few walls between rooms give them an even more open feel and allow more light in. Modern design...

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Renaissance welcomes new Director of Design

Renaissance Homes is pleased to announce that Lynnette Sandgren was hired as its Director of Design. She will work out of the company’s Lake Oswego headquarters and Design Studio. Sandgren’s background includes operating a full service interior design firm specializing in complex space planning and architectural design. She holds a B.A. in interior design from Bassist College and has enhanced spaces for 15 years. As Director of Design, Sandgren will manage the operation of the company’s Design Studio and will be responsible for the company’s design direction, including trend forecasting and coordinating the aesthetics of its sustainably built homes under construction. Renaissance Homes’ clients choose all interior and exterior selections under one roof at the Design Studio. The showroom features everything from hardwood floors and plumbing fixtures to tiles and millwork samples. “I am extremely excited to have someone with Sangren’s talents and experience filling this important role on our team,” said Tim Breedlove, Renaissance Homes’ Chief Operating Officer. President Randy Sebastian agreed, saying, “I’m very excited to add a designer of Lynnette’s caliber to our already outstanding team of homebuilding professionals.” Renaissance Homes is located at 16771 Boones Ferry Road in Lake Oswego and has been in business since 1984. The company has earned more than 40 Street of Dreams awards. In 2007, Renaissance Homes won the national gold award for the best design center in the country from the National Homebuilders’ Sales and Marketing awards. Renaissance Homes is an award-winning Street of Dreams custom home builder specializing in green building, remodeling and renovations for the Portland market. Visit our Design Studio to personalize your next home.  ...

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Top “Must Have” Features For Home Buyers

You are out shopping for a home. What are the top features you should be looking for? The National Association of REALTORS, (NAR) recently released their annual 2013 Home Features Survey. The survey asked 2,000 home buyers their preferences on 33 home features. What feature did home shoppers report they most desire in a home? Central air conditioning was overwhelmingly the top home feature desired by home shoppers. A home that is cable/satellite TV-ready/Internet was also ranked highly. The NAR survey revealed the following interior design features that buyers ranked as “very important” in their home search: 1. Walk-in closet in the master bedroom. Don’t you crave storage? Tiny closets are frustrating. 2. Ensuite master bath. A private master suite is a wonderful space to unwind after the day. 3. New kitchen appliances. Treat yourself to the latest kitchen technology in cooking, washing dishes and ease of use! 4. Eat-in kitchen area. Informal spaces are where you spend the most of your time. 5. Hardwood floors. Easy clean, beautiful and come in so many colors, finishes and textures. 6. Granite countertops. Gorgeous but durable, they make a kitchen fabulous – and easy clean up! Available in so many colors and styles to express your personality! 7. Kitchen island. Make it easy for yourself to cook, spread out your ingredients and store it all away below. 8. Stainless steel appliances. Give your kitchen a modern and updated look with the latest in appliances. All of these “must have” items are available in every Renaissance Home. From fantastic kitchens, to luxurious masters, we can check off all the items on your  list. Personalize your new home in our Design Studio and get exactly what you want – we’ll design it and build it for you. Award winning Street of Dreams designer...

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Ultimate Open House New Home Tour

With a little intuition, imagination and gusto, Renaissance Homes is proud to unveil a Portland show home that blends streamlined finishes and expansive views with the comfort of today’s green technology. Surrounded by houses and with a slope below, the John’s Landing property looked challenging at first but Renaissance’s custom home division was up for it. And the once overlooked lot became a showpiece, situated perfectly to capture the views, provide for unique entertaining and allow for a usable backyard, fit for a suburban neighborhood. Even the guest suite on the main floor of the three-story home sees Mt. Hood framed in its window. Tour the home on the free Ultimate Open House New Home Tour April 27 and 28 and May 4 and 5. Show events Broker Day, Tuesday, April 23rd. Realtor preview day! Join us for lunch and a refreshing glass of wine as we spread out on the deck, soak up the sun and enjoy the view. Enter to win Bing Lounge concert tickets! Show opens, Saturday April 27th! 11am to 5pm. Tour the home and furnishings, professionally staged by Bella Casa. Sunday, April 28th. Join us for a party hosted by NW Natural Gas. We’ll be BBQing on the patio and cooking up some tasty treats! 12-2pm. Saturday, May 4th. Join us and the KINK Roadies for food, music and fun from 12-2. Pick up prizes and enter to win concert tickets! Sunday, May 5th. Final day of the show. Stop by and take a peek. Put on by the Homebuilders Association of Metropolitan Portland, the scattered-site home tour will showcase the latest in home building trends. And Renaissance’s LEED-certified idea home offers a story as unique as its picturesque vantage point. Visualizing the view Renaissance Homes, based in Lake Oswego, is known for its...

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Renaissance Style | Banquettes

The benches are attractive solutions for high-traffic kitchens. Gathering around the kitchen table just got easier – and more functional and fun. Renaissance Homes is now installing banquettes within homes in its Vintage Collection. Banquettes – a French way of saying upholstered benches – are typically built into the walls like booths at a restaurant. But the diner experience – and its practicality – can be experienced in your own breakfast nook. The built-in furniture typically takes up less space than a table and chairs because chairs need to slide in and out when used. Renaissance chose to pair the banquette in its Woodward plan at 3659 SE Malden in Portland with a pedestal table, allowing for more leg room and the ability to pull up extra chairs for guests. Drawers beneath both benches allow for extra storage in the kitchen.   “The family gathering area is a throwback to what would have been in the home during the era,” said Sandie Hume, Renaissance’s director of design. “The storage is great and the booth feel brings family together for meals. And it’s a perfect children’s homework station so parents can keep an eye on kids while fixing dinner.” Also used as built-in window seats and as mud room benches, banquettes are attractive solutions for creating compact seating space in high-traffic areas. Add some cushions or pillows and linger long after meal time. Because of its tall backs, the banquette allows for privacy and camaraderie. And while the banquette on Malden resembles a typical restaurant booth, banquettes can be found in all shapes – a U, L, semicircle – and in a variety of sizes. This one features six ft. long benches on either side of a 42-inch-by72-inch table made from hard maple from Vermont. “The table top has rounded...

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Renaissance Style | Go Ahead, Show Some Legs

Renaissance Homes shares its unique cabinetry legs just in time for Valentine’s Day. This Valentine’s Day, go the extra mile and show personalized attention to your sweetheart. And in honor of the romantic day, Renaissance Homes is excited to share the personalized attention we craft into each home we build – highlighting our popular cabinetry legs. For our kitchen islands, we encourage homeowners to show a little leg. We keep a leg up on our competition by offering a myriad of styles, colors and finishes to personalize your space. It’s these details that drive the unique designs of our LEED-certified new homes. Different cabinetry legs are available through our Design Studio to help you personalize the kitchen, the heart of your home. Select your leg style, color and finish when you purchase your Renaissance Home early in its construction process. Crafting a home that is uniquely personalized for your family is our labor of love. From its location, interior and exterior finishes, we pride ourselves on nearly 30 years of customized green homebuilding. Put your best foot – and leg – forward this Valentine’s Day. We’re excited to share all of the customizable features we offer through our personalized homebuilding process. Go ahead, dance the can-can and enjoy the following photos of cabinetry legs. — Nicole DeCosta         Renaissance Homes is an award winning Street of Dreams custom home builder specializing in green building, remodeling and renovations for the Portland market. Visit our Design Studio to personalize your next home....

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Renaissance Style | Trend Alert Carrara Marble

 January’s skies may be gray, but we see the silver lining through Carrara marble Carrara marble – with its brilliant white and blue-gray accents – has been popular since the days of Ancient Rome and it’s not going out of style anytime soon. The stone with staying power melts into all design schemes with its patterns as soft as the clouds. As the new year begins, turn to timeless classics to rejuvenate your spaces. Play off the soft whites of January’s snow and organic hints of gray skies. Carrara marble proves that gray doesn’t have to be gloomy. And this time of year, with rain and snow flurries, isn’t it nice to see the silver lining? Quarried from the city of Carrara near Tuscany, Italy, the subtly sophisticated stone has always commanded attention. Many sculptures from the Renaissance period, such as Michaelangelo’s statue “David,” are carved from the popular stone. And Renaissance Homes is keeping the nostalgia alive offering its clients an array of Carrara marble products and replicated tile patterns and accents. “With warm whites blended with cool grays, we’re finding this classic look popular within many of our Vintage Collection homes in Portland,” Renaissance Homes Designer Sandie Hume said. “It’s crisp and a blank slate for decorating.” And while your home may not be a Roman temple like the Pantheon, touches of Carrara marble can make it every bit as elegant. “Use it on countertops, floors, as a backsplash or in a tiled shower,” Hume said. “It looks fresh and timeless at the same time.” Pair the stone with a claw foot bathtub, crisp white cabinets or a brushed nickel sink faucet from Delta. A Delta Arzo shower rain head – with its contemporary sleek lines – allows you to control the weather, luxuriously. Renaissance Homes can’t...

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Renaissance Style | History of Prairie Style

Sleek, minimalist and sophisticated, the prairie style returns. Originally intended to blend in with flat, prairie landscapes and immensely popular between 1893 and 1920, prairie style houses have distinctive features such as low-pitched roofs, overhanging eaves, a central chimney and an open floorplan. The homes are typically wide and short and with features expressed horizontally – bands of windows and masonry. Its presence is clean and strong and the home transitions from outdoors to indoors seamlessly. Renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright was a leader with this modern prairie style movement which showcased exposed natural materials and free-flowing spaces. Ornate 19th century Victorian era homes, with boxed-in rooms and separated living spaces, felt too constrictive. Hoping to create a new aesthetic that combined functionality and beauty, Wright and his draftsmen redefined American residential architecture to reflect the natural surroundings and provide expansive interiors. Wright drew inspiration from the American Midwest where he was raised. Wright once wrote, “The prairie has a beauty of its own and we should recognize and accentuate this natural beauty, its quiet level,” according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. The prairie style – also referred to as prairie school style – was radical for its time. It gained momentum with architects hoping to rebel against mass production manufacturing techniques in housing and craft something truly American. Originating in Chicago, where Wright worked, it quickly spread to the Midwest prairies and beyond and was embraced by other architects such as William Gray Purcell and Percy Dwight Bentley. This style captures the beauty of the prairie in an abstract form and typically using earth colors and lots of wood and glass materials. General prairie homes have some combination of these characteristics: One or two-story; Open floor plan; Low-pitched roof; Broad, overhanging eaves; Strong horizontal lines; Ribbons...

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“Happy holly days”

The holidays are filled with special surprises, unexpected twists and traditions to cherish. Wouldn’t it be fun to experience that magic year ’round? When picking out the finish selections for your Renaissance home – appliances, light fixtures, hardwood floors, carpet, tile, you name it – have some fun. We love how this tile combination makes us feel – happy and energized. In a bathroom, a strip of the red tiles would look crisp and current, yet with retro flair. And doesn’t it remind you of holly berries or a candy cane? From all of us at Renaissance Homes, here’s wishing you “happy holly days” and special surprises this holiday season and all...

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Unraveling the truth about our green carpets

At Renaissance Homes, we’re often asked about the unique product lines we carry and why we prefer to go above and beyond what is required for sustainability compliances, as well as aesthetics. And with emerald green chosen as Pantone’s 2013 “Color of the Year,” our green offerings seem even more appropriately stylish. Our Everstrand carpeting is made from recycled plastic bottles. According to the manufacturer, “one in every four plastic bottles recycled in North America becomes Everstrand.” And then, it becomes a comfortable amenity in our homes. And our KRAUS carpets utilize ZipperLock technology and come with a 10 year warranty for residential wear, raveling edges, stains, fading and fuzz. What else makes them unique? They’re made to last and created from recycled nylon. With regular loop pile carpet, one lose yarn could unravel into an unsightly continuous area of missing thread. Our KRAUS ZipperLock carpets are made using dual bonding techniques and interlocking tuft placement; they can’t unravel like other commercial carpets. In other words, if a thread should become lose, it would just hook with its neighbors – hardly visible and unable to unravel. The carpets are prewashed and resilient to bleach and other home cleaning products, hair dye, nail polish, red wine, mustard – you name it. Providing our homeowners with luxurious carpet blends and peace of mind is very important at Renaissance Homes. Available in a variety of colors – Oatmeal, Taupe Tone, Almond, White Suede, Dry Dock, etc. – the carpets look great in our Vintage Collection of homes, as well as in our luxury subdivisions. KRAUS’ manufacturing process strives to have a light environmental impact, utilizing methods which conserve water and wastewater emissions, avoiding liquid dyeing and working under ultra-low energy lighting while using minimal paper products, among other precautions. And many of...

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Color trend | Emerald green

Emerald green is Pantone’s top color for 2013; and Renaissance Homes is on trend. Pantone, known for its Color Matching System which standardizes colors used in the fashion, home and beauty industries, allows different manufacturers in different locations to ensure colors match without direct contact with one another. The company chooses its “Color of the Year” based on how the color is already being used and predicting its continued popularity.  Emerald green was spotted for 2013 fashion lines from Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Vivienne Tam and with eyeshadow and nailpolish selections at Sephora, among other retailers. And at Renaissance Homes, the healing color can be found through materials such as tile, paint and granite, among others — which our homebuyers get to choose from when making interior selections for their new custom home. Renaissance Designer Sandie Hume said “the color is natural and complements products in neutral tones — adding a little spice.” Pair it with black, brown, tan or blue for a refreshing, energizing look. It adds a pop of sophisticated color in any room. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said that “symbolically, emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world.” But Renaissance has been “seeing green” environmentally long before the recent color announcement. While we’ve never been to Oz, we view the entire city of Portland as our Emerald City. We continue to push our sustainable green initiatives with our LEED-certified homes in Portland and offering the most energy-efficient production built new homes in Portland.  Environmentally friendly building products are standard in all Renaissance Homes. Living green means our construction footprint is lighter, homeowners breathe cleaner, healthier air and save money through these unique features: n   carpets made from recycled soda bottles; n...

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Renaissance Style | History of the Bungalow

Americans have a love affair with the Bungalow. The term “bungalow” originated in the Bengal region of India. Evolving from a native hut called a bangala. A bangala was described as a comfortable abode built low to the ground with high thatched roofs and overhanging eaves, which shaded the single story home, a perfect way to deal with the country’s hot, sunny climate. Bangala gradually became anglicized as Bungalow. British colonists adapted these one-story thatch-roofed huts to use as summer homes. The space-efficient floor plan of bungalow houses may have also been inspired by army tents and rural English cottages. The idea was to cluster the kitchen, dining area, bedrooms and bathroom around a central living area. This style made its way to America thanks to English sailors. The bungalow showed up in America in the 1880s, scattered here and there and especially in New England. But it was its development in Southern California that paved the way for its new role as a year-round house and tuned it into the most popular house style American had ever known. Stylistically, the bungalow’s simplicity was a refreshing departure from ornate Victorian designs that, come the new century, somehow seemed less impressive. In Britain and North America, a bungalow is a residential house that has a second story built into a sloping roof that usually contains dormer windows. This style became popular as lower middle class were moving from apartments to private homes. Bungalows were the perfect option because they were modest, inexpensive and low-profile. They ended up taking America by storm because they provided an affordable housing option many Americans only dreamed of. Home ownership was becoming a realizable American dream for a middle class whose numbers were exploding. A Bungalow style homes design is the perfect example of “The American...

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Home Staging Tactics for Sellers

If you’re about to put your home on the market, understand that you are about to engage in a war of sorts. Selling your home is a battle with other listings for the qualified buyers that are out there, a battle with everything else a buyer has to do for their time and attention and a battle with every other thing they could be spending their money on. A well-priced, impeccably-staged home is the A-number-one weapon you must wield to win this war. So, it’s time to buck up, put your emotional sensitivities aside and get hard core about home staging – here are 7 tactics for your battle plan. 1. Conduct a recon mission to scope out the competition. As soon as you start thinking about selling, you should be visiting the other homes in your competitive bracket – the other homes that your home’s likely buyer will also likely see – during their Open Houses. Attend the Open Houses of listings with similar beds, baths, square feet and price range to your own home, both in your neighborhood and in similar neighborhoods in your town. You’ll start to see what homes look like that sell quickly and at (or above) the asking price, and what homes look like that lag on the market. 2. Create your plan of attack. To win this home-selling war, you must attend to the basics of home staging systematically, creating a comprehensive, written plan for everything from your home’s landscaping, the exterior and interior finish materials (paint, carpets, etc.) and every individual room of your home, including what you’ll do with your personal property and what furniture and decorative items will be used to stage the place. 3. Deploy the stealth tactic of demolition. Turns out, some of the most powerful staging...

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Renaissance Style: Marmoleum Flooring

Marmoleum flooring is the new floor of choice for people interested in green building materials. You may remember it as linoleum, but this is not your grandma’s linoleum. Marmoleum comes in a wide range of beautiful colors and can be bought by the roll or in sections offering infinite design possibilities. What is Marmoleum? Marmoleum is a natural choice for healthy indoor air quality. Because it is made without toxic chemicals and plastics, Marmoleum will NOT off-gas harmful toxins into your home. Additionally, natural linoleum surfaces also feature antimicrobial properties that halt the breeding of harmful micro-organisms, including MRSA and C-difficile. This property comes from one of the ingredients, linseed oil. Linseed oil continues to oxidize in the floor and the bacteria can’t multiply as with other types of flooring. As the linseed oil oxidizes it hardens making the floor even more durable. Estimated life of one of these floors is forty to fifty years. Additionally, the color goes all the way through the linoleum layer effectively hiding any scratches or wear that may appear over the course of the product’s life. It can be applied with solvent free adhesives so even the installation is clean. Marmoleum flooring is durable and easy to clean. In heavy traffic areas it looks beautiful for years. Dust mop regularly, damp mop when needed and wipe the messiest spills away. It does not stain and no need to wax. Marmoleum also has anti-static properties. Dust and dirt won’t stick to the floor which means less house cleaning. This is great for people with allergies of all types. Many hospitals are beginning to use marmoleum flooring for these reasons. Best of All … It’s Green There are virtually no dangerous health issues linked to the flooring, from production to installation and even in disposal....

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Design Studio Grand Opening, October 27th

Join us for the much anticipated Renaissance Homes Design Studio Grand Opening – Thursday, October 27th, 4-7pm! Join Randy Sebastian and the Renaissance team for a fun evening. Tour the Design Studio, food, drinks and fun! “The Design Studio is exclusive to Renaissance Homes clients” says Sandie Hume, Renaissance Director of Design. “We want our clients to have a special place to create their next dream home.” The Design Studio is located in Lake Oswego, near Bridgeport – just minutes from downtown Portland. 16771 Boones Ferry Rd. Directions: From I-5, take exit #290 and head east toward Lake Oswego. You will pass Pilkington on the right and then pass our location due to a center divide. Make a U-turn at Sunset. Renaissance Homes is an award winning Street of Dreams custom home builder specializing in green building for the Portland market. Sandie has been busy helping the new space take shape. You can read about the progress of the Design Studio over the past few months at our blog....

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Renaissance Style: History of the Cape Cod

The Cape Cod style home originated in colonial New England. Today, the term refers to Cape Cod shaped houses popular during the 1930s to 1950s. Owing to the romantic associations of 18th century models, the Cape Cod is arguably the most recognized house style in America. History of the Cape Cod Style The Cape Cod style evolved from the “hall and parlor” model brought to New England by British colonials. This model, which economized living space, exhibited two rectangular rooms on the lower level and usually a half story, or attic, for bed space. Using locally found materials built to withstand harsh New England weather, the hall and parlor style evolved into the Cape Cod style with its characteristic weathered shingles. Over the course of a few generations, a modest, one- to one-and-a-half-story house with wooden shutters emerged. Reverend Timothy Dwight, a university president, is credited with recognizing these houses as a class and coining the term “Cape Cod.” Cape Cod style homes can typically be identified by their low, broad frame, traditional one-and-a-half floors and steeply pitched roof. They are usually free of gables and exhibit an odd number of windows, usually three, on either gable end.Cape Cod houses are traditionally built from clapboard or shingles and have little ornamentation aside from a central chimney and wooden shutters. The early to mid-1900s saw a reemergence of Cape Codhomes, later to be known as Colonial Revival style housing. Though still resembling a traditional Cape, Colonial revival homes were often built with more modern materials, were free of a central chimney, displayed window dormers on the second floor and often had one story wings built on to either or both sides. The shutters on modern Cape Cod houses are strictly decorative; they can’t be closed during a storm. For the...

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Design Studio Update: Samples are coming in!

Renaissance Homes is putting the finishing touches on our new 1,500 sq ft Design Studio at our Lake Oswego office near Bridgeport, just minutes from downtown Portland. Product samples are coming in and carpet is being laid. “We are so excited to unveil this special place to our customers,” says Randy Sebastian, President of Renaissance Homes. “We’ve been working hard to put the hottest new products, color palettes and trends together. We can’t wait for you to see it!” Sandie Hume, Director of Design, has been busy putting all the final touches on. “We’ve made the process of buying and designing a new home fun again. Everything is at your fingertips. Mix and match the products for a uniquely yours – one of a kind look!” The design studio will be exclusive to Renaissance Homes’ clients. Stay tuned for a grand opening announcement. Renaissance Homes is an award winning Street of Dreams custom home builder specializing in green building for the Portland...

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Design Studio Update: Millwork Installed

Millwork was just installed and painted for Renaissance Homes’ new Design Studio! The 1,500 sq ft space is located at our Lake Oswego office near Bridgeport. Sandie Hume, Director of Design is using every inch of space. “We strategically placed millwork throughout the space so our homebuyers can see different door styles, wainscotting, columns and trim work. It helps to touch, see and feel the products.” Slat walls were also installed to display kitchen and bath faucets and the myriad of finishes. “Our homebuyers won’t need to imagine it,” says Randy Sebastian, President of Renaissance Homes. “We will be able to let them experience it. Buying a new home is such a special experience. We want to make it truly memorable.” The design studio will be exclusive to Renaissance Homes’ clients and will feature selections for Renaissance Vintage Portland new homes, West Linn and Lake Oswego. Watch the style blog for more Design Studio news and grand opening announcements. Renaissance Homes is an award winning Street of Dreams custom home builder specializing in green building for the Portland...

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Design Studio Update: Paint & Electrical Complete

Paint and electrical are complete on Renaissance Homes’ new Design Studio! The 1,500 sq ft space is located at our Lake Oswego office near Bridgeport. Sandie Hume, Director of Design is planning the new studio down to the smallest detail. “We installed 40 color correcting light bulbs to let the true color of each product shine through,” she said. “We wanted our homeowners to be able to really see the beauty of each product.” Six accent paint colors were selected to color coordinate throughout the space and harmonize the products. Next week we will be working on slat walls and product installs. “You’ll be able to design your dream home with the latest products and resources right at your fingertips,” says Randy Sebastian, President of Renaissance Homes. “It will be a special, memorable experience.” The design studio will be exclusive to Renaissance Homes’ clients and will feature selections for Renaissance Vintage Portland new homes, West Linn and Lake Oswego. Estimated open date is late September 2011. Watch the style blog for more Design Studio news and grand opening announcements. Renaissance Homes is an award winning Street of Dreams custom home builder specializing in green building for the Portland...

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Renaissance Style: Design Studio Products

Products are coming in! Renaissance Homes is busy on our new 1,500 sq ft Design Studio at our Lake Oswego office near Bridgeport. ‘We are out searching the world for new and innovative products,” says Sandie Hume, Director of Design. From more than 30 new types of carpet in many colors and over 20 new hardwoods with everything from bamboo, hand scraped, antiques, engineered and solid – we’re finding it for you! Hundreds of designer tiles with matching paint palettes, slab granite choices and coordinating cabinetry. “This place will WOW you. I promise” Randy Sebastian, President of Renaissance Homes. The design studio will be exclusive to Renaissance Homes clients and will feature selections for Renaissance Vintage Portland new homes, West Linn and Lake Oswego. Estimated open date is late September 2011. Watch the style blog for more Design Studio news and grand opening announcements. Renaissance Homes is an award winning Street of Dreams custom home builder specializing in green building for the Portland...

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Renaissance Style: Design Studio Update

Renaissance Homes is busy on our new 1,500 sq ft Design Studio at our Lake Oswego office near Bridgeport. The walls are in and sheetrock is on. It’s coming together fast. “We are forward thinkers,” says Randy Sebastian, President of Renaissance Homes. “People still have housing needs and lifestyle desires to fulfill. We are here to make those dreams come true with a beautiful new design studio!” Sandie Hume, Director of Design, has been busy pulling carpet, tile, hardwood and other samples together to showcase the best in design. “We are forward thinkers, she says, “we want our homes to reflect creativity, innovation and set us apart from every other builder out there. We pride ourselves in being a leader in new home design.” The design studio will be exclusive to Renaissance Homes clients and will feature selections for Renaissance Vintage Portland new homes, West Linn and Lake Oswego. Estimated open date is late September 2011. Watch the style blog for more Design Studio news and grand opening announcements. Renaissance Homes is an award winning Street of Dreams custom home builder specializing in green building for the Portland...

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Renaissance Style: Mud Rooms For Our Northwest weather

The mud room concept originated on farms and ranches out of necessity and was typically located in the back of the house with a backyard entrance. A mud room was literally a place for shedding muddy shoes and clothes when coming in from the fields or pastures. This back entrance kept dirt and grim from being tracked throughout the house. There was usually a sink or basin for washing up before meals. Fast forward to today and a mudroom will be the hardest working room in your house and also your best friend in the winter. Our Northwest weather can be wet, wicked and wild nine months of the year. A mudroom is the perfect place to stash wet boots, coats, hats and umbrellas for all those crazy weather days. What about the other seasons of the year? Mudrooms can act as a “control center.” All the necessities for heading outside can be located in one convenient spot. What are the elements of a hard working mudroom? 1. Flooring It will be taking a beating so select a durable material and preferably a darker color, to hide dirt. Add doormats to minimize dirt. 2. Walls Some opt for vinyl wallpaper since it’s easy to sponge clean. Others choices are a high-gloss paint or Wainscoting to offer an effective, hard-working, but stylish protection. 3. Seating A built-in bench or window seat, hinged at the top, can help keep clutter under wraps and provides a great place to pull off those wet boots. 4. Storage Figure out who will be using the mud room and what their needs are. Hooks, cubbies, bins and baskets are all good choices. 5. Organizing Accessories. Don’t forget specialized bins and hangers for sports gear and a handy hook for pet leashes. Add a corkboard to...

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Renaissance Style: History of the Four Square

The American Four Square was manufactured by Sears Roebuck and sold in its catalog. Sears shipped in component parts to locations across the country. Sears manufactured an estimated 100,000 of these houses in various models and sizes. These houses were shipped in boxcars with a book of instructions. All the parts were pre-cut and numbered for self assembly. The houses were popular from the mid 1890s to the late 1930s. Prices ranged from $650 to over $5,000. Many are still standing today. A Four Square is characterized by its basically square, boxy design, two and one half stories high, usually with four large, boxy rooms to a floor, a center dormer and a large front porch with wide stairs. Other common features of the Four Square include a hipped roof and arched entries between common rooms. Many have built-in cabinetry and Craftsman style woodwork. The layout was simple and straight forward. The first floor consisted of a dining room, living room, kitchen and foyer punctuated by a center hall leading upstairs where four bedrooms and one bath could be found. The bathroom was usually located between the bedrooms on one side of the house while the stairway separated the other two bedrooms on the opposite side. Some models included a bathroom on the first floor. The top floor was basically a large open space with one to four dormers punctuating the roofline. The basement had windows on all four sides and provided excellent ventilation that cooled the house in the hot summer months. The boxy shape was designed to maximize square footage on small city lots. The houses were popular in urban areas but made their way to rural America as well. The basic design of the Four Square was a reaction to the complexity and excess found in...

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Renaissance Homes Design Studio Breaks Ground

Renaissance Homes is breaking ground on a new 1,500 sq ft Design Studio at our Lake Oswego office near Bridgeport. The studio will feature the latest in designer carpet, tiles, hardwoods, lighting and fixtures. Once complete, Renaissance homebuyers will visit the Design Studio to select the finishes for their new home. “We want our homebuyers to feel special when they buy a Renaissance Home and to have access to the latest trends in designer selected products,” says Randy Sebastian, President of Renaissance Homes. Heading up the Renaissance Design Studio will be award winning interior designer Sandie Hume who was responsible for many of Renaissance Homes’ Best of Show Street of Dreams wins. Sandie is bringing in hot new products and will showcase them in unique palettes to make the Design process easy, streamlined and fun for all homebuyers. “We are taking a retail approach to our Design Studio. By grouping products in color palettes it makes it easy to select products for your new home that coordinate, pop and create WOW!” says Sandie. Director of Design Sandie Hume, our home designer Kraig LeMay and Manny Rodrigues from Westside Drywall & Insulation are busy reviewing plans for the new space. Estimated open date is late September 2011. Watch the style blog for more Design Studio news. Renaissance Homes is an award winning Street of Dreams custom home builder specializing in green building for Portland, Oregon. Visit us online at...

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Renaissance Style: Box Beam Ceilings

When you walk into a room, you don’t always look up, but maybe you should. Ceilings have often been characterized as functional, boring and forgotten, but they don’t have to be. Architectural details can give a room charm. Box beams are reminiscent of earlier, medieval wood beamed ceilings. The decorative box beam ceiling became popular during the English Arts & Crafts movement. In North America, it is a feature associated with the heyday of the Bungalow and is common in houses of the period from 1900-1930. Revival homes – English, Spanish or Colonial – often have ceilings with decorative beams. Box beam ceilings are gorgeous and have a tremendous impact on the look and feel of an interior space. They are an expression of luxury and refinement. The millwork adds timeless character. It’s elegance and detailing set a room apart. A room’s style does not stop with the furniture. Renaissance Homes features many plans with Box Beam ceilings throughout the homes we offer in Vintage Portland, West Linn and Lake Oswego. Take a tour today and be sure to look up at our ceilings to appreciate the craftsmanship and attention to detail in a Renaissance Home. See our website for details on specific homes available for sale throughout some of Portland’s premier neighborhoods. www.Renaissance-Homes.com. Click on move-in ready homes. Renaissance Homes is an award winning Street of Dreams custom home builder specializing in green building for Portland,...

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