Introducing Craven Haven
When the Craven family zeroed in on a nearly half-acre lot to buy in Tetherow in the fall of 2019, it was empty, save for a couple of mature ponderosa pine trees near the center. Other buyers and builders might have seen the trees—required to stay put as part of the lot sale—as a challenge, but it was one that Mackenzie Craven and her husband Kenny were up for. The Cravens had settled in Kenny’s hometown of Bend in the early 2010s after meeting in college out of state. They lived in a home in NorthWest Crossing, and another in the Shevlin Park area before finding a lot in Tetherow and purchasing it with plans for a new build.
Mackenzie, a former marketing professional, had taken up an interest in interior design, chronicling the couple’s DIY home updates in their first Bend homes on Instagram under the name Craven Haven (@craven_haven), and even going viral for a bathroom remodel project. When it came time to plan out the Tetherow home, Mackenzie put her refined design eye to work. “I don’t have a background in interior design, but it’s just a passion of mine,” she said. “I have a pretty strong sense of what I like.” So while Kenny stayed busy with work as general manager of Bend’s Big Country RV dealership, Mackenzie took the lead on the new home project, while also pregnant with the couple’s third child. Along the way, she continued sharing her insights into design and motherhood on Instagram.
The couple knew of a contractor they wanted to work with, David Burnham of Burnham Building Company, and had connected with architect Adam Peterson of Muddy River Design to begin the process of designing the home. The two pine trees in the center of the lot became the starting point, with an outdoor courtyard envisioned around the trees, and the house wrapping around the courtyard, with the central outdoor area visible from nearly every room inside. “Being able to see that courtyard was a big priority,” Mackenzie said. “We had to keep the trees and that definitely limited things, but it gave us a place to start.” The courtyard has an outdoor fireplace, which is double-sided, also serving as the focal point of the living room inside.
The 3,245-square-foot home features four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths, a suitable size for the young family, which includes the boys—4-year-old Hart and 2-and-a-half-year-old Smith—and 1-year-old girl, Merritt. Downstairs is the primary bedroom, which features a pair of walk-in closets, one of which is currently set up as an indoor exercise area. The connected bathroom includes a glass door to enter the wet room, which has both a shower area and tub within it, with all the walls covered in vibrant, emerald green tile. The tile is zellige, a unique style that is handmade in Morocco. Mackenzie said that the tile and other green highlights, along with a mostly black and white color palette throughout the home, help to evoke an organic style that blends in nicely with the nature seen outside. Opposite the main bedroom is another small bedroom that the Cravens first used as a nursery for Merritt and are now converting into an office.
The heart of the home is most definitely the kitchen, centrally located and anchored by an oversized island and row of barstools and highchairs to accommodate the kids. “Everyone just always ends up in the kitchen,” Mackenzie said. “My kids are there 24/7, eating their meals or drawing.” Highlights of the kitchen include custom cabinetry by Brian’s Cabinets, a black and gold Hallman range appliance and the glass and metal shelving units on either side of the stove that look as though they could be custom built, but were actually a shopping find of Mackenzie’s that happened to work out perfectly.
Upstairs at the Craven home is the kid zone, with two kids bedrooms, a bathroom and second living area perfect for cartoons and playtime.
It’s been about a year since the Cravens moved into their new house, and while there are still a few smaller design updates and projects on their to-do list, the space is proving to be functional and homey for the family of five. A few family-friendly musts decided on during the process included indestructible luxury vinyl plank flooring instead of hardwood, and performance fabrics on the furniture for easy cleanup of kid messes, such as crayon marks and chocolate milk spills.
When not at home, and between preschool, kids activities and errands, the Cravens sometimes squeeze in family outings to favorite Bend spots like the west side Bangers and Brews. “Anywhere with a soft pretzel is a win with my kids,” Mackenzie said. In the summer, camping trips or visits to the family cabin at Odell Lake are often on the agenda.
A decade after landing in Bend and finally settling into their Tetherow home, Mackenzie said she feels grateful for the opportunity to call such a beautiful place home. “People here are so friendly, and it’s really cool to be raising my kids in a place with so much access to outdoor activities.” Mackenzie said she isn’t sure if the newly completed build will be the family’s forever home, but it’s a perfect space for now. “It’s not really the house that makes the home, it’s the people.” In the meantime, she plans to continue sharing on Instagram, chronicling design updates and family life inside the Craven Haven.