With more time at home over the past eighteen months, Central Oregon homeowners are looking at their environments with fresh eyes. “People wish to create and design a new sense of comfort and to make the most of their homes—whether they are starting from the very beginning as a sketch on paper, or a partial/full remodeling project,” said Kirsti Wolfe, owner of interior architectural design company Kirsti Wolfe Designs. Wolfe said she is receiving more requests for paired offices, spa-like bathrooms, larger kitchens (to accommodate more in-home cooking), cozy media rooms and new or converted exercise rooms. “People are choosing not to go out to do as many things, so they are thinking more about the experience of being at home. The pandemic has changed what people want. It is often referred to as: #covidconstruction,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe has worked in Central Oregon for seventeen years and in interior design for thirty years, watching firsthand as design styles and clients’ desires have changed. More recently, she has observed that homeowners are rethinking their time at home and how their spaces work—or don’t work—for them. Wolfe and her team work with local architects and builders to execute projects for homeowners, with more than half of Wolfe’s business coming from repeat clients looking for new builds, remodels or second homes outside the area. “Many of the clients I work with, now that they’re spending more time in their homes, realize there is something else they want,” Wolfe said. A current project on Wolfe’s docket is an indoor/outdoor bathroom with sliding doors that lead directly into a Zen garden outside. “It is going to be a relaxing atmosphere incorporating a water feature or an outdoor shower,” Wolfe said. “People want their homes to feel more comfortable and less isolated.”
From residential to hospitality
While Wolfe is known for designing gorgeous, functional kitchen and bathroom projects, her work is far from limited to just these rooms. She is spending more time addressing the auxiliary areas of the home, including media rooms, exercise rooms, mud/laundry rooms and offices. These projects reflect many design styles, from traditional to modern.
Nearly a decade ago, Wolfe’s company expanded into the hospitality industry, as vacationers and stay-cationers began to seek more comforts of home while on a trip. With the rise of Airbnb rentals and the growth in popularity of vacation home rentals, it has become clear to hotels and resorts that creating a home-like experience for lodging is critical. Wolfe assisted Bend’s Tetherow Resort by designing its guest rooms to include spa-like bathrooms and spacious mudrooms for dropping off skis and other outdoor toys and gear. “When you have a space for those things to land, guests can truly enjoy the rest of the room,” she said. She is now designing something similar at Sunriver Resort, by remodeling the Lodge Village guest rooms, modernizing the accommodations by upgrading mudrooms and bathrooms by adding lighter and more modernized aesthetic. The result generates a more user-friendly space that feels like home.