Maja + Brian


Meet the doctor who demolished a dysfunctional room and now holds community gatherings with pride.

Maja and Brian — Bridlemile, Portland OR

My husband and I both work, we have a 13 year old daughter, and we lead just really busy lives in general. Oh, and we have two pugs and a dwarf hamster — can’t forget that.

We thought that we had to move within the city because our commutes were just untenable, but inventory was low. This was about 7 or 8 years ago.  

We bought our current house in foreclosure (against our better judgment) and we've honestly been remodeling since we moved in. It looked a little forlorn on the outside and equally sad on the inside.

Initially, we tore off the entire outside of the house — fake stucco — and it all had to be replaced. Then we paused...and we moved to the inside.

The family room was the primary target. This room needed to be addressed because it's where we relax. It's where we entertain. It's where we spend all of our time.

There was a wall of built-ins that were physically built around old there was a gigantic hole. I'm like 5'2" and could walk into it.

Along the same wall, there was also a fireplace insert that had died and was no longer repairable.

And then there was a bar that attached to that area which looked like it was from the 1980’s.

It's hard to put it into words. It just was uninspired.

We lived like that for a long time — between dysfunction, broken, and dated — all in the room we spend 80% of our waking hours in. I honestly didn't enjoy the room because I would see every flaw.

It wasn't a relaxing space.

Because of the scope of the project, I felt like we needed somebody who really could understand drawings and elevations. There's not room for error, you know? It would be a shame to have custom cabinetry delivered and be like "Oh, this off by an inch."

We actually met Joel through Brad Cameron, our contractor who we have known for years and years, and I had no hesitation.

Joel was recommended highly by Brad and when you find one professional that you know and you trust, their word carries a lot of weight.

He was extremely practical and easy to relate to.

He and his team were good listeners and took into account my ideas and what I would like to see — incorporating those ideas tempered with the reality of design things that I wouldn't know.

We literally live in this room, so It was nice to finally get started — I felt relief. I was excited and wanted it done.


The design was very well thought out...thought out so well that once everything got installed, there weren't any mistakes.

That just simply didn't happen. It was all considered ahead of time.

The room now is really elegant, warm and inviting. It's just really welcoming.

I think for a lot of people home renos are intimidating, but if you have someone you trust and if you get the right team, and Joel is part of that right team, you aren't going to be regretful. I encourage you to use your voice, participate in the design process and let the designers figure it out and solve the issues.


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