Home + Design

The Farmhouse overlooks the pastures of Tabula Rasa Farm in Carlton, a leader in the regenerative agriculture movement. Relax on the deck and watch cows graze.

Home Stay

What makes an Airbnb retreat feel special? Two popular Oregon hosts offer tips for your home or rental written by Melissa Dalton Tabula Rasa Farms: A Scandinavian-Influenced Farmhouse in Carlton The Airbnb reviews of The [email protected] Rasa Farms are effusive. “This home was beyond amazing,” reads one. “If you appreciate design, this is your spot,” goes another. One really makes their case: “Every single light has a dimmer in the entire house.” After all, when the farmhouse’s owner, Brenda Smola-Foti designed the farmhouse more than a decade ago, she paid careful attention to the details, especially lighting. “I did a lot of things to get north light, because that’s the steady light that a painter likes,” said Smola-Foti, who grew up working on her father’s cattle ranch in Oklahoma, and now describes herself as “an artist who made the jump to farmer.” In 2008, Smola-Foti bought twenty-three acres of farmland…

A covered deck lets you take in the bucolic scene from The Farmhouse at Tabula Rasa Farm.

DIY: Tips for a Successful Airbnb

MAINTAIN INVENTORY No guest wants to have to run to the store for a sponge or toilet paper on vacation. Higgins uses Amazon’s subscription service to stay on top of supplies for the River Cabaan. “A lot of the admin of an Airbnb is the stock and the cleaning,” said Higgins, so streamlining the process with regular deliveries is a time-saver. Have on hand things that visitors commonly forget to pack as well, such as extra toothbrushes and deodorant, said Smola-Foti. DON’T FORGET THE OUTDOORS While the Carlton farmhouse has a lot of dedicated outdoor space, including a deck and covered porch, Smola-Foti makes sure to populate it with ample seating so that guests can take advantage of finding a place in the sun. Likewise, at the River Cabaan, there’s a hammock, too. KEEP IT FRESH No one wants to dry off with a towel that’s lost its fluff, or…

French doors open a room to create a more spacious feel, refreshing it with natural light.

Form, Function, Financially Fit & Fabulous

Oregon designers spill the smartest ways to use $50,000 in home equity written by Melissa Dalton In the past year, our homes have taken on new significance. We relish the comfort they provide, while pondering possibilities for making them even better. We asked three Oregon designers to weigh in on how they’d recommend homeowners spend $50,000 in home equity. Turns out, a little can go a long way, if you know where to use it. HOUSE OF MILO, BEND Sarah Westhusing | Remodel a kitchen or bathroom People tend to look at the question of remodeling in two ways, said Sarah Westhusing, interior designer and founder of House of Milo, a Bend-based studio which tackles everything from new builds to renovations. “The first are the people that really focus on return on investment,” she said. They only want to invest an amount in updates that they’ll recoup when they sell…

DIY wainscoting in this bathroom adds dimension, interest and a shallow shelf, too.

DIY: Tips for Installing Wainscot in Your Home

Wainscot, or wood-paneling installed on the lower section of wall in a room, can have a big impact, as seen in the custom treatment in Stephanie Dyer’s bathroom. Apply wainscot to one wall as an accent, or wrap the room, for instant depth and character. Here are our basic tips. MIND THE PROPORTIONS The key to getting wood paneling to look appropriate is to get the proportions right. First, measure the height from floor to ceiling. One approach is to have the height of the wood paneling, including any trim, be either ⅓ or ⅗ of the total wall height. Pay attention to how the paneling height will interact with all of the other elements in the room, such as windows, light switches, towel bars, the mirror and existing trim. Use a level and a pencil to draw a light horizontal line around the room that marks the desired height….

Grillskär from Ikea

Good-Looking Charcoal Grills

Throw your grilling aspirations on one of these three capable grills at the next local barbecue Should you need more than just a grill, check out Ikea’s modular outdoor kitchen system, Grillskär. It has a sleek black powder-coated steel base with a stainless-steel counter, and includes additional units that have a sink or a prep counter.www.ikea.com/us/en/p/grillskaer-charcoal-grill-black-stainless-steel-outdoor-30471447/ What’s more iconic than the Original Kettle Charcoal Grill from Weber? Designed in 1952 by George Stephen, a man obsessed with grilling the perfect steak, he took inspiration from a buoy, cutting it in half and adding three legs and a handle, to create the original round cooking bowl with a lid.www.weber.com Bake, roast, smoke—the Big Green Egg does it all. The first was a simple clay cooker sold out of Atlanta in 1974 and has since been vastly improved thanks to ceramic technology originally developed by NASA for the space program. Now available…

The courtyard’s greenery, protected by elevated walkways, stem from a love for traditional Japanese gardens.

By the Water’s Edge

Serene outdoor spaces with elegant water features transform two Oregon homes Written by Melissa Dalton Ashland: A tranquil courtyard replaces a driveway This mid-century home close to downtown Ashland sits on an enviable lot: it’s about two acres, complete with majestic, mature evergreens and views down to Lithia Park and across the valley. But when Jeff Mangin bought the property in 2014, the yard was not living up to its potential. “The house was interesting, the site was not,” said landscape architect Kerry KenCairn of KenCairn Landscape Architecture in Ashland, who worked with Mangin and locally based Solid Ground Landscape to change that. Mangin, who’s retired from the finance industry, picked the property for its privacy and proximity to the park, where he likes to hike. He started with a total gut on the house, keeping only the framing and part of the foundation. The garage was converted to a…

A rain chain fashioned by sculpture artist Christine Clark, who hand-bent every link.

DIY: Hang a Rain Chain

Rain chains have been a mainstay in Japanese culture for centuries, serving to collect rainwater for practical use. They make sense in the rainy Northwest for a number of reasons. Rain chains add personalized décor to the exterior of a house and garden, as well as the soothing sound of trickling water. They’re also practical; slowing down the water’s rush averts soil erosion and prevents gushing runoff from overwhelming the municipal storm system. Locate Choose a location where you’ll be able to see and appreciate the rain chain, and make sure the water drains away from the house and foundation. Consider having a receptacle for the drained water, such as a rain barrel, a trail of river rocks that lead to a garden, or a container of some sort, which could produce a gurgling fountain effect. Install Downspouts funnel rain water off the roof and away from the foundation into…

Designer Spotlight: Designer Jessica Helgerson on chic and timeless kitchen design

Designer Spotlight interview by Melissa Dalton, photos by Lincoln Barbour Twenty-two years ago, Jessica Helgerson started her design career in Santa Barbara, working for a green-building nonprofit called The Sustainability Project. So what’s the greenest move you can make in a kitchen? First, she says, “Get the design right for that house so that the kitchen never has to get ripped out again.” We asked her to elaborate on her secrets for doing just that. 1. Take cues from the existing house. At Helgerson’s firm, designers pore over old photos for inspiration. For instance, in a recent remodel of a Portland home that was once a library, Helgerson referenced the house’s past in the kitchen with built-in shelves and a rolling library ladder. 2. Build stylish storage and, bonus, hide the fridge. To balance open shelves with the room’s storage needs, Helgerson’s firm has recently been installing walls of smart…

Condo Downsizes and Makeovers

Beaverton condo makeover transforms a blank box into a custom-designed sanctuary written by Melissa Dalton   When Maurice and Dori King first walked through the door of the Beaverton condo they now call home, they saw a beautiful tree-lined view through the living room’s tall windows. But that was soon followed by a plethora of drab builder finishes, from taupe carpeting to beige bathroom tile. Turns out, that was exactly what the couple needed. The unit had not been modified much since the building’s construction in the early aughts, making it ripe for reinvention. “What excited me more than anything else was that it was a box,” Maurice said. Before considering condo life, Maurice, a sales director at Nike, and Dori, an educator at Oregon Episcopal School, raised two children and, most recently, lived in a modern Craftsman in Bethany Village. That 2,000-square-foot house served certain purposes well. “We are…