I was fortunate to have The Oregonian write an article about "adding the final layer" In the January 6th edition of the H&G section. I thought it might be fun to show the "before" photos of this charming Lake Oswego home.
When Steve and Sara Ledoux moved to the Northwest a little more than two years ago, they found a gracious and roomy house on a knoll off Lake Oswego's Iron Mountain Road and quickly settled in.
Sara, who grew up in Mount Angel, went to school at Santa Clara and took a job along California's famed Monterey Peninsula at the Monterey Plaza Hotel after graduation. It was there she met Steve, an attorney representing the man who bought the hotel.
They married and remained in the Bay Area for the next 20 years raising their three children: Elizabeth, 14; Alexander, 10; and Daniel, 8.
"I've spent more time in the Bay Area, but I'm still an Oregonian; such a good lifestyle here," she says, standing in the ample entryway of their 1924 home, of which they are only the third owners.
Walking to the kitchen, which opens to a informal dining and sitting area complete with a fireplace and generous windows looking over their property, Sara explains that this is where the family lives, where the kids do their homework around the table while dinner's under way and where they unwind.
The space worked well, but something nagged at Sara. With a career in hotel and hospitality, she's acutely aware of the importance of space not just working but feeling right and comfortable and welcoming.
When the family moved in, there was little to do to the house. The previous owner had done a precise and careful update to the property, leaving Sara to add only color with paint in the formal dining and living rooms. They'd brought with them furnishings and art, but once everything was in its place, something was missing.
"I felt that we were only 80 percent there," Sara says.
She reached out for some professional help, finding Kimberlee Jaynes via Jaynes' website.
On their initial meeting, they talked about the family and the ages of the kids and took a look at what furnishings and art were already in place. Jaynes is a staunch believer in letting art do more than just hang on the wall: She looks to it for direction in choosing colors and accessories. It also tells her something about the homeowners, which also gives her direction.
Jaynes' first reaction was something Sara would not have thought of: Cool the area down.
Jaynes explained that something needed to cut the warmth of the existing yellows and reds combined with the warm colors of the oak floor.
"I wanted to add blue ... to cool it down, but still keep it warm and inviting," Jaynes says.
She reached for a classic drapery fabric for its timeless quality.
"Feels like they've always been here," she says of the dynamic large-print blue and white panels that replaced lightweight white sheers.
Jaynes added some other colors as well in a striped French drape in the kitchen on a heretofore-bare window.
Two stone dog sculptures found at a barn sale in Oregon City perch on either side of the hearth making an immediate connection with the limestone surround. And a substantial, low-slung table more reminiscent of a stout chest replaced a minimalistic, leggy coffee table.
Sara and Jaynes moved furniture, bringing the couch from against the wall to across from the fireplace.
A bare-bulb chandelier over the kitchen island got dressed with some small lampshades, and a chandelier made by Currey & Co. Lighting was placed over the dining table.
Jaynes says her motivation in choosing to add these things was to make the room complete.
"That's one of the things that is challenging, the final layer," she says. "You don't see the importance until it is done. Before, you can't figure out what's wrong with the room, and you don't want to spend any more money, but something's not right."
Sara says the impact has been so great that even her two young boys took notice.
Jaynes points out that the project was a mix of high- and low-end items all coming together. The drapes were expensive, but look it and will remain a long time. The stone dogs were not, but add such charm.
"Spend the money where it should be spent," Jaynes says.
But know that it isn't about just one item.
"It's about bringing it all together. Just the draperies were not going to finish that room. You have to tie it in with accessory pillows and all the little extras."
By Bridget Otto