Material Matters

Turning a dated home into a comfortable country vacation sanctuary might seem like a tall order, but Linda Evans rose to the challenge with her innovative kitchen and bathroom renovation expertise, balancing traditional materials in a contemporary setting.

"It's in farm country, in an equestrian area where there are a lot of stables and outdoor activities," explains Evans. While this home represents an investment property for the clients, their goal is to use it as an executive VRBO or rental for equestrian-oriented guests.

The lackluster kitchen didn't fit the client’s vision. It had outdated wallpaper, 9-foot ceilings, a lack of cabinet space and a whole wall that wasn't being utilized. The client also wanted to separate the Jack and Jill bathrooms off the master bedroom, so Evans divided the space into a powder room and a master bath suite. With thoughtful space planning and a new color palette, the home is now warm and inviting, with forgiving materials that are easy to clean and finishes that will give the most rugged equestrians a sense of belonging.

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In the kitchen, Sienna gold granite in a warm yellow cream accentuates blonde streaking in the custom walnut cabinets. Blonde walnut provides an unusual and vibrant wood pattern, which worked perfectly in the space, says Evans.

A backsplash of artisan tile added warm butter, celadon and chestnut accents in a sunburst pattern behind the range as a focal point. Incorporating in-cabinet lighting and an oil-rubbed bronze hanging light and fixtures added another layer of warmth. Luxury vinyl tile in a yellowish travertine stone color takes traffic well and is easy to clean for any guests who walk through with dirty boots after a day of outdoor activities. Evans added a corkboard for messages and USB port outlets, so phones and devices can be plugged in with ease.

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The reimagined powder room turned out to be a major focal point. "The wall of green Manhattan glass tile as a backdrop for the large floating mirror at the vanity is rich and impactful," Evans said. "And the spruce-green glass pulls and knobs for cabinet hardware accents so well with the cherry-stained cabinet. It's earthy and welcoming."

Evans salvaged a mottled-brown Atlas Granite remnant for the vanity, which highlights a copper sink and oil-rubbed bronze faucet. The Ironworks copper floor tiles have a silver overtone that shimmers when the toe-kick lighting shines on them. "It's a nice, reflective quality that creates great ambience in a space with no windows,” Evans notes.

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The bath shower is a mix of Forge walnut porcelain tiles with glass accents in Java Bean and a Kona Sands river rock shower pan that whimsically flows over the shower curb onto the heated floor. Vanity knobs are actual polished stone in a mix of multicolored earth tones. Another salvaged Barricata granite remnant in hues of gold, terra-cotta, green and cream gives a stunning look at a great value.

Evans has been a design remodeler in the Portland metro area for the past 30 years. She holds credentials as a Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer and as a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist, and she oversees as general contractor on her projects. She designs and manages her team to ensure projects are completed to reflect her clients’ personal style. Ordering custom finishes or materials can enhance the uniqueness of any job, but it can add time to a project. “Design appeal and styles change from client, to client and trends come and go, but you can always take something from cold and drab to warm and welcoming using the right mix of materials and color,” she says.

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