written by Melissa Dalton | photos by Heaven McArthur for Timberline Construction of Bend
When building a brand-new house, the options can seem endless, which sometimes leads to “analysis paralysis” in certain clients. The owners of this recent build in Bend’s Tetherow development avoided indecision by identifying what they didn’t want first. “Especially in Tetherow, a lot of the houses are super modern, but they didn’t want a super contemporary home,” said Bend-based interior designer Lucy Roland of Harper House Design. In 2015, Roland joined Timberline Construction and Tebbs Design Group to guide the owners, a couple in the brewery business, through the design and build process. “[The wife] definitely errs on the side of more traditional,” Roland said. “So, they wanted something that can bridge the gap between modern and traditional.” On the surface, a “modern traditional” aesthetic might seem contradictory, but it’s all about striking a balance.
Think of it as farmhouse function meets the restrained detailing of modernism, with a few rustic and industrial accents thrown in for good measure. The kitchen’s scheme started with the wall treatment, which, at first glance, appears to be a very simple subway tile. “But instead of the 3-inch by 6-inch size, we took the shape to a modern 2-inch by 8-inch,” Roland said. “ Then we set it in a brick pattern because stacking it would have been too modern.” Wrapping the window sills in tile and carrying the pattern up to the ceiling conjures a commercial kitchen, Roland said, which nods to the utilitarian purpose of the room within the open floorplan. The combination of a cement counter and Shaker perimeter cabinets is equal parts industrial and classic, while the similar tonal qualities in their colors—dark charcoal and a soft grey—unite any style differences. The mod-trad mix continues in the adjacent dining room, where a substantial handmade wood table, so heavy a crane had to place it, is partnered with streamlined black chairs.
Next, Roland layered wood tones and metals to give the kitchen nuance. Floating shelves and a center island, both fashioned from white oak, jive with the medium wood tones of the floor, dining table and ceiling beams. Many of the wood finishes were deliberately distressed to give the new construction more patinaed character. “You don’t want everything looking perfect,” Roland said. Polished nickel plumbing syncs up with a suite of stainless-steel appliances, while dark bronze cabinet hardware brings in a note of contrast. Two large-scale powder-coated metal pendants over the island are a satisfying finishing touch. “Lighting is the jewelry of the room,” Roland said. The way the space is organized, the homeowners can whip up meals along the perimeter while guests perch at one of seven stools around the island and grab a beer from the nearby bar station. In that way, the kitchen manages to be both intimate and welcoming, ultimately proving that contradictions can be a good thing. “It’s classic and timeless,” Roland said, “yet still fresh and young at the same time.”
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