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Exquisite nature-inspired modern retreat in Oregon’s high desert

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This modern desert house was designed by DeForest Architects in collaboration with NB Design Group, located in Bend, Oregon. The homeowner’s fell in love with Bend’s small city charm, high desert landscape and the boundless activities both outdoors and in. It was a place for the couple to recharge from their busy life in Seattle, surrounded by an idyllic environment of snowcapped peaks and the Deschutes National Forest. The couple is a retiree and an interior designer — owner of NB Design Group, who was responsible for designing the interiors of this project. The eventually plan to both retire to this high desert retreat  full-time.

Scope of the Project: This newly constructed home consists of 2,670 square feet, with two bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and a home office.

Project Team: Architect: DeForest Architects / Interior Design: NB Design Group / Construction: Doug Young Construction Company / Structural: Evergreen Design Company / Landscape: Heart Springs Landscape Design

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High Desert Palette: The design is inspired by the textures and colors of the surrounding desert landscape, allowing the dwelling to rest quietly on the property.

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Above: The soffits have veneer plaster over exterior-grade gypsum board. The exterior cedar siding was custom stained on site using Benjamin Moore Arborcoat.

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What We Love: We are absolutely loving the simplicity of this home with its clean lines and nature brought in through every window. An earthy, desert-inspired palette along with the large expanses of glass helps to create a seamless connection between indoors and out. Overall, this home is stunning with a thoughtful use and flow of materials, whole house integrated (and elegant) design, wonderful window design resulting in beautiful natural light, perfect scale, and interesting and flexible solutions for privacy… Readers, please share with us what your overall thoughts are on the design of this desert retreat in the Comments below!

Note: Have a look at a couple of our most favorite home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of DeForest Architects: Rustic-modern mountain retreat nestled on Lake Wenatchee and Tudor home with a modern twist on Lake Washington.

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Blurring Indoor-Outdoor Lines: The dwelling is organized around as a series of light-filled spaces–entry, courtyard, living, terrace–that blur the boundaries between the domestic and the desert. Even in more intimate spaces, hidden skylights and unexpected windows helps to capture the surrounding sky and landscape.

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Functional Design: There are some key elements in the design of this house that makes it very unique. It was designed to expand and contract, contingent on whether the couple was visiting the home by themselves or entertaining guests. The architects approach to facilitating this design involves the concept of creating the house as a “Swiss Army Knife”.  

Key concepts include: 

  • Entry courtyard features a rolling screen and swinging gate that can be configured to be cozy and private, or wide open and welcoming.
  • The cabinet wall between the living room and master suite features 5 sliding panels that conceal (or reveal), a fireplace, tv, storage, and bedroom spaces.
  • A large hinged wall section can be closed to turn a sunny sitting area into a guest bedroom.

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Above: The front door and the large arrays in the living room are from Western Window Systems. The rest is Sierra Pacific. For budget purposes, the architects selected the mix — high (Western) / low (Sierra Pacific). 

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Above: The interior tone is set by a 100-year-old lilac trunk that welcomes visitors and continues the organic statement.

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Above: A row of vintage catcher’s masks lines the entry wall.

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Above: Behind the sofa is a custom rift white oak console table with a custom stain by Dansky Cabinetry. Underneath the console are the BluDot Otto Ottomans in Thurmond Citron. The black and white horse photograph on the wall is by Sheila Rock.

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Above: In the living room, the fireplace wall features cedar cladding, stained in Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Semi-Solid B-15-662.  The fireplace surround is steel with a blackened finish, while the hearth is concrete. For the furnishings, the club chairs are custom upholstered Lee Industries Leather Swivel Chairs (L1283-01SW). The sectional is a Room & Board Easton Sectional.

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Above: The kitchen cabinets are from Pedini with a white lacquer finish. Countertops are quartz composite from PentalQuartz. The backsplash tile is Interstyle Glasstints Glass Tile in Tropical White with a gloss finish. The island countertop dimensions is 3′-6″ x 13′-6″, while the base is smaller to allow for the overhang. The seating in front of the island is the Bacco Counter Stools in leather from Design Within Reach.

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Above: The flooring throughout this project is reclaimed white oak from Restoration Timber. The finish is their “Driftwood”, flat matte, wire brushed.

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Above: The pendant lights above the dining table are the Foscarini Aplomb Suspension, and can be found through Hive Modern. The dining chairs are the Anziano Chairs by Donghia, while the table was crafted from 18th-century floorboards that measures approximately 96″W x 38.5″D.

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Above: All white walls painted throughout the interiors are Benjamin Moore’s OC-17 “White Dove”. The windows of this bedroom are from Sierra Pacific. The bed is from the Alchemy collection, while the bedding was sourced from Crate & Barrel. Grounding the space is a custom rug by D.A. Burns.

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Above: The cedar walls were custom stained to match Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain (2134-30).

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Above: In the home office, the custom designed desk is about 13′-6″ long and about 2-6″ deep. The sofa is from Room and Board, while the ottomans are vintage Paul McCobb ottomans from the ’50s that were reupholstered. The long window frames views of the Cascade Mountains in the distance. 

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Above: The area rug is from West Elm, while the floor lamp was sourced from Design Within Reach. Built-in cabinetry was designed by Dansky Cabinetry.

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Above: The console was sourced from Organic Modernism.

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Above: The powder bathroom walls were painted in Benjamin Moore 2134-30 Iron Mountain. On the ceiling, the Indi wallcovering is from Trove. The wall sconces are from Lightology, while the sink and faucet are Kohler.

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Above: The patio is precast concrete pavers in a large format. The modern Adirondack chairs are the Loll Designs Adirondack Chairs from Design Within Reach.

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Photos: John Granen

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Cynthia O'Brien

Exquisite. So very beautiful. Wow, what thought and foreplanning. Only two things stuck out, that gave me a wince. First, the vintage catcher’s masks, and second, the black birds painted and accessorizing the bathroom. Both just a wee bit creepy. Clearly I watch too many Hollywood movies, my faux paus, Halloween and Hitchcock, The Birds. Those two items are clearly cosmetic, totally personal preference and COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT. Stunning all the way around. Bravo to an exquisitely elegant, completely functional, most extraordinary home. It truly does melt into the landscape. What talent!