Re­stored to Glory

A ne­glected coastal home in Washington state was an ugly duck­ling un­til a Port­land, Ore­gon, cou­ple trans­formed it into a cheer­ful all-Amer­i­can fam­ily get­away.

Country Sampler - - Contents -

Port­land home­own­ers trans­form a ne­glected coastal home in Washington state into a cheer­ful all-Amer­i­can fam­ily get­away.

In the years

be­fore Port­land in­te­rior de­signer Wanda Vin­ton and her hus­band, Larry, pur­chased their 1892 Seav­iew, Washington, cot­tage, the on­cecharm­ing coastal home had en­dured a lot of in­dig­ni­ties, Wanda ex­plains. “The house had been va­cant for quite a while, and its orig­i­nal char­ac­ter was buried be­hind at­tempts to mod­ern­ize it—in­clud­ing Sheetrock that hid the wooden walls and dropped ceil­ings that cam­ou­flaged the open-beam wood ceil­ing.”

Per­haps the biggest in­sult to the 1,600-square-foot home’s orig­i­nal char­ac­ter was the floor cov­er­ing—a patch­work of car­pet sam­ples in vary­ing sizes, heights and col­ors that had been sta­pled to the orig­i­nal wood floor­ing. De­spite the home’s need for a ma­jor makeover, the cou­ple bought it in 2000 and set about rec­ti­fy­ing some of the de­sign dam­age. “For two years,” Wanda re­calls, “we spent our week­ends camped out in a sin­gle room while we gut­ted and re­stored the cot­tage.”

In ad­di­tion to dec­o­rat­ing dis­as­ters in­side the home, the for­mer own­ers’ en­clo­sure of the wrap­around porch had left the in­te­ri­ors starved of light, so it had to go. “Once we tore off the en­clo­sure, it brought in a lot more light back into the liv­ing room,” Wanda notes. The cou­ple, who en­joy col­lab­o­rat­ing on projects, had a clear vi­sion for the home’s ren­o­va­tions. “We wanted it to be some­thing spe­cial and unique, not at all like our home in Port­land,” Wanda ex­plains.

When Wanda works with clients, she typ­i­cally rec­om­mends they se­lect a pal­ette of three col­ors to use through­out their home to cre­ate a har­mo­nious flow. Vary­ing the hues and in­ten­si­ties keeps things in­ter­est­ing. She fol­lowed her own ad­vice when dec­o­rat­ing the cot­tage: “I knew the walls had to be white to contrast the Washington-coast weather that can be a lit­tle gloomy,” she ex­plains. “That brought me to an un­ex­pected color—red—and, of course, blue. Now we call the cot­tage ‘Old Glory.’”

Once the “Old Glory” theme was de­cided, Wanda be­gan to in­tro­duce her col­lec­tion of vin­tage Amer­i­cana pieces. “I didn’t have a place for them in our other house, so the cot­tage was a fun place to uti­lize them,” she says.

One of the most strik­ing fea­tures in the re­mod­eled home is Wanda’s stars-and-

stripes de­sign for the fire­place man­tel and sur­round. The painted white wood stands out against the orig­i­nal brick and is grounded by a new slate hearth. Lo­cal mas­ter car­pen­ter and crafts­man Floyd Rank brought Wanda’s vi­sion to life, along with con­struct­ing the cus­tom red cab­i­nets for the new kitchen.

The cou­ple re­lo­cated the kitchen from its orig­i­nal space on the east side of the house to the west side, bor­row­ing square footage from a tiny bed­room and bath. They also added a door­way to link the kitchen to the now-sun­room. The light-filled space was once a dark, sel­dom-used bed­room that the cou­ple trans­formed with the ad­di­tion of 10 case­ment win­dows and com­fort­able seat­ing for large gath­er­ings.

The Vin­tons en­vi­sioned the cot­tage as a place to put up one’s feet and re­lax in a ca­sual set­ting. The home’s lo­ca­tion nat­u­rally led to the in­clu­sion of beachre­lated el­e­ments, in­clud­ing shells and sea grass. Mix­ing the old with the new is an­other way Wanda creates an easy­go­ing at­mos­phere. For ex­am­ple, a retro-style whirligig adds just the right amount of whimsy to the fire­place man­tel, while wicker chairs cozy up to an an­tique oak ta­ble in the break­fast nook. In the liv­ing area, a sofa slip­cov­ered in blue denim, twin leather arm­chairs and a sturdy red trunk are durable and easy-care as well as stylish, which is espe­cially im­por­tant in a va­ca­tion home.

Years of hard work have al­lowed the for­merly aban­doned cot­tage to shine once more, wel­com­ing friends and fam­ily alike to gather in its re­vamped rooms. “Peo­ple love to come and look at all the col­lectibles and step back in his­tory a lit­tle bit,” Wanda says. “Af­ter all, how many 1892 beach cot­tages have peo­ple seen with red, white and blue decor?”

Wanda Vin­ton de­signed her liv­ing room fire­place man­tel with a unique star mo­tif. The frame of the East­lake mir­ror on top co­or­di­nates with the orig­i­nal brick fire­place. Stars and shells ground the tow­er­ing top­i­ary and fan­ci­ful whirligig.

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