Black Sheep Design Goes Their Own Way

Reinventing the renovation. 

It’s often the black sheep in the family who turns out to be the hero, innovator or visionary — mainly because they are the one who dared to question the status quo. That’s the inspiration behind Black Sheep Design, an innovative development and design team that eschews normal paradigms to reimagine what’s possible with an existing home and property.

“We never tear a property down,” says Aubrey McCormick, Black Sheep’s co-founder with partner Walker Templeton. “We envision the property anew through the lens of sustainability, a respect for the neighborhood and the property’s natural elements.”

While the right kinds of projects offer a specific mix of possibilities, every project Black Sheep Design takes on is unique. Several of the company’s properties — of varying sizes and price points — will come on the market in Portland and surrounding areas over the next several months, including a 2-acre multigenerational property in Southwest Portland, a condo complex in Oregon City and a West Linn home with territorial views.

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Save and salvage

The first step Black Sheep takes when evaluating the potential of a new renovation is to assess all the existing materials on-site. “We look for ways to restore and repurpose everything possible,” says Templeton, including existing home-design elements, hardwood flooring and masonry, and fixtures as small as cabinet knobs. The team will go so far as to reuse or repurpose furniture left behind. In this way, they preserve more individuality in the restoration and send less to the landfill. “It respects the history of the home,” Templeton says.

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Respect your neighbors

Good fences make good neighbors? So do intentional designs that blend harmoniously with existing communities. “We want our homes to be a part of the community while also standing out for warm, minimal style,” McCormick says.

Black Sheep uses natural and subdued materials on home exteriors with the goal of enhancing their relationship to the landscape — including family- and pet-friendly fencing and landscaping. A preservation plan for a property’s trees and natural elements is part of every project.

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Making the best use of a smaller lot, Black Sheep utilized abundant natural light to create a home that lives large. The staircase became the focal point of the design, and colorful finishes give the house an artistic flair.

From “meh” to modern

One thing all Black Sheep Design projects share is the way they capture the warm-minimalist aesthetic. It is a look that allows the new homeowner to explore their own style against a backdrop of understated elegance. “You’ll know that the home is ours,” says McCormick. “It will quietly demand a second look given the quality, thoughtful craftsmanship and artistry throughout.”


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This hip Woodstock neighborhood home features abundant natural light and a passive heating system. Black Sheep repurposed the outdoor deck, main-bedroom wood ceiling and many timber elements throughout the house.

Contact realtor Yascha Noonberg of The Yascha Group of Living Room Realty, at (503) 886-8527 for more information and to schedule viewings.

Keep in touch on or IG @blacksheepdesignteam for the latest news and events.