Interpretive markers now indicate the route of the Oregon Trail along Boise Avenue. Those who traveled the trail would be amazed to see the houses that have replaced the sagebrush they once passed by. This home is called "The Ada" and is located in Bridgewalk, a collection of 11 two-story patio homes off of Boise Avenue between Gekeler and Apple streets.
This specific address, 324 Sydmore Dr., is the first house completed in this unusual development. Three homes are almost done and several more lots are sold. The builder left six mature trees--willows, an oak, and pines--on this lot to tower over the house and accent its striking appearance. The home design is slightly out of the ordinary with a gray and pink stone entry, cedar siding, tan stucco, a taupe garage door and a stucco chimney beautifully inset with stone. The inviting front patio is covered by an arbor. The cedar front door with a small, decoratively barred window is shielded with an arched overhang, and lit with rectangular Craftsman wood- and metal-accent lights.
Inside, the great room is lit by windows. The gas fireplace is surrounded by brown tile and topped with a big arched alcove ready for the TV. A half bath opens off the main entry and features a freestanding copper sink, which I really love. All the ceilings in the house are 10 feet high, and the doors are white solid-wood bead board. Beyond two taupe pillars and an arch are the formal dining room with a tile floor, big windows and a glass door leading out back. The kitchen breakfast bar and countertops are covered in dark brown granite tile, the appliances are Jenn Air stainless steel and the cabinets are a warm brown. A pantry opens off the corridor leading to the oversized, finished two-car garage.
Upstairs is a large master bedroom with an arched ceiling and big windows. A glass door leads out to a balcony: how wonderfully Romeo and Juliet. The master bath has dual vanities set in tile and travertine, a garden tub and a big shower. A walk-in closet opens off the bedroom, and this, in turn, leads to a laundry room with storage and a sink. A bonus room follows.
Off the bonus room are two good-sized bedrooms, one of which has yet another small balcony. Both bedrooms open onto a bathroom with a shower/tub combination and high windows. From the bonus room, I return to the stairs through a back hallway. I notice a view of the Foothills from the top window of the stairs.
As a gardener, I always look forward to the yard. The glass door off the dining room leads down to a wide, curved, light-pink concrete patio. The back yard isn't deep, but it's inviting because it is shaded by a big tree and landscaped with bushes, including rhododendrons. A high wooden fence separates the yard from very nice houses beyond. To the right is an amazing feature: a common area featuring a stream, a waterfall, a seating area and a fire pit. There's a lawn on the side of the house, and a berm with a small tree, some bushes and stones shielding the entry patio.
PROS: Keeping the mature trees was inspired. A water feature provides drainage, the sound of falling water and a home for red-winged blackbirds and beauty. The stream continues across the street to another common area and footbridges. The design of the house is dramatically eclectic. Two patios and two balconies offer lots of outside seating. The house is elegant and constructed of high-end materials.
CONS: Unfortunately, the motor that runs the three-tiered waterfall is a bit loud. I would negotiate a quieter motor before I purchased. If I could move this house, I would move it farther away from Boise Avenue. Then, however, I wouldn't have the six huge trees! Ah, decisions, decisions.
2,013 sq. ft.: 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths
Lot size: .08 acre
Designed by Robin LaBrie; Developed and built by Brett LaBrie in 2007
Group One: Terry Schroeder, T: 208-867-1025, www.tschroeder.group-one.com