Ainsworth Holiday Home Tour

Happy New Year!

It’s been a very busy end of year at Ann McCulloch Studio.  In fact, so busy that we will be writing multiple blogs on it!  First off, we were very excited to be included in the Ainsworth Holiday Home Tour this year.  Ann McCulloch offered up her own home for the tour, having finished the remodel and décor completely in 2012, it was time to show the home off.

The Ainsworth Holiday Home Tour is an annual event that raises money for Ainsworth elementary school, and this year almost 700 people came through each home.  It was truly a unique experience.  We decked the halls, literally, with Christmas spirit and we hope those of you that visited us enjoyed the experience as much as we did!  You can see photos of the full project in our portfolio.  Here are some fun photos of the vintage cookie jars, Christmas china, lighted garlands, and paperwhites that created a beautiful Holiday Home.

Artist Spotlight: David Hiser

Artist Spotlight: David Hiser

This week Ann McCulloch Studio was proud to welcome famed photographer, David Hiser, to Portland to photograph our most recently completed renovations.

David Hiser is a photojournalist and a photo educator who’s had thousands of photographs published in National Geographic Magazine, the Smithsonian, Newsweek, National Wildlife, and National Enquirer. David’s photo coverage has been wide-ranging. He has photographed wolfs in the Artic, polar bears up close and personal from inside a cage, Polynesian sailing canoes and the Tarahumara Indians to name just a few of his interesting subjects. He has twice been a first place winner in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition while his images of the late “Gonzo” author Hunter S. Thompson graced the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. David is currently working on a book project in the Rockies and teaching digital photography workshops.

Lucky for us David is also Ann’s uncle and when he isn’t busy training aspiring photographers in the craft or shooting scenic landscapes near his home in Aspen, he enjoys traveling to the Pacific Northwest, spending time with his family and capturing images of Ann’s most recent work.

Over the course of two weeks David, Ann and Ann’s assistant, Christina, staged and photographed the completed renovations of 5 homes from Portland to Whidby Island, Washington. When shooting architectural projects David says it essential to focus on the needs of the individual client and remove anything from the frame that is deemed unnecessary. By timing the shoot for the perfect light and focusing on architectural details, David was able to highlight the layout in each new space as well as the features that make it unique.

We will be unveiling the final results from the photo shoot via our website with subsequent blog posts featuring Ann’s approach to floor plans, custom furniture, and additional “Artist Spotlights”.


To learn more about David Hiser and to see additional samples of his work, please visit

Ann McCulloch Studio Design Featured in Oregonian Living

Ann McCulloch Studio Design Featured in Oregonian Living

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.”

Patrick Residence before remodel/addition of entry/mudroom/play loft

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.

Built in desk and shelving

Built in banquet

Built in banquet and desk

“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.

Children’s play loft

Children’s play loft

Built in storage

A place for coats and shoes

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


Perfect PDX-style mudroom

Perfect PDX-style mudroom

One of my goals as a designer is to help clients get real value out of a remodel. This addition, which performs triple duty on a small footprint, does just that. Aside from operating as a much-needed mudroom, it also has a bike storage. This bike room is easily accessible from the outside through big barn-style doors. Perfect for the Portland bike-commute or after a lovely ride exploring some of the beautiful landscapes around this house on the hill. And on the inside? Well, tucked above the bike room is a super fun little play loft! The play loft is just the right height for a child to feel like it’s their own special space – but an adult can stand fully upright in the center. Check out the plans below:

Here’s a detail of what the bike room doors look like:

And here’s an inside and outside of view of what has happened so far:

I think the progress is coming along nicely. We’ve got the board and batten in and the window has been added.

A good design has to work for everyone and is specific to how that family lives within a space. I think children and adults will enjoy using this new addition. It’s perfect for the easy lifestyle we Portlanders love. Stay tuned! We will be sure to post the finished space once it is complete.

Read Portrait of Portland Article (from Fall 2010)

Read Portrait of Portland Article (from Fall 2010)

See the attached article featuring my own kitchen, which was in the design phase in my mind for many years and under construction for one!!  We have been enjoying it for almost a year now and I am still in love!!  I have only found one “mistake”  that came from my love of symmetry.  I had the outlet in the window seat installed right in the center of the marble sill!!  Why?  It should have been on the side where it wouldn’t be visible!  It is very handy for plugging in the laptop and I hang out here all the time!

Portrait of Portland

Portrait of Portland

Ann McCulloch Studio is featured in this month’s Portrait of Portland, Portland’s lifestyle, home and garden magazine. They are featuring Ann’s own kitchen remodel. More soon…