The Democratization of Design- Part 2

June 13, 2022

A Look at Before and After

Portland, Oregon

We recently shared with you the Westland approach to design, including how we make design decisions for our properties and our innovative approach to selecting finishes such as paint, flooring, lighting and hardware that raise the bar for multi-family housing. We take “tired” buildings with great bones in bustling suburbs and bring them back to life for our residents from the inside-out. We believe multi-family, suburban housing doesn’t need to be drab and neglected, and we aim to make our properties comfortable and vibrant places to live.   

When we acquire a new property, we begin by modernizing the exteriors and landscaping. And then each time a unit turns over, we upgrade it thoughtfully with finishes that feel more like a home than an apartment. Here are a few before and after images from West on Murray, our property in Beaverton, Oregon– near the Nike Headquarters. 

Sample Kitchen Interior- Before

Sample Kitchen Interior- After

Now, this is a place where you can imagine residents gathering, entertaining and enjoying themselves! The addition of a small peninsula for casual dining is a game changer. And replacing upper cabinetry with open shelving makes the space feel much larger. Lastly, the engineered hardwood flooring is not only more attractive, but is much easier to clean and maintain than carpet, and also allows residents to customize the space with their own throw rugs. We add insulation layers below the flooring to minimize sound. 

In terms of exteriors, we take a similar approach – by asking what changes can we make to transform a dated exterior and make it feel fresh and modern, without tearing the building down, which would be extremely wasteful. At West on Murray, we added high contrast dark stained wood over dated brick, also replaced sage green wood paneling with crisp white hardipanel. The effect is so transformative that it almost looks like new construction.

Sample Exterior - Before

Sample Exterior- After

Interior courtyard photo - BEFORE

Interior courtyard photo - AFTER

Street-facing exterior - BEFORE

Street-facing exterior - AFTER

In addition to updating the buildings themselves, we replenish landscaping and update pathways and communal gathering spaces, so there is a lot of room for our residents to connect with nature and relax. Our goal is to make our properties a great place to call home. In addition to building value for residents, this also builds value for our investors and the communities where we reside.

If you would like to see more examples of our transformative upgrades or want to learn more about Westland Investors, please contact Carson Halley at


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