A Humble Abode
Gather up ideas from a new Pacific Northwest house made to look old thanks to a wealth of cozy, comfortable and colorful elements.
Gather inspiration from a new Pacific Northwest house that was made to look old via a wealth of cozy, comfortable and colorful furnishings.
Faye Dempsey dreams small. For her, the perfect house isn’t a big behemoth; rather, it is the cozy little cottage she imagined and had built in Redmond, Oregon, in 2004. The simple single-story house, deeper than it is wide, is completed by a picket fence in front and shiplap siding inside.“Like an old farmhouse—not fancy, just very comfortable!” Faye says.
She hired the same home designer she had used for a previous home, Bruce Rosenquist of Rosenquist Custom Design, who recommended builder Scott Tanler of HCT Contracting, Inc. “Scott had never heard of shiplap before, and when he asked what kind of wood, I told him the least expensive he could find that wouldn’t warp,” Faye recalls. She planned to paint all the walls and floors anyway, so she told him to use irregular widths and lengths so it wouldn’t look perfect. “I kept bringing these challenges to the builder, like adding a pair of vintage arched leaded-glass windows to the living room and arched entryways to the kitchen and living area, and he’d make it work,” she notes.
Her kitchen design features only lower cabinets, a farmhouse sink, a few vintage hanging cupboards and a painted checkerboard floor. A longtime collector, Faye began the hunt for ironstone restaurant ware and a colorful cupboard to ground the open shelves. “I like to keep things handy,” she explains.
She kept the decorating in her own bedroom simple, adorning it with her DIY lace tablecloth curtains above the bed and a bookshelf with doors to hide her television. The garage-sale crystal chandelier is, as she and her sister like to say, “just a ‘Juxta.’ ” That’s sibling code for a piece that juxtaposes plain and fancy.
In the guest bedroom, however, Faye layered loads of pink and white feminine touches: French valance and curtains, flowered bed linens with ruffled pillows, white dressers and a lace-draped bedside table. “My own bedroom was so practical that I thought I’d go hog wild making the guest bedroom feminine,” Faye says with a chuckle. “I even painted the headboard that started out in my flower garden, using a creamy color to give the room that dreamy look.”
Dreamy is right: From front door to guest bedroom, the humble house Faye calls home is filled with inviting style moments—and it’s also often filled with visits from her six children and eight grandchildren. “I have had company nonstop since I’ve been here,” she notes happily. Considering the welcoming environment Faye has concocted, that’s no surprise at all.