The arts community is alive and well in Portland. The region is filled with gorgeous art galleries, modern art museums, public art installments, and other places for viewing art. Not to mention, some of the world’s best artists live in the area. Many of them draw inspiration from their beautiful natural surroundings to create their work, from abstract masterpieces to realistic landscape paintings.
Let’s take a look behind the scenes inside the studios of two local artists. Plus, we’ll explore a renowned historic mansion currently owned by a prominent art collector. Each of the three estates is currently on the market, which means you have the rare opportunity to call one of these properties your home. While they offer a range of amenities and luxurious features, all three estates and their respective owners share one thing in common — a love for art.
Contemporary-Meets-Traditional Home in Lake Oswego
Owned by Barbara Paanakker, Local Abstract Artist
This stunning contemporary-meets-traditional home in Lake Oswego is currently owned by local artist Barbara Paanakker. While she has been a professional artist for about 12 years, Barbara recalls that art has always been a passion for her. As a child, she was always doodling with colored pencils and markers or creating something out of nothing, like candles out of old melted candle pieces or carvings out of plaster poured into empty toilet paper rolls. In her professional work, Barbara primarily uses acrylic paint to make stunning abstract pieces, enhanced by materials like egg shells, rusty metal, washers, wire, and other found pieces for a unique textured effect.
“My paintings are very textural and I am always looking for interesting new textures and what they can mean in a painting,” Barbara said.
She recently started working in ceramics after taking ceramics classes a few years ago. This three-dimensional aspect provides a different perspective than the two-dimensional world of painting. Barbara works on ceramic projects in her garage and paints in her at-home studio.
Barbara and her family moved to Oregon for the third time in 2005. Shortly after, they bought this home and did a major 1.5-year-long remodel of the house in 2006 and moved in in November 2007. This spacious four-bedroom estate encompasses 5,001 square feet, split between three levels. It features a contemporary living space with a gorgeous fireplace and large floor-to-ceiling windows letting in lots of natural light. Nearby, the sleek kitchen is equipped with the finest appliances and fixtures, accompanied by plenty of space to dine and gather.
When asked about her favorite spots in the house, Barbara pointed to the open kitchen, the fireplace in the living room, and the beautiful yard, which overlooks the field behind the property, where they often spot deer, bunnies and birds. She loves the proximity to Tryon Creek State Natural Area, just over the easement out back. And she appreciates the quiet peacefulness of this area, and that their neighbors have become close friends over the years.
“I love the open kitchen and the great entertaining we can do there,” she said. “It’s great to be able to talk to everyone while cooking in the kitchen. And I love the fireplace and the coziness that creates! We have had many family get-togethers there.”
Barbara’s art studio was added to the home during the remodel in 2006. The space was added so they could have an office and another bedroom upstairs.
“It’s an honor to have a place of my own,” she said. “I am very lucky. I love that I can make a mess on the floor — it starts to look like a painting itself.”
She enjoys opening the door to the backyard when the weather is nice, and that visitors can access the studio directly through the door without having to go all the way through the house. Plus, the natural light flooding the room is very important for painting and producing art of any kind.
“This home will always be in my heart,” she said. “My kids had the best years in the Lake Oswego schools. They grew up here and it was wonderful.”
Timeless Country Club Estate in Milwaukie
Owned by Lisi Belz McCarthy, Local Artist
Nestled in the esteemed Waverly Country Club neighborhood in Milwaukie, this timeless property is owned by Lisi Belz McCarthy, a local artist known for her beautiful greeting cards. In fact, she felt she could officially call herself an artist when her greeting cards and paper products began receiving attention around the country about 15 years ago. While Lisi has painted on glass, fabric, paper, and many other surfaces, her medium of choice at the moment is acrylics and mixed media on canvas. Lisi’s style can be described as “sophisticated whimsy” — emitting happiness, whimsy, and lots of color. She has painted in gazebos, basements, and even a barn — but her favorite place to paint is the beautiful studio in their home.
Lisi, her husband, and their kids have lived in the home for about 15 years.
“It is a very dear and special place to me,” she said. “It is where my husband and I raised the kids and will always be remembered as the family home. While it is time to downsize, it is very bittersweet letting go.”
14 years ago, Lisi and her husband completed a major remodel and addition to the home, which included adding the garage of his dreams and the studio of her dreams. The studio has ample space, lots of storage, and numerous windows and skylights letting in an abundance of natural light and offering a view into the courtyard. When designing the studio, the couple knew someone else would eventually call the home theirs, so they designed it with that in mind. For its next owner, the space would make lovely in-law, nanny or guest quarters, or an excellent bonus room for kids.
As an artist, Lisi is passionate about displaying art. The home has beautiful high ceilings and plenty of windows letting in natural light, perfect for showcasing both her art and her favorite pieces from other artists. Some of our favorite features of the home include the many cozy fireplaces, the unique wood-paneled ceiling in the entryway, French doors leading outside, the large kitchen with a breakfast nook, and the private landscaped yard. The home has been featured in several issues of Oregon Home magazine for its stunning beauty and well-designed interior.
“This home has been a dream for my family and me,” Lisi said. “While I will continue being an artist wherever I am, home is where the heART is, and I am beyond grateful to have called this my home, my sanctuary and my creative retreat for the past 15 years!”
Learn more about Lisi and her art on her website, where you can shop her paintings, greeting cards, and other paper goods.
Gated Historic Mansion in Dunthorpe
Owned by Anonymous Well-Known Art Collector
This iconic historic mansion is situated atop 1.5 acres in Portland’s esteemed Dunthorpe neighborhood. The century-old country estate was one of the first built in the once-remote area and was originally owned by businessman, civic leader, and state senator, Henry Ladd Corbett, and designed by one of the city’s most respected architectural firms, Whitehouse & Fouilhoux. After inheriting about $5 million in 1903, Henry and his wife, Gretchen Hoyt Corbett, lived in the Colonial Revival mansion for 62 years until her death in 1978.
Since then, the estate has been home to retired Blazer and Olympic gold medalist Clyde Drexler, and finally its current owner — an esteemed art collector heavily involved in Portland’s art community.
The mansion is considered one of the state’s most prestigious properties, encompassing 7,000 square feet of interior space, plus a two-story servants’ wing connected to the main house. The two-story wing contains three maids bedrooms and a sleeping porch, and could be used as a separate apartment for guests or live-in help.
While many elements have been updated over the years, the country estate maintains much of its original charm and historic features, including the exterior wrapped in sawn shakes, the square columns in the entryway, and the brick floor veranda. The interior is filled with elegance, complete with formal rooms, hardwood flooring, French doors, chandeliers, and more posh details.
Guests are greeted at the 30-foot-long reception room offering views into the back lawn. A stunning U-shaped staircase leads to the second floor, which holds the master suite and an enclosed sleeping porch. In total, the estate holds four bedrooms, four full bathrooms, and two powder rooms.
The current owner has tastefully displayed high-end artwork, including rare paintings and unique sculptures, throughout the estate, maximizing the spacious rooms, natural light, and historic nature of the home. The home provides a showcase of art at every turn. The owner even keeps a large notebook at the entryway cataloging the variety of art pieces in the home.
This gated estate offers privacy and serenity atop picturesque level grounds with ample space for a pool, tennis court, or other backyard amenities. It is conveniently situated within reach of downtown Portland and the upscale Lake Oswego community.
Want More Information?
All three of these impressive properties are listed by Kathy and Kevin Hall. Kathy is regarded as one of the top brokers in the region, and was even recognized as Oregon’s #1 Producer in 2014. Her many years of business experience combined with a vast knowledge of the Portland residential real estate market have resulted in approximately $250 million in closed sales in the last four years alone.
Contact Kathy Hall Properties for more information about these properties or if you’d like to schedule a showing. Kathy and her team are happy to assist you with your real estate needs, whether you’re looking for a starter home or a luxury estate.