A Classic Seventies Condo on Oregon’s Black Butte Ranch Gets a Modern Makeover
Built-in benches and buggy pine paneling give this Oregon condo a rustic, refined cabin vibe.
“The condos have a very specific vernacular, kind of like Sea Ranch. They’re kind of quirky and ’70s, and face this amazing view of the Sisters Mountain. They’re ripe for redoing in the most beautiful way,” says Jennifer Fowler, the design principal at Hacker who led the team responsible for this stream-lined, functional and inviting 3-bedroom condo. “It felt like a rare opportunity.”
The owners, an American family living in Hong Kong, have been using the property primarily as a summer home since they purchased it in 2011. And they’d spent enough time in Black Butte to know exactly how they use the house, and what they needed from the design.
For one, the closest Trader Joe’s is an hour’s drive away. So a functional kitchen with plenty of storage for food and supplies was a must.
“The original kitchen was dark and cramped,” says Fowler. “It was a galley enclosed by an enormous wall. Structurally, we took down the wall and opened up this huge volume. We had the freedom to make a sizable kitchen at that point. We built a huge island where the kids can eat and play and cook.”
The family has three kids, so they wanted space for everyone to be in the kitchen together, and materials that would hold up to the dirt and wear-and-tear of hard vacation living.
“We got bigger, hardier appliances. Then we made a series of open shelves in the kitchen and found these baskets open to airflow and they load it up with produce,” says Fowler. “It’s easily accessible, you can see what you have, and it stays fresh a little longer.
The renovation’s design is a tribute to the original design concept, which was heavy on a nostalgic (i.e., outdated), vibrant mix of colors and textures like yellow and green, and the natural surroundings.
New built-in shelving and cabinetry is a prominent feature in nearly every room, minimizing the need for furniture and making efficient use of every space in the home with a relatively small footprint.
“As designers, we try to connect first to landscape, what is the sense of place?” Fowler says. “Black Butte is one of the most beautiful places in Oregon, and we need to draw on that. What are the materials and colors that we can use that are reflective of that beautiful place, the geology of it? And the owner, she didn’t want any safe neutrals. It was a cool opportunity for us.”
Benjamin Moore paint colors in cool green Parsley Snips, turquoise Boca Raton, and golden Leap of Faith all made appearances, with complimentary 2 x 8 tile by Tempest and Fireclay, in the bathrooms.
From the bathroom tiling to the Brazilian soapstone fireplace, each detail seeks to blend the retro spirit of the original interiors with a modern color palette that draws inspiration from the ranch’s beautiful natural setting.
The real star of the show, however, is the “Blue and Buggy Pine,” which is original to the home, and repaired or replaced where it was needed.
“Blue and buggy pine is very interesting local wood,” says Fowler. “We didn’t even clear coat it. We just put it in in its natural state. Somehow, we were able to match the original pine. It just worked.”
This project was a departure for the studio, that collaborated with the contracting firm Construction Management Services on this remodel. Hacker typically only takes on high-end residential projects built from the ground up.
“This wasn’t like that,” she says. “The condo is just elevated and thoughtful. When you walk in, you just see this incredible view. That’s what this is about. You’re inside, but you’re really at one with your surroundings.”