Rachel and Darian


Meet the family of 5 who found the space to stop stepping on and over each other, and were able to start enjoying the freedom and breathing room afforded by their new basement. 

Rachel and Darian — Creston-Kenilworth, Portland OR

We’re a family of five and we’ve got a lot of different things going on.

We’re coming and going a lot, and we really like for home to feel like the gathering point for ourselves and a comfortable space to talk about our days.

We were feeling a little crowded though.

We have a comfortably-sized home, but we always felt on top of each other, with everybody trying to use the same space for different things.


So we were all trying to go to bed at the same time, or we were all trying to do homework, watch TV, to read books, whatever it was, on that same floor at the same time. Generally, we were doing pretty well, but it's more chance for conflicts to come up when we’re in smaller space and feeling crowded and unhappy.

That was our motivation for finishing the basement into a living space — to increase the amount of space we have so we can spread out a little bit more.


We were sort of unsure about what the cost was going to be to hire a professional, but we really felt over our heads with trying to figure out the design.

We had plenty of ideas, but then we’d get stuck — they couldn’t all coexist in one space, all of our ideas. We needed that help from a professional to distill everything down for us and make a cohesive plan that would actually be a functional space that felt inviting to us. For the difference in our quality of life, it was worth every penny.

We learned about Joel from one of Darian’s co-workers. He came very highly recommended.

We did explore some other designers, some other options, but we really liked Joel. He’s got this really fantastic skill of just listening to what you want and really allowing you some time to tell him all of your ideas. He’s very patient and receptive that way.


And it was really fun, actually! We felt like we were a part of the creative process, but with somebody who’s very much more knowledgeable about how to actually make it work — how to take our ideas and turn them into something we really wanted. He would show us pictures and, you know, see what we thought about them. He would ask us questions, and we’d stand in the space and talk about ideas.

He really worked at understanding our family and what we wanted and what we liked — to make something that we would really love, that would look good, and that we would want to spend time in.

The first little window of what the space was going to look like was when they came with the 3D models. It’s not a very complicated space, but it felt so relieving to look at and say, “Yes! That’s what we want! That’s going to be a great space that we can look forward to.”

Then, of course, the demolition of the basement actually started and it's hard to imagine then, when you're in the middle of that, what it's actually going to look like. It wasn’t till nearly the end of the process then, when we were actually seeing the space starting to take shape, and feeling like, “Wow, it looks just like those renderings that they did, except I’m actually standing in it.”

It’s really amazing! It was a relief. It was exciting!


It's such a complete transformation. We enjoy the basement so much now that it just seems like this distant memory of what it was like before.

It has given us some more breathing room in our home. It’s really a very nice, comfortable and inviting space that we enjoy spending time in every day — where we have more freedom for everyone to have some space to do what they would like to do.

I would definitely use Joel to design other parts of my house. He was really fun to work with. He’s the kind of person you enjoy spending time with.



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 )


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