The Home Builders Association of Portland, Oregon has teamed with Northwest Natural to present the 38th annual Street of Dreams home show. Nine show homes are now open to the public daily until August 25 in a lovely hillside setting just south of Lake Oswego.
The nine homes by eight different builders are large and lavish. Every home in this year’s show exceeds 5,000 square feet with a price tag between $1 million and $2.5 million. In fact, you might as well leave your checkbook at home, as all but one had been already been sold by the first week of the show. Unapologetically excessive, the homes are meant to showcase architectural styles, building materials, appliances and interior design. The sponsors hope that visitors will be inspired by features showcased in these hybrid palaces and specify them in their own home construction plans or remodeling.
The show homes bear the names Beauvoir, American Dream, The Rendezvous, Southern Exposure, Blackmore, Cuvee, Two Thousand Thirteen, Tranquility and Clearhaven. Each is unique in design and feel, but they seem to have common characteristics: high ceilings, huge rooms, and unabashed self-indulgence. Foyers and great rooms as spacious as hotel lobbies, walk-in wardrobe closets big as our living room, big-screen TVs in bathrooms, wine rooms with enough bottle capacity to service a small restaurant, mud rooms, hobby rooms, and pantries large enough to feed a battalion. The kitchens are gorgeously appointed with professional-grade appliances, multiple sinks and enough counter space to host a cooking class. There are enormous recreation rooms, exercise rooms, craft rooms and three- and four-car garages. Out back, outdoor kitchens and covered patios extend to pools, waterfalls, and lovely landscaping. One home even has a tennis/basketball court and putting green. The neighboring one has raised vegetable gardens and a chicken coop!
It is fun to tour these dream homes, although not much fun removing shoes and donning slippers at each front door. These are not the sort of homes that Ozzie & Harriet or any other middle class American family is likely to choose or afford. But the homes are chock full of new and eye-catching features and materials – wonderfully creative countertops, doors, lighting and flooring. The furnishings alone are fantastic. You cannot spend two hours here without coming away thinking, man that would look cool in our house! By the same token, you wonder who would really want to (or afford to) live day-to-day in one of those sprawling places?
The Northwest Natural Street of Dreams is open from 10 AM to 9 PM daily until August 25. It is located on Rosemont Road, not far from the Luscher Farm. Tickets are $15, children under 10 are free, and there is plenty of on-site parking. Throughout the month of August there are concerts, barbecues, wine tastings, classical car shows and other special events scheduled on the grounds. For additional information about this year’s Street of Dreams, including a map and directions, click on www.streetofdreamspdx.com.