540 square feet to envy in Oregon
Photographs by Lincoln Barbour

Photographs by Lincoln Barbour

In Portland, a city where minimizing your carbon footprint is de rigueur, it’s no longer enough to simply skip the plastic and bike to work. The next wave of green living? A sophisticated take on Oregon homesteading, like this five-acre ode to self-sufficiency from interior designer Jessica Helgerson.

Settled on Sauvie Island—one of the largest islands in the Columbia River, just 15 minutes north of the city—the property includes a tiny 540-square-foot house, a greenhouse more than twice that size, beehives for honey, chickens for eggs and meat, an orchard, and space to make cheese using milk from a neighbor’s goat and cows.

Plus, the 70-year-old home—which was remodeled using only reclaimed materials—practically reads like a resource map of the state: Oregon white oak, planed and polished into floor boards; locally salvaged walnut, transformed into a dining table; and moss and ferns from the Columbia River Gorge, seeded into an insulating green roof.

I want her to adopt me.

Reclaimed materials in the kitchen include a vintage range, table crafted from salvaged walnut, and floor boards made of Oregon white oak.

An inviting backyard view from the kitchen.

A cozy living room with Oregon white oak floors.

The kids’ room.

The vintage claw foot tub.

The green roof, planted with local moss and ferns

The family’s veggie garden.

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