Odds & Ends » Home Sweet Home

3120 S. Bown Way


Built in 2006

1,180 sq. ft,; 1 BD, 1.5 BA


Homeland Realty, Bryant Forrester, 209-866-7551, ForresterCompany.com.

This week's home is a modern one-bedroom condo above The Marketplace at Bown Crossing. It sits atop the charming neighborhood retail center and offers many of the conveniences of low-maintenance urban living. Vibrant restaurants and shops are right downstairs, there is no lawn to mow, and an anti-noise ordinance that kicks in at 10 p.m. every night effectively rolls up the sidewalks and ensures loft dwellers a quiet night's rest. There are also unbeatable views of the Boise Foothills, and the paved 25-mile-long Greenbelt pedestrian and cycling path along the Boise River is just a quick jog away.

Of the 12 residences nestled above the storefronts that comprise The Marketplace, five are in this building. This end unit shares an interior stairway entrance and one common wall with its neighbor. The architectural dynamic of the space places industrial elements alongside home-style components, contrasts light colors with dark, and juxtaposes cold and warm materials. In the kitchen, traditional cabinetry finished in a warm mahogany hue and beautiful slab granite countertops are a homey contrast to industrial elements like concrete flooring and exposed overhead ductwork. Concrete floors stained a rich brown color and a high ceiling painted black contrast warm, cream-tinted walls in the great room. In the bedroom, the color scheme is reversed, with chocolate brown on walls and cream on floor and ceiling. Each room contains warm woods and the stony coolness of granite, marble or concrete.

From the front door, you enter a small foyer. A sharp right turn takes you down a long hallway that opens to the modern kitchen and brightly lit great room. Before we go there, let's see what lies behind the four doors in the hall. Door No. 1 is the entrance to the master suite. Painted chocolate brown with plush, cream-colored carpeting, it has an easterly view of the Boise Foothills and the subdivision behind The Marketplace. The master bathroom features creamy travertine flooring, a dual vanity with oval porcelain vessel sinks, a built-in armoire and a shower/tub combo. The vanity cabinets and armoire are stained a warm, mahogany brown, as are the baseboards and window trim throughout the condo.

Back in the hallway, three doors remain. The first hides a stackable washer and dryer, and the second houses the compact tankless water heater and several storage shelves. Behind the third door is a handy half-bath featuring a show-stopper of a sink. The unit is shaped like a 4-foot-tall bongo drum; the sink, which sits atop a tapered, textured stone column, appears to be a solid piece of peach-colored marble.

At the end of the hall is the great room, which contains the kitchen, living room and dining room. West-facing windows overlook The Marketplace below and south-facing windows overlook a rooftop and the office building next door. The kitchen features stainless steel GE Profile appliances, a travertine backsplash with colorful glass tile insets and a roomy work island-slash-breakfast bar. The living room boasts a wet bar with wine fridge, bar sink and upper cabinets faced in textured glass, while a hanging light fixture defines the dining room. A tiny balcony with just enough room for two chairs faces Tavern Restaurant and overlooks Bown Crossing's main intersection.

Cons: No space for children. Carport parking means cold buns on chilly mornings.

Pros: Low-maintenance, downtown-style living in a small village setting that is proximate to the morning cup of joe, beers and sushi after work, and riverside recreation. Oh, and no space for children.