Our Little House

Home Renovation, Personal

Sprial-Staircase---Amy-Sia
We’ve now owned our house for just over three years and it’s still far from looking like the home we want it to. There are a lot of factors that have contributed to this, e.g. the fact that it’s divided into two completely separate 600sf apartments (upstair/downstairs) with only outdoor stairs; it’s also a 1919 little craftsman cottage, and though the electrical has been redone, that’s really about it. Shortly after moving in we redid the upstairs bathroom because it was just awful, and we love it (it’s now white and black subway tile, black walls and hexagon floors); we loved it so much we stopped all remodeling after that!

The biggest challenge in deciding what to do with our house has really laid on the fact that it’s divided. We had thought of remodeling both apartments, renting them out, and hopefully moving somewhere with a little more space, but when the City informed us that we weren’t actually supposed to have two apartments, and that whoever did that did it without a permit *insert frustrated sigh here*, it kinda of really threw us off balance.
After about three months of trying to figure out what to do and sitting down with our favourite architect, we realised that there was only one option: making it one 1200sf house. Though it was frustrating that all of a sudden we were forced into one option, it did provide some clarity. After all, we do live in a great neighborhood: we’re pretty much smack down the middle of town, down the street from the river and one of the best parks in the city (which will be handy for when kiddies come along), and from what I hear, a great school district (again, for when kiddies come along).

We’re still trying to figure it out, but the gist of it *insert super excited face here* is putting in a spiral staircase, making a master bedroom downstairs with a walk-in closet (can I get an Amen?!), converting the old living room into a small bedroom, the old bedroom would become a landing and hang out area. The upstairs would remain pretty much the same, the bedroom will be an office/guest crashing quarters, and eventually we’ll redo the kitchen because God knows it needs it!

Of course, this is all going to take a while, we like to do things mostly debt free which means that sometimes things take twice as long and we also want to make sure we LOVE everything we do, but now we have direction! And below you can see my inspiration (it’s mostly decor, but you see where I’m going with it)….

Heylen-Thienes---Home-Renovation-Inspiration

I would love to know what your favourite home decor and remodeling blogs are, or send me your pinterest board links, I’m ready for ideas and inspiration!

XO
H

PS: If you’d like to follow the remodeling journey or just keep in touch, hit me up on Instagram!
Pictures credits starting from the top: Amy Sia, Garance Dore, New York Times.

Jefferson Millhouse: Part 2

Jefferson Millhouse, Personal, Remodel

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.

HeylenThienes | Jefferson Moodboard

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.

If you don’t want to wait for all the posts and want to see what the house looks like after all the remodeling you can see it here and here. Or you can visit the Facebook page!

Jefferson Millhouse: Part 1

Collaboration, Jefferson Millhouse, Personal, Remodel

Last year I got to be part of a very unique remodeling project alongside my husband. He and his uncle remodel homes here in Bend, Oregon, often transforming them from something you wouldn’t want to set foot in, to wanting to make it your forever home. Well this project was like nothing I‘d ever done before, sure, I’d watched them draw up plans, tear down walls and build beautiful bathrooms, but had never been part of the process as closely as with this one.

In December 2012 they bought a little craftsman 1920’s mill house at an auction, and while the house, which was split in to two separate living units, had a ton of character – with original claw foot tubs and hardwood floors – it was in desperate need of love (it also had original wiring).  There were so many unique things about this house, from its history and how it rang a bell with my husband’s family history, to the way it was so conveniently located – close to downtown, the river, the Old Mill District… It was easy to see from the start that this project was going to be different.

As a result, after a lot of discussing and planning the goal became to keep the house as a vacation home and not put it back up for sale (for now, anyway). My job was to give them some art direction in how to make this home a place where people would want to come and dwell in on weekends, holidays etc; from researching colors, light fixtures, bathroom designs to staging the home and designing the visual identity, bringing everything together. I had never done this before, so not only was it a huge challenge and learning experience, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Since this project was (and still is) so special to us, so many people were involved and so many people always ask us about it, I wanted to share a bit about the process and show you how it all came together.

Going from this:

Jefferson Millhouse | BeforePhoto: Google Maps

To this:

Jefferson Millhouse | AfterPhoto: Stefanie Holland

If you can’t wait until I post all the after pictures, you can see current pictures here and here