Last week I started sharing the journey that took us from buying a little mill house close to downtown Bend, to turning it into a vacation home. Soon after we got over the joy and, believe it or not, the adrenaline rush of having a winning bid at the Sheriff’s office, we started scheming and planning what we wanted to do with the house.
One thing that has always been important to us is being true to the character and history of a house, so needless to say that was the primary plan for this one. As we started doing more research (with the help of the really nice lady at the Deschutes Historical Society), we found out that the purpose of the houses built in this neighborhood was to house the workers from the mills owned by Shevlin-Hixon Lumber Company and Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Company, who had competing mills across from each other (with the Deschutes River going between them). This explained why it was built as a small duplex. The mills were the primary industry in Bend at the time and having workers living close by proved handy.
This small bit of history created the backdrop for our vision. It was really easy to get behind this too, especially since Seth’s family has a logging background, so it just made it that much more unique. His grandpa was a logger, as were his dad and his uncle at various times in their lives, sometimes even all working together.
Once that part of the research was over it was time to translate it into something we could work with. We wanted to honor its milling background, but it needed to serve modern day needs, and it needed to have a twist otherwise it just wouldn’t be us, somewhere a mill house and modern cabin, with a mixture of comfort, character and practicality.
We gathered images that represented our vision for inspiration and went from there, we specially looked at Roman and Wiliams’ work, (they designed the interiors for the NY Ace hotel and Facebook’s new Cafeteria) as their style really aligned with the look we wanted to achieve. We decided to keep the colors within the era (Sherwin Williams has great information on period paint colors), but add some pops whether it was through paint or decoration. If you’re remodeling, or planning to make some changes to your home, I would strongly recommend starting with a mood board, as it really helps to see how things look and work together.