August 6, 2019
Casey Keasler Designs a Serene Vacation House for an Oregon Family
Throughout the home, a restrained color palette of white, black, and whitewashed wood coexists in pleasant tension with key accents and patterns.
Women are indispensable members of the design community, yet their contributions are still often taken for granted. This week on Metropolismag.com, we highlight women who are doing innovative and probing work in the fields of architecture, design, and urban planning.
Located at the base of Mount Hood in Oregon, a small weekend house stands tucked between evergreen pines, providing an ideal getaway for a family of four. Despite its stark black facade, the home’s interior welcomes in an abundance of natural light through large windows that envelop the space on all four sides. A reverse floor plan places the common areas on the top floor, granting these spaces the most impressive panoramic vistas of the mountain town and keeping them out of the snow’s reach—during the winter, it can pile up to 12 feet high.
“The family really prioritizes time together when they’re in the house, so the top floor was the main focus,” explains Casey Keasler, founder of Casework, the firm responsible for the interior design of the 1,700-square-foot residence. “You can see that the design in the bedrooms is pretty minimal in comparison.” (The project architect was local Oregon firm Keystone Architecture.)
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Throughout the home, a restrained color palette of white, black, and whitewashed wood coexists in pleasant tension with an eclectic mix of color and patterns introduced by key pieces. For example, rustic wooden accents feature in the amply proportioned kitchen and dining area. In the living room, a monolithic black fireplace faces an IKEA sectional reupholstered with a customized floral print—a repeat pattern made using sections of 17th-century artist Jan Davidsz. de Heem’s painting Still Life with Flowers in a Glass Vase. The portrait hangs in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and was the homeowners’ favorite work to visit when they spent a season living in the city.
“I have a set of interview questions that allow me to get to know my clients on a personal level,” says Keasler, adding that through that process, her team arrives at three keywords that outline the vision of a space before they begin the design process. “Questions such as, ‘Are you a morning person?’, ‘What’s the last great piece of art that you saw?’, ‘Where in the world have you lived?’, and ‘Where would you like to travel?’, can say so much about a person and their values, sometimes more than direct questions of personal style,” she says. For this particular project, the three concepts that served as guiding principles of the design were “alpine,” “funk,” and gezellig, a Dutch word which loosely translates to warmth and coziness.
Consequently, in addition to achieving an idyllic level of comfort, ease, and low-maintenance, the design evokes the family’s fun and playful style. “Working with clients who are open to doing something original is what fuels us. We want to create environments that feel personal and communicate something unique in each project,” says Keasler. “When it comes down to it, personal spaces tell a more interesting story than design spaces.”
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