Oksana and Tim's House in the Woods

Oksana and Tim's House in the Woods

Ashley Sheping
Mar 18, 2010

Name: Tim, Oksana and french bulldog, Stitch.
Location: Portland, Oregon
Size: 2200 square feet
Years Lived in: 7

When Tim and Oksana moved into their home seven years ago, they thought it had a lot of potential. It already had beautiful exposed beams running through the living and dining area, a cozy corridor with two bedrooms and it was nestled at the end of a quiet road, perched among the treetops. However, certain aspects of the house needed a lot of work in order to become what the two envisioned.

One major project was to pull up the carpet that ran through the entire house. Not knowing what they would find underneath, they tore away the carpeting to find particle board that was glued down and secured by wood screws, every three inches. After a long process, they finally laid the floor and started the whole interior/exterior painting procedure. Not until recently did Tim and Oksana tackle another huge home adventure: designing and building a 650 square foot office/living space overhanging their steep 30% grade backyard. As expected there were challenges but once the construction was complete, they were proud to say that they were apart of the process every step of the way.

Since both are skilled designers, (Tim runs his own company that focuses on interactive and environmental design) they are constantly coming up with ideas on how they can add new and interesting elements to their home. In the near future, they plan to update the garage, stain the concrete and possibly add a mural painting to an interior wall. We think the house looks fabulous but with all of Tim and Oksana's visions, we can't help imagining what it will look like in a few years...

Apartment Therapy Survey

Our style: Modern, minimalistic, clean lines, bright.

Inspiration: Most inspiration comes from my experience with client work, developing environmental design and some of it derives from the newer downtown warehouse conversions. I think some of those demonstrate a fresh modern touch on a space that previously wasn't built with living in mind, and leaving elements of the existing structure creates an interesting contrast.

Favorite Element: The windows and exposed beams.

Biggest Challenge:
For the new construction, the engineering involved was much more technical than expected. We had to find a way to remove one of the central x braces without causing a structural issue. So we had to hire a metal fabricator to build a sequence of I beams, then installed them as front middle and back lateral supports. The actual lowering them in place and securing was a lot harder than expected..very heavy. Also, being on a 30% grade didn't help.

What friends say:
Everybody has very positive feedback. They're all amazed we pulled this off, and none of them expected it to look this way. We may have gone farther than they expected us to. We have also gotten good feedback on it's distinct style.

Proudest DIY:
Redoing the floors upstairs was one of the toughest things I've done. The demo involved removing particle board that was nailed down by wood screws, every 3 inches, and then glued down. If any has done that with a set of cat claws and pry bars, they know. Lots of painting..the outside, inside, and even the modern/minimal paintings on the wall.

Biggest Indulgence:
Putting on the final touches was rewarding. Also enjoyed connecting the wall/ceiling mounted speakers to one central system

Best advice: When buying furniture and accents, keep in mind the big picture of what character your house best represents. Most of us by these things over a large span of time, so sticking with that, assures that it all fits. We also like sticking with neutral tones, but one bright accent color per area (vase, painting, interesting chair or table, sculpture). Being bold.

Dream Source:
Most everything was build custom, but we did make a lot of Ikea purchases. Sometimes taking a shelf system and modifying it to act as a planter as an example.


Appliances: Home Depot, Lowes.

Hardware: Ikea, Plumber's Surplus

Furniture: Design Within Reach, West Elm, Ikea, and various downtown furniture shops.

Lighting: Lux Lighting, Design Within Reach, West Elm, Ikea.

Paint: Home Depot, Miller Paint.

Flooring: Anderson Floors

Rugs: Ikea
Tiles and Stone: Pratt & Larson

Artwork: Self-made

Thanks Tim and Oksana!

(photos: Ashley Sheping)

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