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Main Homes Into the woods

Into the woods

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Written by Margaret Foley   
Friday, June 29, 2012

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Ilysa and Steve Parker, longtime Hood River residents and outdoor enthusiasts, wanted a home where they could easily get to town but that was just far enough away to feel removed. In 2005 they found a 5-acre parcel with a 1903 farmhouse, outbuildings, mature trees, a pond and Phelps Creek running through it. “You don’t see any other houses from here,” says Steve, a physician. “And you’re in town in just minutes.”

For the first three years, they did little with the property. “Friends rented the house,” says Ilysa, who works as a nurse. “We stayed in one of the picker’s cabins and cooked in an outdoor kitchen.” They planned to remodel the farmhouse, but its rubble foundation had failed. Instead, they deconstructed the house, salvaging material for their new home. “This was a great project for working with reclaimed and local materials,” says builder Steven Todorov of Green Home Construction in Hood River.

To design the house, the Parkers worked with Lake Oswego designer Paden Prichard. “We wanted a sustainable home,” says Ilysa. “We wanted it to be small but comfortable.” They meticulously planned the 2,300-square-foot home’s layout. “Ilysa measured rooms in other houses to see how small you could go,” says Steve. “She plotted on graph paper to decide how much space we needed.”

The two-bedroom, two-bath home, completed in 2010, opens onto a combined kitchen and living and dining area designed for entertaining on one side, with an office and guest suite on the other. The office bookcases cleverly conceal a full-sized trundle bed incorporated into the adjacent empty space below the open staircase to the master bedroom. “Kids love it,” says Steve. “They call it the Harry Potter bed.”

2012AugSept IntoTheWoods 01 2012AugSept IntoTheWoods 02 2012AugSept IntoTheWoods 09

By combining natural materials and green building techniques, Ilysa and Steve Parker created a home that’s also a retreat.

A screened porch off the living area connects the outdoors with the indoors.

A covered deck for a hot tub provides relaxation with a view.

// Photos by Steve Tague

Click on any image to view larger


The home of Ilysa and Steve Parker nestled in the woods.
Ilysa and Steve Parker on their screened porch.
Pottery on the dining table built by Steve Parker.
Colorful art and furniture grace the hallway.
Stained glass inset into a door.
Different materials and textures for the garage.
One of the old structures on the property.
Antique tools found on the property.
The covered porch is a place for relaxation.
The Parkers used natural materials and green building techniques for their home.
Floorplan for main floor.
Floorplan for top floor.
Wood warms the home.
Natural stone on the exterior.
Copper gutters.
The home of Ilysa and Steve Parker nestled in the woods.PHOTO STEVE TAGUE

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0 #1 aunt and uncle4Phil & Flo Dunst 2012-07-09 08:29
Wow - that is all - just WOW
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0 #2 Wow2Vivian McInerny 2012-07-10 17:20
Agreed, that is one spectacular place.
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0 #3 RE: Into the woodsJohn and Michelle Rowley 2012-10-20 09:28
This is such a beautiful home. We love it. Thank you for sharing. We would like to talk to the owners to understand all the planning that went into it.
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