Call this Art Deco-style house in an unlikely location the home a veggie burger built.
And a buyer found the stylish residence delicious. After just a few days on the market, an offer is pending for the $729,000 home.
Peter Martin, the listing agent—and current owner—of the home in Portland, OR, gives a little history on why the property was built.
“The Miami Vice/Art Deco style captivated Paul Wenner, the founder of Gardenburger,” he says.
Influenced by a love of Art Deco, Wenner, the man behind the iconic vegetarian brand, began construction on the custom 2,796-square-foot, four-story house in 1989.
For the exterior, he used tall, rectangular windows and other signature elements of the style, including an eye-popping color palette.
“You look at it from the outside, and it’s a statement, right?” Martin says.
Then you walk inside, and the style explosion hits you, with a pink-and-green floral carpet and pastel colors covering every surface.
The living room features a giant artwork of the Burbank airport, with lights and fireworks that light up, on one wall, and a curtained stage on another wall.
“It’s definitely a house for artists. I’m actually not an artist, but I did fall in love with the house,” Martin says, adding that his 11-year-old daughter liked to sing on the stage.
“I don’t know why Paul built the stage, but the guy who sold it to me was a musician, and so he and his buddies got together and played music on the stage,” he adds.
The home’s four bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms are all in keeping with the theme.
“The whole house is in Art Deco style. There’s a blue bedroom on the second floor that used to be a kitchen,” Martin says.
Now, it serves as a bedroom, with a unique quirk.
“There’s a big shower in the bedroom,” says the agent.
For a buyer without inhibitions, this could be an ideal setup.
Downstairs, the kitchen is done up in green, with plenty of additional flair. A long island provides counter seating for several people.
Gardenburger filed for bankruptcy in 2005, and Wenner eventually sold his Art Deco creation to another owner, from whom Martin bought the property.
Martin purchased the house in 2017 and added a few personal touches of his own.
“One thing I did was put a little Japanese rock garden on the east side,” he says. “I also moved a 4,000-pound boulder to the middle of the rock garden and painted the side of the house purple.”
Martin also notes that he converted a garage into a studio apartment with its own kitchen—but only an outdoor shower.
“I actually did rent it to a guy who showered in the outdoor shower, even in the winter” he says. “He was a brave soul.”
For outdoor living, the home has several large decks.
“It has like 2,000 square feet of outdoor decking that’s all very private,” Martin says. “There’s even a deck that’s four stories up that has a nice view of the city.”
Even though the house sold quickly, Martin says one unforeseen problem cropped up in the process.
“I had three staging companies come out, and two of them wouldn’t do it,” he reports. “They said, ‘Everything we own is beige, and this needs a lot of color.’ I said, ‘The louder the better,’ and they just weren’t loud enough to feel confident that they could stage it.”
Opinions about Martin’s soon-to-be-former residence are mixed.
“People either love it or hate it. I would say most people don’t like the house,” he says. “But the people that like the house tend to love it.”
He says the new owners plan to keep the house in the shape it’s in.
“It’s two couples that are related to each other, so they’re going to do intergenerational living,” he notes, adding that he understands that the buyers are an older and a younger couple, for whom it could work well, given the property’s different spaces, and that they want to keep it as is.
“They were interested in buying the furniture from the staging company,” he adds.
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