"Welcome to the Mountains" is an apt sign to find along the twisting driveway to Doug and Keri Allen's lodge-style home perched in the Siskiyou range southwest of Ashland.
Purchased as a "fixer-upper" property in 2001, the five-acre site seemed a natural place for a log home. After much frustration at the cost and complexities of building a log home, the Allens shifted directions.
"Keri said, 'Let's do a frame home with log features,'" remembers Doug. "Her inspiration word was 'alpine' and that's what we used to create our floor plan."
After clearing the homesite themselves, the Allens broke ground in 2006. They and two of their four children moved into the finished, 2,600-square-foot, three bedroom, two bath portion of the house last year.
Entry is through the back of the house into a mud room that's floored in engineered hardwood. The flooring reaches to the right into a large, open kitchen that grounds the home's neutral color palette with black granite tops on an octagonal counter system. Ranch red paint warms textured walls. Keri's Italian heritage is evident in grape-themed cabinet knobs and other colorful kitchen accents.
Between the kitchen and the formal dining room is a handcrafted breakfast nook with bay windows that's fashioned after the booths at the Allens' favorite restaurant.
The formal dining room with its square cove ceiling and gently shaded walls has a country feeling. A corner curio cabinet and antique china hutch that once belonged to Keri's grandfather add nostalgia.
"My grandfather was a homebuilder and before he passed away," explains Keri, "he made several suggestions that really helped us. That's why it's so special to have this cabinet from him."
Light gray Berber carpet starts in the dining room and wraps under a softly arched opening into the dramatic living room.
It's here that the couple's vision for alpine living is most vivid. The tongue-and-groove pine-paneled ceiling reaches to a 19-foot pitch and then goes eight feet higher on the second story landing. A floor-to-ceiling river rock fireplace is both artistic and organic while an expanse of doors onto the deck showcases a view of Emigrant Lake and Grizzly Peak.
White suede sofas with an oversized, brown suede ottoman are luxuriously cozy. Greenery and sculpted black metal tables and accessories contribute richness.
A curved pine staircase is the home's signature architectural element, echoing the ceiling and the handcrafted pine posts that define the entry into the living room.
Behind the staircase is the kids' bedroom wing. Seventeen-year-old Kaylie's room has a cosmopolitan flair with lipstick red walls and hardwood floors. A large bathroom with double sink, pine-framed mirror and travertine shower separates her space from 15-year-old Rodney's room. A budding athlete, Rodney chose green and blue walls to accent what Doug calls "the best view in the house."
The view from the top of the stairs could challenge Rodney's claim. The entire south end of the Rogue Valley is visible through tall windows and the living room and deck below are reminders of the style and comfort so prevalent throughout this welcoming home.
To anchor the upstairs, Doug and Keri painted the landing wall brown and are transforming it into a photo gallery. On one end of the upper level is an unfinished loft/office.
On the southeast end is the couple's master suite. East-facing windows invite full morning sun while an electric fireplace in the nearby seating area keeps the chill off. Plush, cream-colored carpet is soft, and charming antiques and velvet patchwork bed linens create a romantic setting.
Keri and Doug each have their own little alcove attached to the bedroom. Hers is the hot pink "diva room" that features a built-in vanity, bay window and photos of femmes fatales.
Next door is Doug's "utility room" that opens onto a shared bath with deep soaking tub and soothing fish tank. This area is painted blue to evoke the beach, and Doug has asserted himself with photos of James Bond and the Beatles.
"One thing our house really shows is our personalities," says Doug. "We lived here 24/7 while it was being built and we know every stud in every wall. It really is our dream home."
The Allens hope to share their alpine lodge with grandchildren and even great-grandchildren someday. Until then, they're happy spending their free time polishing their dream.