Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group
Christopher Lofthus, 208-514-5003
Driving down the eight-block stretch of Colorado Avenue in Southeast Boise to reach this week's home, I counted no fewer than 35 infill dwellings interspersed among a patchwork of modest houses ranging from cottages built in the 1930s and '40s to duplexes and compact single-family residences constructed during the last two decades.
The infill projects are easy to spot. They are clustered in groups of two or three, crammed on a single standard residential lot that may have been vacant or once occupied by an older home torn down to make way for a builder's dream of cashing in on Boise's recent real estate boom.
This week's home is one of a trio of brightly painted infill structures wedged between two nicely maintained houses from the early 1940s. Its neo-traditional exterior and long, narrow floor plan reminds me of a friend's cozy, contemporary cabin near the lake in McCall, where the main living spaces are on the upper level and the bedrooms are downstairs.
The exterior is painted a cheerful green and has a hipped roof with deep front eaves creating a porch cover for a wood deck. A flight of stairs leads to the deck and the front door.
The door opens to a great room that contains a small living room, dining space and kitchen. A bedroom suite is situated behind the great room. Downstairs you'll find a second bedroom suite and two bedrooms that share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom.
Throughout the residence, brushed nickel light fixtures and hardware complement light khaki walls and white trim. Medium-brown hardwood floors flow through the great room. The kitchen is outfitted with a breakfast bar, granite tile countertops, honey-colored cabinetry, a small work island and stainless steel appliances.
You'll need to bring your own fridge because the home currently doesn't have one. And you'll probably want to place a shade or curtain over the window above the sink to block the less-than-thrilling view of the blank exterior wall of the house next door, which sits about 6 feet away. Because of this, the house feels like it was shoehorned onto its narrow lot.
The floor plan's very small living and dining areas seem to suggest that the homeowners won't be spending much time at home. The cozy great room seems better suited for one or two occupants, not the four or more that would fill the bedrooms. The house might make a good rental for Boise State students, who are typically gone all day between school and work.
The back yard is a concrete courtyard sitting between the house and the detached two-car garage, which is accessed from the alley behind the property. A couple of large potted plants, an oversized above-ground planter for growing vegetables, and some patio furniture would make the courtyard a spot for hanging out on a summer afternoon.
Colorado Avenue is just five blocks from Parkcenter Boulevard, where Supervalu headquarters, Red Robin restaurant and the hip hangout Barbacoa are located. In the opposite direction, Broadway Avenue and all of the restaurants and shops that line the busy street are about three blocks away. Boise State's Bronco Stadium is an easy five block pedal away, and Greenbelt access at Julia Davis Park lies just over the bridge on the north side of the stadium, as does St. Luke's Regional Medical Center at the eastern edge of downtown Boise.
Pros: Convenient location.
Cons: Infill house feels like it was shoehorned onto narrow property.