Chris + Suvi

The crowbar-happy family who gutted an entire floor and brought in the experts for what came next.

Chris and Suvi — Brentwood-Darlington, Portland OR

We have been living in this house now for about 10 years now, and neither of us had really been a fan of it.

In our eyes, at the beginning, we were like, “Oh we're only going to be here for five years anyways. It's our starter house. We'll upgrade, into something nicer.” But it’s never been the best time to make a change.

We're close in. We're in a good location. Our house is becoming worth more money. So we start talking and trying figure out what to do to make it so we like it a little bit more.

And so we kinda embarked on this project — to remodel it and get more use from our home and put a bathroom and a master suite and all that good stuff.

That was exciting!

We kept talking about it, but we're so busy and we're both super into our careers right now, we just hadn't actually taken action.

One day I just said, “Okay, this is ridiculous.”

And I went up there with a crowbar and totally gutted out our top floor.

We had a crappy space, we gutted it out, and then...what in the heck are we gonna do with this big room?

After the gut job, I started bringing in contractors, trying to figure out how much it would be to do the work. It was pretty consistent that no one wanted to talk to me unless I had plans. Plus plans would mean that the work is actually higher quality and more thought out — and Suvi is all about risk management.

So, you know, I went on Nextdoor and I saw somebody that had listed out a request for designer recommendations. Of the 15 or so responses, 6 of them were for Joel Fraley...all random homeowners.

If there's 6 of 15 people in five neighborhoods talking about Joel Fraley, he must be a good guy to work with.

So I ended up calling.

And I just really liked the conversation that I had with him. Basically I said…

“Help me. We're doing a renovation and we thought we could do it ourselves. We don't have time to do it and it's been sitting here for a long time unfinished. It's time to get professionals in.”

I asked for help and he just made it easy.

We had two or three conversations with Joel and it was fun! It was going through a bunch of different versions and saying yes to this and no to that and then, finally, coming up with a final plan.

 
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Design was the piece I probably enjoyed most about the project. There is a happiness that comes with taking action and moving forward.

I was excited because that's the key. That's the last step, really, to making this happen. The plan was what made it a reality.

So a year later, we're about to finish — construction is done. It’s so exciting!

It felt like everyone was, from Joel and his team to the contractors, being considerate and thoughtful and inclusive of all the different pieces that had to come together.

My favorite aspect is that we have a master suite — we have an adult room. And that's what we told Joel. We need to have our space.

We have the ability to have privacy and to have people come and stay and invade our house, and we're not all cramming into one bathroom.

It's the ability to function.

If I was to provide advice to somebody I would say just spend the money.

I'm the cheap guy and was like, “Why are we going to pay somebody to tell us what to do...when we already know what we're going to do?"

And I was wrong.

Being proactive on the front end will save you money, time, and heartache in the end. All the small little details that the normal person wouldn't think of are being taken care of by the person designing it.


 

Nice To Meet You!

We're Fraley + Company

We create beautiful and intuitive spaces that work the way you need them to. Our process begins by listening to our clients and responding with innovative solutions. Whether it’s your home or your business, our designs will meet the needs of your life and inspire you every day. 

 ( or give us a ring at 503-758-2797 )

 

Michelle DeMers