The Schlauch Family’s Building Journey
A Q&A format that discusses their experience of building in Bend/Sunriver Oregon. Read more to hear how they liked working with Winsome Construction, what they chose to go with in terms of home structure and decor and more! See their home here.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you ended up with a gorgeous vacation home in Sunriver!
We both grew up in Ohio and met at Kent State University. Following college, we moved around as we advanced in our careers from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis and then to Portland. Along the way we added two kids, Scarlett and Oliver (with a third coming soon), and a dog, Chloe.
One of our first road trips when we moved to Oregon was to Bend and we instantly fell in love with the area. It’s so beautiful and different from anything we grew up with in the Midwest. There’s tons to do outdoors and a so much to explore with the kids. Plus there’s no shortage of good food and microbrews.
The decision to purchase the property was pretty spontaneous. We were in Sunriver for vacation, saw the listing and decided to take a look. A few days later we made an offer and the adventure began.
What made you decide to build a custom home vs. finding one already built?
We knew we’d get what we want. We also wanted it to be a special place for our family, a sanctuary, that would be distinct and unique for years to come. Plus, a lot of the houses in the Sunriver area that would have been in our price range are older and need a remodel, so we decided we might as well just build. And we had built once before in Pittsburgh, so it wasn’t as intimidating to us.
What factors were most important to you when you were deciding on a builder?
We never really discussed a list of factors or requirements. But honesty, transparency and accountability are important to us. Looking back, one thing that stood out with Winsome from the beginning is that they have certain principles about how they work, the type of home they build and what they expect from their sub-contractors. Knowing they hold themselves to such high standards gave us confidence.
What made you choose Winsome Construction? What was it like working with Winsome? What advice would you give to friends who are looking to build a custom home?
We met Winsome through the timber frame company, Woodhouse, who had a partnership with Winsome. We had an initial call with Shan as we were exploring our options, and there was a pretty instant comfort level. It was clear that he was experienced, knew what he was talking about and straightforward. The staff at Winsome was also organized, diligent and warm. Every time we connected with them, they made us feel comfortable and provided clarity. After looking at a couple of other options, going with Winsome was a pretty simple choice for us.
Did you have a clear concept for your dream home, and if so, did it evolve or change? Tell us about the process?
The only thing that was clear for us was that we didn’t want something cookie cutter. And we wanted to know if we’d have a Mount Bachelor view from the upper levels, so we sent someone out to take photos of at various heights. When we found we would be able to see the mountain, that’s what drew us to the Rocky View plan at Woodhouse. It was unique, modern and the third floor would have a great view. Plus, we thought it would feel special every time we pulled into the driveway, like we’re on vacation and not just at another house. We considered a few other designs but always came back to this one. We made some alterations to the floorplan to make it fit what we wanted a little more and to make the third floor more of a livable and unique space.
How did you feel when you got the keys to your brand new, built just for you, home? What were the most delightful parts of your initial stay?
It was exciting and kind of surreal to be honest. There’s the buildup of anticipation as the the house is getting close to completion and you’re seeing your vision come to life. And, on top of that, we were in the beginning stages of the pandemic. So there was this silver lining that we’d have this opportunity to spend more time at the house initially than we expected. Our first stay ended up being five months long. And we loved every moment of it.
Why did you go with timber frame construction? And would you make the same choice if you had to do it again? Why or why not?
We’ve always loved the look of exposed timbers. It reminded of us some the old warehouses converted to loft apartments that we lived in when we were younger that we really enjoyed. Plus, a timber frame just seems right for Bend/Sunriver.
The black and white color scheme, the copper lighting, the gorgeous tile, the massive wall of windows, and the seamless counters are so elegant together. How did you put all these elements together to achieve this timeless look?
We always pictured it at as a modern cabin/timber frame. One of our main goals was to make the timbers stand out by minimizing the amount of wood we used in other areas. The home design lent itself to a more contemporary look, and we wanted to take advantage of that. We liked the black and white color scheme because it feels modern and on trend but also classic and timeless.
How do you feel now when you arrive for a getaway?
Happy. So, so happy and grateful we have the opportunity to go somewhere special that we can call our own.
What are your favorite features of your new home? Do you have a favorite spot to have your coffee/tea/cocktail?
It’s hard to pick a favorite. The natural light, the third floor, the kitchen. I think one of the things that surprised us the most is, that despite being only 1,600 square feet, it doesn’t feel small or confined. And it’s amazing on those cool central Oregon mornings to sit outside on the patio and have a cup of coffee.
What advice would you give your friends if they were on the precipice of starting a similar journey?
It’s a rollercoaster ride–equal parts thrilling and scary. So, enjoy the ride. But don’t forget your motion sickness patches.
If you would like a gorgeous timber frame home built in Oregon, reach out and let us make your dream a reality!
Photo Credit: Kylla LeeAnne Photography located in Bend