Cynthia + Bryan


Meet the family who opened up their Victorian farmhouse and built a stronger connection with their family and friends.

Cynthia and Bryan — Creston-Kenilworth, Portland OR

Bryan and I have been happily married for 23 years. We’re parents to 2 kids and are inspired by family and togetherness, and designs that bring natural elements, craftsmanship, and beautiful colors to create beautiful harmony in one space.

We've been in our house now for actually close to 19 years, but we waited for 11 years to remodel the kitchen.

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It was really small, and it just so happened that the former owners had lowered the ceiling. So, it was an eight-foot ceiling, and we have 12-foot ceilings in the rest of Victorian farmhouse.

It just felt really small and compact.

The other thing was there was no flow. It's this little door that you had to go through in order to get from the kitchen to the dining room.

It was isolating — you really couldn't connect with people while you were in the kitchen, and then you couldn't have a lot of people in the kitchen when you're cooking or prepping.

It really limited the communication, made it more confined and limited the...really the community that you can create with having a more open space.


shadow...the catalyst for a kitchen remodel

When my husband first met Joel, it was at the dog park and my husband brought him to the house to see our outdated kitchen. My first response was, "You brought the guy from the dog park to see our kitchen?!" I was so skeptical.

It was Joel's curiosity, kindness, and understanding of our needs that convinced us he was the right designer.

The design process was pretty fascinating because we had not worked with a designer before, and so we really didn't know what to expect.

I had a plate that represented what I wanted — the feeling, the warmth to portray in the color in the kitchen. He used that as his design inspiration to really come through with the warmth of the colors, taking my vague idea and turning it into a pretty remarkable interpretation. I have no idea how he did it.


That goes with his years of experience. He was listening and understanding what was important to us relative to family and community, and really building out what that was. It was amazing to see our vision come to life in the drawings Joel would present.

The result was a beautiful, open kitchen with Mexican tiles, quartz countertops, and cherry wood cabinets.

We continued our design journey with Fraley + Company when it came to our back porch and fence. We wanted to extend the kitchen and dining room into our backyard and essentially Joel created another living space (without having to add another room) in our backyard.  

After it was done, the kitchen and the porch were just a reflection of who we were as a family — and that's really important.

What Joel can do is really make it a reflection of who his clients are and not who he believes that they should be or coming from a magazine that has no relation to his client.

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We barely recognize what our home used to be.

If we had kept it, we wouldn't entertain as much as we do as much hosting as we do today. We wouldn't have the same love or connection to our home that we do right now.

It's a place to create wonderful memories with friends and family...that's what's most important to us.

It feels like a home that we want to live in, and we want our grandchildren to know, and where we want to stay. It's a home that I want to grow old in. That's how I feel. It's a reflection of our personalities, it's a reflection of who we are as a family, and I envision us in this space for a very long time to come. It's something that we can hopefully leave to our children or at least have them experience into their adulthood.

Redesigning a home is a gift that keeps on giving.

We wouldn’t hesitate to hire him again. Fraley + Co will take into consideration all of the elements of redesign; really understanding what's most important to you and the outcome you want to achieve. It's important that your living space should be a reflection of who you are. And when you have that, then I think the authenticity comes through, the love, and the family really come through.



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