Photo by Dale Clark
Photo by Dale Clark
Photo by Dale Clark
Photo by Dale Clark
Photo by Dale Clark
Photo by Dale Clark
Photo by Dale Clark

Root and Branch

A woodland oasis on Walhalla Drive

While many modern designs have run screaming from the hills, so to speak, Reliance Design’s Behrooz Motamedi has put his love of lumber on full display.
What was once an ’80s bachelor pad is now a family home that takes full advantage of the beautiful natural surroundings, incorporating those traces of wood throughout the home—wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling. Motamedi opened the doors, virtually, to his personal project.
“All we had to do was to make sure our design paid homage to nature without trying to compete with what it had to offer,” he said. “We wanted to keep things simple and unadorned inside the house so that the natural surroundings would become part of the decoration and beauty of the interior spaces.”

Respect the Original:
The sunroom was planned by the previous owners and is one of the features that we did not change and kept as is. It is important in designing a space to know what to keep and cherish, what to change and improve and the extent of improvements necessary.

Artful Entry:
Most wood doors can be customized to include stained glass. However, stained glass can be a strong statement in any space, so homeowners should consider the overall style and design they are trying to achieve before incorporating stained glass into their living space.

Nature, Nurtured:
The abundance of windows, skylights, and doors in the house allowed nature to make its way into the home, so we took advantage of this fact and provided a material palette that agreed with what the outside had to offer. The natural wood and stone finishes allowed the inside and outside to work together seamlessly while the clean white color pallet highlighted these natural finishes. Those birch trimmed windows and doors became framed pictures of wild greens, trees and the ravine on Walhalla. The knotty hickory flooring exhibits the natural patterns and colors of wood beautifully and that’s why it was the perfect candidate for flooring in this case. We decided to avoid overwhelming the senses with wood by going with white cabinets that are simply wrapped in a wood layer. Paired with the blue stone backsplash tiles, the kitchen is both modern and comfortable, and keeps with the overall aesthetics of the design.

We wanted to open up the wall between the first and second floor to reveal a loft space, but the structural requirements of the existing wall did not allow us to do that. In the end however, it turned out to be a good thing because the tall continuous wall emphasized the openness of the living room area and the closed off space on the second floor became the perfect office/study. It’s important to be flexible and open to new ideas when doing a renovation of this size because not everything will turn out exactly as originally planned. That doesn’t necessarily make for a negative result, but a more creative one.

Where to shop:
Light fixtures are from Restoration Hardware; artwork from Ikea and Bed, Bath & Beyond; all kitchen cabinetry and custom wood work from Reliance Design Build; furniture from West Elm, Grandview Mercantile, and Eurolife; decoration elements from various Clintonville antique stores, including Branch Décor, where we found the typewriter.