Given that the outdoor space is one of the property’s main assets, the new owners wanted to enhance the sense of connection between indoor and outdoor settings. Whereas before, just a few small windows provided glimpses of the gracious maples and the corkscrew willow in the backyard, now French doors lead from most of the bedrooms and living spaces onto terraces ideal for lounging. “We replaced every single window in the house,” says Curt. New picture windows on the main level frame a vista of an orchard that cascades down a nearby hill, while interior windows peek onto the courtyard, which has been landscaped with beds of rock and a stone fountain.
Of course, considering that they run one of Portland’s more popular home décor boutiques, the pair devoted significant attention to interior finishes and furnishings. J.D. Madison specializes in clean-lined contemporary pieces—think sculpted wood side-tables by Brent Comber and sensuous ceramics by Jonathan Adler. “I’m a little bit of a traditionalist,” says Todd. “The artwork and furnishings we had were well suited for a house of this vintage.”
Chocolate parquet flooring adds a touch of elegance to the home’s main level, as does wide crown molding. The new owners reinforced the feeling of formality by repeating shapes, colors and textures throughout. For instance, a pattern on the latticed-wood doors of a set of large French “bibliothèque” cabinets in the formal living room inspired the diamond forms on the custom-welded iron railing that connects the main and lower floors. A collection of ceramics sporting olive and tobacco-brown glazes grace various bookshelves, and bright glasswork punches up side tables formed from loose-grained woods such as wengé and zebrage.
Still, a plenitude of odd thrifted pieces and original works of art ensure the home doesn’t look like a pristine showroom. “Adding something old or found adds an instant authenticity,” says Todd. An aquamarine-tinted “vaseline” glass chandelier, which the couple brought back in pieces from a Paris flea market, hangs over the table in the formal dining room, lending a romantic sparkle. In the family room—a later addition, built by Krahn Construction—two slabs of blowtorched wood, picked up at a local art sale, lean casually against a wall. They’re a rustic foil to refined contemporary artworks such as a triptych of abstract collages by Portland artist Kelly Kievit that feature cotton paper and marble dust glazed in oil pigment. And then there are colorful ceramics projects made by Landon, now 8, arranged on a table.
Raising a child around fine furniture and unguarded glassware hasn’t caused the problems one might expect. “I think you can do a really nice job of having your grown-up house and raising children,” Todd remarks. “You say, ‘This is glass art, and you need to be extra careful around it.’” At age 3, Landon made a roomful of adults crack up by placing his sippy-cup of juice on a cocktail table and exclaiming that he needed a coaster.
“Nothing’s so precious that it can’t be used,” Todd says.