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Lodge retreat

There all along, this lodge-inspired West Linn remodel was revealed after updating surfaces, swapping light fixtures and refreshing the kitchen
by: VERN UYETAKE By removing a wall, updating the floor surface and refinishing the fireplace, notice how this living room transformed from a crowded, tired space to an open, luxurious lodge.

One West Linn family won't need to head to the Cascade range the next time they want a Sunriver Resort experience. With the help of West Linn-based Renu Renovations, the 1980s home off Hidden Springs Road was transformed into a lodge retreat utilizing many materials already in place.

'They kept all the same interior trim and doors,' said Arianne Lawrence, a lead designer with Renu and a West Linn resident. 'These are the original beams; they are better showcased now. When I first walked in I thought it had a Sunriver lodge feel we should capitalize on.'

Utilizing the original footprint of the home overlooking a wooded area, Lawrence and her brother, Ryan Healey - Renu's senior project manager - made the main level of the home feel lighter and more comfortable, all while improving functionality.

A design and build firm, the family-owned business has transformed local homes throughout the Northwest - including smaller weekend projects such as new paint colors and furniture arrangements to constructing new, luxury homes. And they are known for their attention to detail in budgeting and design features - 'many of which homeowners may already have,' Lawrence said.

'If something works, it works,' Lawrence said of the once brick fireplace in this home that wasn't replaced, but received a new stucco finish.

Other cost-saving measures included adding a new, rustic-looking handscraped laminant floor that mimics the look of hardwoods to the main level. Hardware on doors and windows was updated and original trim and all doors got a fresh stain - including the front door. A new, more modern staircase railing replaced the '80s traditional oak one, which 'really dated the house,' Lawrence said.

In this home, the main portion of the budget went to the kitchen - while simple fixes in the adjoining rooms tied the whole design together.

Once dark, dated and enclosed with oak cabinetry, the kitchen is now vibrant with a picture window above the sink, lighter cabinetry and without walls to enclose the space. Moving the location of the fridge, range and oven allowed for easier mobility.

Matching built-in light cabinetry between the kitchen and dining room allows for more storage and a place to display special dishes.

The biggest changes? Taking down cabinets that once blocked the view of the dining room from the kitchen and removing a wall that once separated the nook and family room, blocking natural light.

'People think that removing a wall is a big, expensive thing but it's not,' Lawrence said. 'A lot of times they're not load-bearing walls.'

Lawrence said not to get overwhelmed if you're thinking about improvements in the new year.

'New light fixtures can make a world of difference,' Lawrence said, noting the new, hanging fixture in the stairwell. 'This house now has a greatroom with rustic elegance. It's truly Oregon - a central Oregon feeling with Southwest flair.'

And achieving this fresh Northwest look had a lot to do with what was already in place.

'We just emphasized its great features,' she said.

For more information, visit www.renumyhome.com.