photo Tim Cotter
When Neil Kelly Company senior designer Kathleen Donohue approached a remodeling project in northwest Bend earlier this year, she knew it would be a balance of the client’s wish list, budget and project logistics. And in the case of this Awbrey Glen home, it would involve a bit of problem solving and creativity, too. The company was hired by a couple who were preparing to return to the Bend home where they had raised a family, after years of renting it out while they focused on careers out of the area. The couple’s desired updates included a more modern kitchen that was better for entertaining, new dog-friendly rustic hardwood flooring throughout the main level, a more inviting downstairs powder room and a new “cellar” to house an impressive wine collection. “They had been living elsewhere for work reasons, and they came back to this home to get it ready for their retirement and to be their forever home,” said Donohue, who is a certified master kitchen and bath designer, or CMKBD, and certified aging in place specialist, or CAPS. Donohue has been with Neil Kelly, which specializes in design/build remodeling, for more than thirty years, so she’s well versed in remodels. She knew to keep the homeowner’s wish list in mind from the start, and set out to accomplish their goals with their budget in mind.
Opening up the kitchen
When it came to modernizing the kitchen, Donohue set out to brighten up the space, tweak the layout to feel more open and add new cabinets and flooring complementing the home’s existing woodwork. The kitchen had both an island and a peninsula, so the latter was removed to improve the flow of the room. “It was pretty crowded before, so it was important to keep things really simple,” Donohue said. New appliances were added, including a Bertazzoni range, accented with an ivory hood. The new cabinets are a mix of natural knotty alder, matching existing wood in the house, and some painted a grey green color that ties in well with the greenery outside. “The color really brings the outdoors in with that golf course right outside the window,” Donohue said. The island is topped with a wooden counter that helps warm up the space and keep it from feeling too industrial. “She said she’d never had a kitchen like this and never dreamed she would,” Donohue said of the homeowner.
In early discussions about the remodel, the plan was to convert a small pantry underneath the stairs into a wine cellar, but after realizing the owner had a 400-bottle collection, Donohue knew more space was needed. “There was a little pantry, but it was literally a closet under the stairs, and wouldn’t be enough room on its own,” she said. An existing covered front porch area on the exterior just outside the pantry wasn’t used by the homeowners but was already underneath the house’s roof, while an adjacent laundry room had an angled area that was underutilized. Together these extra spaces would become the new cellar, offering the area needed to display the wine collection, as well as a bistro table and chairs for entertaining.
Simple updates to the existing laundry room and powder room helped to lighten up the areas visually and make them more inviting. The powder room was dressed up with fresh finishes, wallpaper and a new light fixture. The more compact laundry room was outfitted with the same grey green cabinetry as the kitchen and a bright white counter.
All the updates helped transform the home from a more traditional lodge style design into a more contemporary space. “The homeowners just really, really love it and are really pleased,” Donohue said. “It’s a beautiful home in a beautiful setting and this project finished all the things they wanted to do to bring it up to date.”