High On Adventure - Featuring Photojournalist Larry Turner

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rooms With A View

Rooms with a View

A new home in Ashland reflects Southern Oregon’s beauty inside and out

Story by Valerie Coulman 

Among the many attractions of Southern Oregon is a natural beauty that offers a variety of home locations. And for a recent home build near Ashland, that natural beauty drew the homeowners to a property located in the hills above the city.

Their next step was to contact Carlos Delgado, owner of Carlos Delgado Architect in Ashland, to design and build a home that reflected the natural setting around them. “They wanted to experience the beauty of being by the wilderness area but still be close to town,” says Delgado. Together they assembled a team that included Sean Downey, president of Downey Company, Inc., and Maggie Javna, owner of Style Matters, both also located in Ashland, to help make that dream a reality.

Located in Ashland’s watershed area, the homeowner’s selected site had some existing structures that Delgado says provided a clear footprint for the new home design. The site also provided some additional challenges with hillside ordinances, drainage considerations, fire hazard requirements and a west-facing vantage that was not ideal for a solar energy installation. And ultimately, they wanted their new home to meet and conserve the setting around them. “They knew that a lot of these areas are sensitive,” says Delgado, “and their goal was to preserve that.” Working with the team, Delgado designed a three-story, 6400 square-foot home that suited both the homeowners’ lifestyle and the land it would sit on.

The project began by constructing what Delgado calls a “high performance shell.” Focusing on both quality and efficiency, under Downey’s lead the home was built with high efficiency heating and cooling systems, increased insulation R-values, structural steel, and a photovoltaic system on the roof. Reclaimed lumber and locally sourced materials were used when possible, and the team worked well together to optimize the layout and design of each area as the work progressed.

“It’s not too late to make changes when the ideas come early,” says Delgado. The experience that Javna, Downey and Delgado had working together on previous projects ultimately benefitted the homeowners as they all worked together. “[We] respect each other’s work and trust each other,” says Downey, who was seconded by Javna. “From the beginning there was a real collaboration.” And being part of the project from the beginning meant that they all had the same goals in place—to respect and reflect the home’s setting.

“The house is in a very natural setting,” says Javna. “We made the interior very contemporary but it really relates to the exterior.” Expansive windows take advantage of the great views, and the landscaping also preserves a natural feel while meeting the necessary requirements for fire boundaries and drainage. Even the home colors were chosen to reflect the surroundings, says Delgado, with colors like Madrone red and forest green being used on the stucco and wood exterior.

Inside, the home features a variety of natural materials, textures and colors, including Australian brushbox hardwood floors, walnut kitchen cabinets, whitewashed oak vanities, and a uniquely natural fireplace of stacked stone, finished with a rusted steel mantle and hearth. “Steel isn’t really an organic material,” points out Javna, “but the rusting makes it blend beautifully.” And the highlight of the home, says Downey, is the floating staircase that joins the main floor to the upper level. “That was a big challenge,” he recalls. “But we’re known for the quality of our finish work. It turned out well.”

The end result is a clean, modern design that still maintains an intimate feel throughout. “You don’t feel like you’re in an overwhelmingly large space,” says Javna. “The spaces feel comfortable.” Naturally.


Carlos Delgado Architect

217 Fourth Street Ashland




Downey Company, Inc

915 Oak St., Ashland



Style Matters

460 B St., Ashland


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