On March 31st, Ann McCulloch Studio was featured in the Living section of the Oregonian for her work on the Patrick Residence. Below is a selection of photographs and excepts from the article written by Bridgette Otto and photographed by Randy Rasmussen of the Oregonian:
“Despite several remodeling projects — five, to be exact — Shawn and Sandy Patrick’s Southwest Portland home still posed problems.
The kitchen, for one, had a side door to a rickety porch that didn’t stand up as a wet entry for the busy family of four.
Shawn Patrick thought maybe that area could become some sort of mudroom, or at least be fixed up enough to hang wet coats and dry off their two large dogs before they loped through the house.
Interior designer Ann McCulloch thought differently.”
Instead of reworking the old porch, she closed it off, using that space to re-establish the kitchen nook with a new banquette and windows and create a desk area for Sandy Patrick where a tiny powder room had been. McCulloch slid the powder room down the exterior wall, creating a new place for it in the mudroom addition she’d found room for in the front of the house.
“Ann saw so much more than I did,” Sandy Patrick says.
Before McCulloch’s transformation, Sandy says, she felt defeated upon coming home. Everyone tumbled in the front door with nowhere to hang wet coats or stow shoes.
“It was nuts. I was always walking into a mess.”
And it seemed every time she was in the kitchen, what she needed — a cookbook, school papers — was elsewhere.
“The house really was a challenge,” McCulloch says of how the circulation dead-ended in the kitchen.
Taking space between the house and the street — a space filled with giant rhododendrons and arborvitae — gave McCulloch the room she needed to create a mudroom entry accessed from the driveway. The new space addressed storage — or the severe lack of it in the 1910 house — and the family’s love of bicycles. McCulloch designed the new entry not only for hanging coats and backpacks, doffing wet boots and drying off dogs; it also includes a bicycle garage.
While drawing up the plans to access the bicycle storage from the exterior, McCulloch came up with the idea to have some fun on the interior. What was going to be storage above the bump-out for the bikes became a small loft area for the kids to cozy up with a book.
It’s become a family go-to spot, says Sandy, who admits to climbing the ladder and catching a nap or two in the comfy space.
Sliding the powder room into the extended area and getting rid of the old exterior door and porch opened up the original floor plan so much, Sandy Patrick still stands in awe. Having a desk and bookcase for her cookbooks and work and school-related files has been a boon.
“Everyone wants to be on the banquette,” she says.
McCulloch chose outdoor fabrics from Link Outdoor and Clarence House for the banquette and the pillows. Sandy had asked to cover the banquette in oilcloth so it could be easily cleaned, but McCulloch convinced her the outdoor fabrics would do the trick and be much nicer to live with. She left Sandy with some samples and encouraged her to try to stain them — something Sandy actually did, dropping buttered noodles and all sorts of kid-friendly foods on them.
“We could not stain this fabric,” she says, still in disbelief of its durability.
The new space, which was constructed by Hammer & Hand, is so highly functional that Sandy says it has changed their lives. Now, she can work at her desk while daughter Anna Blake, 7, climbs into the loft to read and son MacLean, 3, perches at the kitchen counter for a snack.
Sandy says she was stunned that McCulloch was able to create everything they needed without a huge addition.
“Sometimes, when people look at things for so long,” McCulloch says, “you don’t look at the possibilities of removing things — like the rhodies. I’m always looking for space — especially in tight spaces.”
Bridget A. Otto: 503-221-8527