I have heard a few customers over the years say they love the items we carry but alas, live in a newly constructed home that just wont mix with our items from yester-year. What I try to remind people is that even our grandparents would have had some modern items from the day mixed with their own grandparent’s treasures from the past. People simply didn’t discard the way we do today so most homes wern’t one pure style but a blend.
Bill and Sarah Lorenze know all about blending to create a comfortable home. They are owners Palisade Homes and are adding their special touch to one of their neighborhoods in West Linn. The article below was written by Nicole DeCosta and was printed in both the Lake Oswego Review and the West Linn Tidings on September 9, 2010.
Show and Tell
By Nicole DeCosta
The West Linn Tidings, Sep 9, 2010
“We’re sort of having our own tour,” said Bill Lorenz, president of Palisade Homes, LLC, “but ours is free. We just want to share our work.”
Lorenz said that he stands behind the homes his company builds.
“I’m confident enough to live next door to them,” Bill said of the home he’s building next to his recently completed Nantucket-esque abode off Parker Road in West Linn.
“We have built four custom homes on this street and have two more under construction,” said Bill’s wife, Sarah Lorenz, a real estate agent with 503 Properties who helps design and sell his homes. “Designing the walls of the home is the biggest contribution. Having a woman, a mom, behind the architectural ruler is our secret weapon.”
The couple will hold their house open tomorrow, Sept. 10, from 4 to 8 p.m. at at 3202 Winkel Way in West Linn so the public can view their work and they can share what makes their finished homes unique – like the abundance of built-in cabinetry, creative kitchen areas and style that stands the test of time.
Food and drinks, sponsored by PARR Lumber, will be available at the event.
“Instead of a formal dining room, we made the nook area really big and roomy,” Sarah said of her recently completed house. “(During) the holidays, we can always add another table here for (extra seats). And we added a little lounge area. It’s a creative solution to extra square footage in the kitchen.”
This casual lounge space – located between the kitchen and mud room off the garage – features whitewashed knotty pine walls for a “weathered look.” A rustic wood frame encases a flatscreen television hung flush on the wall and a rolling barn door from Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage, known for its antique, vintage and reclaimed architectural décor items, takes the spotlight.
“Everyone always wants to see the door,” Sarah said. “Even though the house is brand new, I wanted people to walk in and wonder when it was built.”
A timeless look was carried out through many details in the 3,983 square foot, four-bedroom home, such as polished chrome faucets and plumbing fixtures, as well as wainscoting and built-in cabinetry.
“Formal is no longer the way,” Bill said of the layout of his homes.
Instead, houses Palisade Homes complete are meant to be casual places to entertain friends and family and live comfortably but “feel special.”
All the built-in cabinets – in the den, entryway, mud room, master bathroom, children’s bedrooms – “make it feel like a hotel,” Bill said. “It helps you stay organized. We put (cubby areas for kids) in a house five years ago and have made sure they’re in every house since. It’s a place to store stuff. Football pads and toys shouldn’t be (kept) in your formal dining room because that’s the only room with space.”
Sarah said that the mud room is “the helm of the home.” The cubbies, corkboard, chalkboard, iPod docking stations and a desk help her stay organized for her “two busy, sport-driven boys.”
In fact, storage solutions for the energetic couple led to a “super deep” closet on the main floor and a five-foot-tall, expansive place for storage items beneath the house.
And “trophy shelves,” as the couple describes the wooden-wrapped walls in each of the boys’ rooms that are topped with a shelf for displaying special items, are functional elements that can showcase different items as the boys get older.
“Putting a little wainscoting and a shelf could add an extra $300 (to the price of the home) for the cost between materials, labor and paint, but it adds so much,” Bill said.
The light, bright beachy look was an inspiration for Sarah when decorating.
“For this house, I went a little cottage, a little shabby chic, like beach house,” Sarah said. “I love mixing styles and seeing old with new. These chairs I got at an antique shop. I white-washed these candlestick holders.”
Crisp white cabinetry was installed in the kitchen “to bounce sunlight.”
“But down the street, we used lots of dark wood for a completely different feel,” Sarah said.
Tailoring homes to meet unique homeowner’s specifications is what Palisade Homes is all about, Bill said, who began building houses eight years ago. After a career as a subcontractor and in sales, design and management for a variety of different building product companies – including Pella Windows; Nevamar, a plastic laminate manufacturer; and C3 Communication, a home security and audio wiring company – Bill said he was energized to bring his big visions to life.
Expansive rooms and hallways – the entry hallway, staircase and upstairs hallway – may be wide enough to fit an SUV.
“Actually, this was a soccer field a couple nights ago,” Bill said of playing with the kids in the large carpeted hallway separating their bedrooms.
Bill and Sarah met through their love of sports when she was a Blazer Dancer.
“Little did I know, years later … I would be committing my life to cheering on my husband,” Sarah said. “After years of dancing and choreographing, designing homes is my new creative outlet.”
And Palisade Homes allows the couple to design and build homes for busy, energetic families, like its own.
“We can take (any) stock plan and ‘Lorenzify it,’” Sarah said. “It’s affordable but still has a lot of style.”
For more information about Palisade Homes, visit its website at www.palisadehomesllc.com.