Summering on the Cape (right here in Corvallis)


This cape-cod style home on Kings Boulevard in Corvallis, lovingly named “Flatlander” by its owner, recently underwent its third transition. All the additions were built with consideration for the architectural integrity and style of the home.

Powell Construction designed and added a master bedroom suite in 2001. A few years later they expanded the garage and added a second story shop area to accommodate the homeowner’s annual antique sale.

The latest project is all about planning for the future and ageing in place. Both single and living independently, Ruth Stiehl and Dee Martin decided to pool their financial resources and remodel Ruth’s home to accommodate both of them. They creatively came up with this solution so they could enjoy each other’s companionship, while at the same time provide each other with care if needed. They desired a home that is beautiful and unique, a home that they could enjoy for years to come.  They also each wanted to retain their own privacy and have separate retreats for quiet time. The result is two very beautiful and distinct master suites for two very unique people, all under one roof.

In the words of Ruth Stiehl, the home’s original owner, “ It’s all about support systems. When the people considering moving in together are already friends, there’s the social aspect.  And from a financial standpoint,  by combining resources, in the long run, you save money.” 

Dee Martin, the homeowner who sold her house and moved in with Ruth is the owner of a local business called Home Care and Elder Services.  She is well versed in what it takes to support people remaining in their homes. This carefully planned remodel addressed the needs of both women and positioned them to remain in their home for a long time.  “If you love your home you do what you can to be able to stay in it,” commented Ruth.

Ruth and Dee worked closely with Powell Construction to design a space that accommodated their needs. The addition included a master bedroom suite with a walk-in shower and soaking tub, walk-in closet, and sitting area. The kitchen was expanded to accommodate two cooks. Each project tied in with the cape-cod style of the home and retained the look with careful attention to detail.

The roofs of the additions were stick framed allowing for the architectural placement of the windows. The windows are proportioned and placed to true Cape Cod standards. Authentic hand applied Alaskan sidewall shingles complement the lap siding of the original house and over time turn to a soft grey. Exterior finishes such as denture molding, wide corner boards and detailed window trim are all in keeping with the Cape Cod style.

The kitchen underwent an enormous transformation through a 75 square foot addition and the relocation of all three legs of the work triangle; sink, refrigerator and range. Previously, the work triangle used three of the four walls of the kitchen and consumed basically the entire floor area. To accommodate the need for traffic flow through the space the upper corner of the kitchen was made into a pantry/ baking center and the remaining space was used to create the work triangle.

To increase storage and ease of access to storage, several unique products were used. In each corner cabinet a blind corner optimizer was installed. These cabinet accessories pull-out, then pivot and allow you to pull-out the “blind” part of the cabinet. Also, all of the lower cabinets have roll out shelves. The cabinet above the fridge is equipped with flipper doors that fold back into the cabinet and a cable jack, so that the TV can be seen from the dining room, when desired.

The painted cabinets, and simple door and pull styles match the Cape Cod charm of the rest of the home. To add visual interest some of the cabinets include glass doors with grids that match the windows. Pine countertops add a New England appeal to the space. The look of the cabinets was kept simple, for example quarter panel doors with a center mullion and a plain 4×4 white tile backsplash. However, small flourishes such as crown molding throughout the room and staggered cabinet heights highlight the design as a whole.
This sitting room is part of the first addition built in 2001. It’s now a shared space that joins the two master suites. The entrance to the first master suite is on the left and the second is on the right.

The entry to the master suite opens into a large bedroom with a vaulted ceiling and ample natural lighting. The change in ceiling height from the entry to bedroom adds some extra drama to the space. The addition includes a sitting area, gas fireplace, walk-in closet and bathroom with separate bathtub and walk-in shower. The closet is over 100 square feet, and provides plenty of space for storage.

In the bathroom, complimentary tile designs cover the floor and shower. A walk-in shower with a level floor makes accessibility a breeze. The extra deep soaking tub definitely adds a touch of luxury to the room. Since the window faces the street, the shutters not only provide charm but privacy as well.

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