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Portland Design Build Remodeling Blog

Essential Features of a High-End Home Remodel

Posted by Lane Cooper on Oct 13, 2021 8:00:00 AM

If you have the means to undertake a high-end remodel of your Portland, Oregon, home, take plenty of time to dream about the luxuries you might include. And then start prioritizing your list of features to determine which ones will be essential to your remodel. Of course, everyone’s list will be different, based on lifestyle, family situation, interests, and budget. Here are some features that will appear on most lists, and some more extreme choices that won’t be for everyone.

1. Luxury Primary Suite (Formerly called Master Suite)

Let’s start with your primary bedroom and bath. Because you will be spending so much time there, it should make you feel happy, comfortable, and pampered. The bedroom should have carefully placed windows for views and natural light. It might have a sitting area, and possibly a morning bar. The best bedroom remodel ideas have a capacious walk-in closet and dressing room, and a spa-like bathroom.

If you love soaking, by all means include a soaker tub, but don’t bother if it’s a trendy addition that you’d seldom use. A glass-enclosed, walk-in shower with multiple shower heads usually is high on homeowners’ lists, and don’t forget separate sinks and vanity areas, plenty of storage, and in-floor heat. Other possible upscale touches include towel warmers and high-end toilets. Click here to learn more about adding a bathroom, and the must-haves.

Luxury Master Bathroom Renovation in Portland OR

2. Creative Kid's Rooms

Mom and Dad aren’t the only ones who can benefit from a high-end home remodel. Kids love having rooms that are fun, unique, and super creative. That’s a big part of a high-end remodel—you don’t have to do the same things everyone else does. With a little bit of extra thought, planning, and creativity, you can create a bedroom that your kids will never forget.

Here’s a look at just a couple of ideas that illustrate how fun and inviting kids’ bedrooms can be. You can customize these ideas to your kids’ personalities and interests. Or you can simply use these ideas as springboards to other ideas.


Here’s an example of a kid’s bedroom that’s more than a bedroom. The owners built a bunkbed at one end of the room. Kids climb a “tree” to get into bed. The sleeping area also includes built-in bookshelves for storing whatever your child wants nearby at night. The area below the bed can be closed off with curtains to create a separate, private space for reading, or just being alone.

Blackboard Wall

We’ve all seen the cartoons in which kids get in trouble for drawing on the walls. What if you could actually encourage the young artist in your family to draw and write on the walls of his or her room. This is a simple (and relatively inexpensive) way to customize your child’s bedroom. They get to “decorate” it any way they want (Make sure it comes with an adequate supply of colorful chalk). Another benefit is that you can leave your child notes at night that will greet them when they wake up.

These are just a couple of illustrations of how you can turn an ordinary room into a delightful and fun bedroom that stimulates your child’s imagination.

3. Grand Entryway

Visitors to your home should feel like they have arrived somewhere special when they walk in. An impressive entryway is spacious, has a vaulted ceiling, and often features a grand staircase leading to the second story if you have one.

Homeowners sometimes focus so much on curb appeal and living spaces that they forget the importance of this first impression. When you walk inside your home, is it poorly lit? Cramped, especially when the weather is cold? Are you constantly finding clutter in your entryway when what you should see is a pleasing design? Expanding your entryway or adding windows might be a perfect solution.

4. Single Level

Often, a remodel will involve adding space on a second floor, but it doesn’t have to. A home on one level has many advantages, including ease of outside maintenance, better regulation of temperature throughout the house, and the biggest plus: no stairs for people with limited mobility to contend with.

There are many ways that you can expand a single level, even if you do not have a lot of room on your lot to build out. Besides increasing your outdoor living space, you might consider installing shed dormers to make a steep roof pitch more spacious inside. You may notice a big difference in the interior space, even if it’s on the ceiling. Otherwise, a bump-out can add 50 or 100 square feet to your home without dramatically changing your home’s exterior footprint. This might be just the space you need to expand your kitchen or another room that feels too small. Take a look at this remodel in Raleigh Hills for more "ranch style" inspiration.

5. Universal Design

The whole idea behind universal design is that, although it makes a home easier for aging and mobility-limited people to live in, it also improves the quality of life for anyone of any physical abilities. Universal design takes the form of wider doorways and halls, rocker light switches, lever door handles, no-threshold shower entries and doorways, augmented (but dimmable) lighting, and countertops and vanities of varying heights.

Depending on your plans for the future, you can make the entire space more comfortable and easier for movement. For example, you can replace all the flooring in the house with a surface that is smooth, easy to clean and maintain, and slip-resistant. If you want to age in place, this may be an excellent opportunity to redesign the whole home interior to suit you. This includes creating open spaces with strategic use of lighting, to minimize glare and dimly-lit areas.

6. Higher Ceilings

If you’ve lived in an older home that was built before 8-foot-high ceilings became standard, you’ll know how a 9-foot ceiling improves the feel of a room. In a remodel, you might have the ability to incorporate this desirable feature in new spaces. Raising a ceiling can be a complicated project, especially if it involves raising the entire level or the roof.

It is certainly an investment in your home, particularly if you are thinking of selling it in the next few years. For example, if you have a basement with ceilings so low you almost cannot stand up straight, you might struggle to find buyers interested in it. Raising the ceiling makes the space feel larger in an instant because it is larger.

6 Essential Features of a High-End Home Remodel


7. Outdoor Living

Yes, Portland has its weather challenges, but it’s possible to design an outdoor space that can be a delight even in a cloudy, rainy climate. There’s no question that spending time outdoors is good for you, and a pleasant, comfortable space that allows you to do that is well worth the cost and effort. So be sure to put livable landscaping and outdoor living spaces high on your list of essentials.

If you have a relatively plain yard that is mostly grass, you may have a lot of room to get creative. You might be wondering, does adding a fence increase property value? Yes, but adding other things such as an outdoor kitchen allows you to take advantage of better weather days, with much more space for entertaining and a much better increase in property value. Installing hardscaping provides the perfect base for a larger grill setup, along with preparation stations and seating for the family or guests. Sturdy shading keeps you covered, whether it’s sunny or raining. What makes property value decrease? By not adding any of these things. For more information on designing the perfect outdoor living space, click here.

8. Outdoor Pool Area

You may simply want a relaxing place to relax and enjoy being outside. One way to achieve that is with an outdoor pool area that’s convenient to the house but also takes full advantage of the views around you. Here’s a look at an outdoor pool area (that also includes an outdoor kitchen, eating area, and seating area) that was part of a whole home remodel we did in Lake Oswego. The owners can swim laps, or relax in the built-in hot tub and enjoy the fantastic view from the infinity pool. It's hard to imagine a more relaxing setting.

9. Home Theater

Watching movies at home these days can be so much more than simply sitting on the couch with a bag of microwaved popcorn. If your family enjoys browsing through the latest Netflix offering or watching classic movies from the comfort of home, you can do it in comfort and style. Adding the right lighting and window coverings can make your experience that much better. And don’t forget about insulation or sound-proofing so that you can crank up the volume when you want without disturbing other members of the household.

10. Home Gym

Perhaps you are one of those people who loves to stay in shape but doesn’t love the idea of driving to a crowded gym to share equipment with total strangers. A home gym can be the answer to that dilemma. You can select the equipment that best serves your specific workout needs, and you can choose a décor that matches your sense of style. Of course, you’ll want to engage a remodeler who will ensure that the room you remodel will handle the equipment you plan to use—and will be a comfortable and healthy environment in which to exercise.

11. Wine Cellar/Tasting Room

Oregon Wine Country has earned itself a reputation for producing great wines. Maybe you've become a bit of an oenophile yourself! Whether you simply enjoy sipping a glass of wine on occasion—or enjoy collecting and sharing wine with your friends, you may want to think about adding a place to store and enjoy the fruit of the vine. Your choices can range from installing a small free-standing wine refrigerator to creating a full-blown cellar and wine tasting room to enjoy vintages. Here’s a helpful post that will help you explore your options and choose the right solution for your wants and needs.

12. Home Office

Increasing numbers of us work from home regularly. Whether you occasionally work from home or do it daily, you'll want an office space that allows you to be comfortable and productive. Simply shoving a desk into a spare bedroom doesn't create the kind of environment that's conducive to doing your best work. A well-designed home office can create the kind of space that lets you get plenty of work done from the comfort and convenience of your own home.

Picture a room with a spot for everything related to your work. Start with the walls, in a configuration that maximizes natural lighting and provides plenty of space for whiteboards, projector screens, or vision boards. Install a desk that is the perfect size for every project, with a supportive chair that is easy to adjust on the fly. Add organization, like drawers, file cabinets, and recessed shelving for books or binders. If you have room, create a separate station for the kids to do their homework. You will have a haven of productivity, without having to give up your kitchen table.

13. A Multi-Purpose Garage

Garages are often one of the most underused spaces in the home. But garages aren’t just for cars anymore! You can turn your garage into a multi-purpose space that meets more of your needs, or lets you pursue your hobbies. With proper planning (and some imagination) you and your remodeler can create a great woodworking workshop with room for all your equipment—and adequate lighting to make woodworking more fun. Maybe you enjoy working on cars. You can resurface the floor to make it easier to do that. You may even be able to build in tool chests so that your tools are right at hand—without taking up floor space.

It could be that you simply need more space to store seasonal items, such as summer outdoor equipment such as sleeping bags, tents, or coolers. And then when the seasons change, you can store winter items (including Christmas decorations). With some careful planning, you may be able to take advantage of the space above your head—which will still leave plenty of room for your cars.

What Makes a Remodel "High-End"?

Trying to figure out what qualifies as a “high-end” remodel may take some consideration. Although this designation usually indicates that you are willing to spend more or buy upscale materials, it does not simply mean a greater outlay of funds. By increasing your budget, you are getting a different service that will result in a better long-term investment in your home. Although there are many ways to remodel your home on a lower budget, you certainly have to make concessions on quality craftsmanship and other areas. By spending more and hiring an expert design-build company to put your dream to life, you get precisely what you expect.

What Is the Most Expensive Thing When Remodeling a House?

The most expensive thing when remodeling a house depends on the style and how you need to improve it. Removing late 20th Century carpeting to reveal and refinish the beautiful hardwood underneath may or may not be a significant endeavor. On the other hand, returning a home to its former glory after a careless remodeling job may require months of work. High-use rooms like the kitchen and bathroom tend to be the most complicated, but restoring a grand staircase could be a big project as well.

How Much Does a High-End Remodel Cost?

A high-end home remodel costs about $100 to $200 per square foot or more. remodeling a home takes more than adding a variety of cool house features. Your contractor must be able to identify all the parts of the home that you want to keep. They may need additional skills or experience working with unique materials and traditional building styles. Understanding a structure’s history makes it easier for a company to restore features that may no longer be popular but are still important for the look and feel of the home. Remodeling a single room usually runs the least, while whole-home remodeling costs the most.

What Is the Most Popular Home Improvement?

The most popular home improvement in modern dream houses depends on the home. As a general rule, homeowners look to remodel the kitchen and the bathrooms with the highest frequency. Since these rooms get the most use in the home and can become outdated quickly, it’s not surprising that they need surface updates every 5 to 10 years and a major overhaul at least once every 20 to 25 years. Besides those common projects, outdoor additions like a deck or patio are currently trending. They extend your outdoor living space, which is ideal for small homes or for people who enjoy entertaining. They also provide a great return when you’re trying to keep a large project under budget. Wondering about the cost to remodel your kitchen? Check out these estimates as you start to plan.


What we’ve highlighted here is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to high-end home remodel. Depending on your desires and your budget, you might want to add some of the following features to your wish list:

  • Hot tub or sauna
  • Indoor pool
  • Library (with rolling ladder, of course)
  • Hidden passageway (swinging bookcase or mirror, pass-through wardrobe)
  • High-end doghouse
  • Dog shower
  • Indoor basketball court
  • Climbing wall
  • Tennis court (indoor or out)
  • Home arcade/game room (ping-pong, air hockey, foosball, pachinko, pinball, pool)
  • Bowling alley
  • Gourmet kitchen
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Putting green
  • Built-in aquarium
  • Playground for kids

Got More New Home Must-Haves?

With all these ideas, you may have a sense of your dream home interior. Your next step is to put your plans into action. A high-end home remodel doesn’t happen overnight, and it is definitely not something that you can do without the skill of an expert design-build remodeling company. At COOPER Design Build, we have decades of experience helping homeowners turn a home into everything they ever wanted. Schedule a consultation to start the process to build your dream home.


remodeling starter guide

Topics: Home Remodeling, Remodeling Ideas, Luxury Home