No matter the time of year, Diana and Jeff Scott’s waterfront Lake Oswego home is up to the task. For a July 4th party, the couple spread out the food on the kitchen island and open the sliding doors to the deck, so guests can mill inside, or out closer to the water. But the Christmas season is no slouch either – even closed up against the cold, the couple can get a fire going in the fireplace and watch snow fall on the lake, or be serenaded with Christmas carols from the holiday boat parade, festooned in twinkling lights. It’s quite a difference, moving just eight houses down the street makes.

Having lived in the neighborhood since 2002, the Scotts walked by this house plenty of times without paying much attention to it. Then one day, it was for sale, so they went to look. That was all it took. “At least from a downstairs perspective, the layout was pretty spectacular,” says Diana, who also liked that there was a primary suite on the main floor, and an incredible connection to the water, thanks to the lot’s stellar lake frontage. “The views of the lake were expansive, and it just felt good.”

The home was built in the 40s and hadn’t had too many updates, in fact, the upstairs ceilings were so low that Diana could put a hand flat on the ceiling. “And I’m a fairly short person,” she says. The couple reached out to their neighbor, Ross McLaughlin, who is with Stoneridge Custom Development and also their contractor for the project, and he recommended architect Keith Abel for a gut rebuild. There were a fair bit of constraints – the new plan had to stick to the same footprint, while raising the roof and fitting more livable space into existing awkward angles fostered by the wedge-shaped lot. “Keith had to be very creative about reworking the space,” says Diana. “Downstairs, he had to work some magic.”

Abel produced a more streamlined plan that opened up the main living areas to one another and raised the ceilings on the main floor, then reduced the oversized utility room in order to enlarge the foyer, add in a powder room, and expand the primary suite. “I opened up the back of the house and added as much upstairs as I could,” says Abel. “And then opted for as many views of the lake as possible upstairs.” There, vaulted ceilings now cap two new bedroom en-suites for guests, a family room with a built-in window seat that overlooks the water, and a fourth bedroom that doubles as an exercise room.

For the interiors, Diana reconnected with designer Charla Ray, founder of Charla Ray Interior Design, as the two had worked together on the Scotts’ previous house. “I’ve got a long great history with Char,” says Diana. “I couldn’t have imagined doing this project without her. I think I basically had the dream team between the builder, Keith, and Char.” Ray instituted a palette of warm black and white neutrals, then wove in natural materials, like wood and copper, to soften the scheme and foster all around coziness. “The concept I kept coming back to was a modern lake cottage,” says Ray. “We tried to keep it softer than something that was really modern by adding in wood and texture because otherwise, if you take that away, we had a lot of black and white.” To that end, natural textures are repeated throughout, seen in things like the woven palm leaf wallpaper in Diana’s office and white oak tongue and groove paneling in the powder bath.

In the kitchen, copper appears in the foot cap on the island, faucet, stove dials, and on a band around the stove hood. Ray also designed custom cabinetry with a “white oak frame” to anchor several rooms, from the living room built-ins flanking the fireplace, to the upstairs window seat and primary bath vanity. “Those little details create a cohesive feel throughout the house,” says Ray.

Since the project wrapped in 2022, the designer has been back to the house for a variety of gatherings, from summer to winter, and is impressed with how well it suits her friends and clients. “I’ve seen it in all seasons and it’s glorious any time of year,” says Ray. “The house before was very compartmentalized and maze-like, and now it feels just right.”


Stoneridge Custom Development

Keith Abel Residential Design

Charla Ray Interior Design

Eastbank Contractor Appliances

Lisac’s Fireplaces & Stoves

Portland Millwork