The cover of the Oregonian’s Homes and Rental special section this weekend featured Rick Bernard’s custom home, “New Cottage in the Woods,” the home this site is dedicated to throughout its development. The front page article by Erin Hutkin opened with:
For three decades, Rick Bernard has made his living building big, custom luxury homes across the city. The types of homes that tend to have views of vineyards, or pools with outdoor bars built into the landscape.
But when it came time for him to create a new home for himself, Bernard took his years of knowledge and expertise in building made-to-order mansions and did the opposite.
The result is a small, energy-efficient home that’s one-third the size of what he’s used to living in. It’s a small space with tall windows overlooking the fir trees called New Cottage in the Woods.”
The article published in The Oregonian in the Sunday issue, November 29, 2015, continued with the history of Rick’s custom home building career, the challenges he’s overcome with those homes and the dream of building a truly green home using the expertise and experience found in his award-winning, day-to-day custom work.
Faced with the concerns many older people deal with when downsizing their lifestyle, finding they are living in smaller areas of their home rather than embracing the full width and breath of a modern American home, Rick was also sure that he didn’t want to “live in a box.”
As a result, the kitchen – the room where he tends to live – became the home’s “great room,” by combining the entry, the hallway, the living and family room all into one spot.
…Bernard also sought the help of Mike Barclay, a home designer he’s worked with for 35 years.
Barclay said while “efficiency” was the buzz word during the project, he was able to put his skills from sprawling custom homes, where there’s a lot of large, open space. Because Bernard had limited the space, the idea was making the great room large with “crossover uses,” so rooms could “wear a couple hats.” But while the large homes they’ve worked on often had space assigned to a particular purpose – a spa or an exercise area, for instance – the rooms in Bernard’s home are multi-use.
“The trick on Rick’s house was to take a very small space and make it feel bigger than it is,” Barclay said.
The article will soon be available on Oregon Live’s Homes & Rentals featured stories.