before & after: oregon home renovation

Anyone who has rented a place by a lake or in a ski town knows that the mountain-lodge style can be kind of, well, terrible. Somewhere along the line, many a charming country cabin fell victim to the worst of country style: thick, dark carpets; ruffled curtains; chintzy furniture and more. I think it’s partially because the homes are isolated, away from the fast-pumping veins of urban fashion (I kid, but not really) and because many of them are just seasonal homes. If a place is only used for a couple weeks or a month per year, it’s hard to justify a full makeover, no matter how badly it may be needed.

I’m excited to share this lovely ranch home in Black Butte, Oregon, which is one example of a mountain home done right. Ottobaat, the firm behind this renovation, was wise to leave the gorgeous angled wood paneling, in many cases highlighting it with warm lighting and simple, understated furniture. The warm green and yellow palette is a nice complement to the neutral base of charcoal gray, white and wood. The home still feels warm and lodge-like to me, but so much cleaner and fresher — it’s like a big gust of crisp mountain air blew through the whole house, waking it up to greet the daylight. Wonderful work, Lois and Pam! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

“After” photographs by Sherri Diteman

More images of this Oregon home renovation after the jump . . .

Time: 6 months

Cost: around $100K

Basic Steps: We always approach our projects by beginning with the best features of the home. With this home, we loved the wood-lined interiors with the views of the Ponderosa Pine forest. Black Butte Ranch has always brought friends and families together, so we wanted to open up the flow of the main living space to accommodate two families on vacation together by creating a living room area for adults, a den area for the kids, an open kitchen for multiple cooks and a dining banquette area that can easily seat 12. For our materials palette and color story, we wanted to bring out the wood tones with charcoal gray and contrast with white and a pop of chartreuse yellow and green.

Our advice to others seeking to achieve a similar space would be to observe the best features of the space and amplify them through a choice of foundation materials, and color with an accent color pop. — Lois


Living Room

  • couch from garage sale
  • coffee tables and 4 side chairs from Vintage Pink on SE Hawthorne
  • rug from FLOR
  • throw blanket from Rejuvenation on SE Grand


Dining Room

  • table and chairs from IKEA
  • light fixtures from Hoodoo Antiques in Old Town Portland



  • tile from Pratt and Larsen
  • live-edge wood shelf from Endura Woods in SE Portland
  • cabinets from IKEA
  • curtain fabric from Fabric Depot



  • wingback chair from House of Vintage on SE Hawthorne
  • slipcover fabric from Mill End Fabrics in SE Portland
  • cow carpet from China
  • coffee table from IKEA
  • sectional from Macy’s Furniture
  • pillow fabric from Milkman’s Daughter in Victoria BC Canada



  • bed from IKEA
  • linens from Macy’s
  • duvet cover from West Elm


Bunk Room

  • blankets from Andy and Bax on SE Grand
  • beds from IKEA

  1. Tse says:


  2. Kelley says:

    that is wonderful. And I live super close to Black Butte, so seeing a remodel in my own “backyard” makes me smile.

  3. how2home says:

    love the black wall… it matte black?

  4. gabriella says:

    it looks like a completely different place! amazing

  5. I really like the offset wood on the walls. Stunning. Is it existing? In the last photo the wood looks possibly bleached from where picture frames may have hung?

  6. Kelly says:

    I really like what they did, looks great! But am I the only one who wants that red refrigerator?

  7. Lynne says:

    I love the green and white blanket pictured on the bed and also on the couch! Can I ask where I could get one too?

  8. Kathleen Clohessy says:

    I don’t know..It’s lovely, but I can’t say that I love it. I guess it just isn’t my style. I’m not a big fan of wood paneling; even given the setting and the fact that the wood is beautiful on its own I think I would have opted to keep less of it than they did here. .With that said, however, I ADORE the master bedroom. The directionality of the wood with the lighting on the floor makes it look like the sun is rising over the bed. Perfect.

  9. Mary Locke says:

    This is absolutely amazing. We want to build our next home from a log cabin kit and I will be taking some of these ideas for use later!

  10. Jasanna says:

    That’s absolutely stunning! It’s so much more light and not so “ski lodge” ish! Gorgeous work!

  11. Rebecca Eff says:

    Beautiful transformation! I’d be so proud to entertain friends in that space! <3

    But…I'm with Kelly, when I saw that red fridge in the before shot my heart soared.

  12. WyGal says:

    At least they kept the wood inside….otherwise I think the renovation doesn’t fit Black Butte. :(

  13. damia says:

    Looks great! I love the pops of green!! (esp. the houndstooth blankets!!)

  14. WheeleHouse says:

    The wood, which can often make a space look dated, looks incredible and fresh!

  15. Jess Tasker says:

    Love that black accent wall with the white shelves. Basically this is my dream mountain home.

  16. Lauran says:

    I absolutely love everything about this. The color palette of gray, green and yellow is so fresh and modern, yet the abundant natural wood keeps it cozy. This is one of the best makeovers I’ve seen. Bravo!

  17. Suzanne knighten says:

    Love, love, love each and every room! Great vision for what this home could really be. Each individual room is great, but collectively it all feels as though it belongs together for single harmonious perfection!

  18. Andrea says:

    Man, what a blast from the past! So many memories of vacationing at Black Butte as a kid – the before pictures seem like they were taken straight from my memory! The after pictures may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a refreshing change.

  19. Lydia Lapwing says:

    what an improvement but I don’t understand why a pelmet was used in the kitchen – unless it was an ironic visual comment. A blind would have been so much better if anything was needed.

  20. cristi says:

    Cost: around $100K – too expensive !!!!

  21. Aoife says:

    Love the green/white/grey palette, really fresh and interesting

  22. Lovely home ;) The diagonal wall treatment is fantastic!


  23. Suzy8track says:

    The update looks nice, but perhaps looks a bit cold and impersonal. Sorry to say, somehow I prefer the before…sure it was dated, but it was also warm and inviting too…plus that red fridge was totally awesome.

  24. Taryn says:

    Kelly, I love the red fridge too! This is a great makeover, though.

  25. Aidel.K says:

    Beautiful. I would love to live here. I really like that red wallpaper in the red beach house on the website. Great design sensibilities.

  26. I love the transformation and especially the decision to keep the wood paneling. The only thing I’d change is the lighting in the kitchen. One overhead light is so harsh and unflattering, especially at night. Some under the counter task-lighting would be perfect!

  27. Heather says:

    Love it all but the green curtains in the kitchen…What??

  28. Thera says:

    Love the redo. The extensive woodwork is beautiful and sublime. I feel this is a home that has quite possibly simply been returned to it’s design roots. If the home was constructed in the late 60’s to early 70’s, as it appears, the redo is perfectly in keeping with it’s design roots. Bravo to the designers and to the homeowners for having open, thoughtful, and respectful sensibilities.

  29. fox in the city says:

    There’s more things about the before pictures I liked, including the red fridge. The after is not very homely to me and I am not keen on the bright green accents. But I expect is is very comfortable.

  30. Nikki says:

    Wow! They don’t even look like the same rooms!

  31. I’m coveting that green hounds tooth throw, for starters. I love Black Butte Ranch, and the new space keeps the BBR feeling of the outdoor cabin but removes the dated quality those homes tend to have (spirit of macrame’s past). Feels lofty, open and fresh now. I wonder how they squeezed two families in there before!

  32. I love the 3 beds in a row. Always a favorite especially in an upstairs attic space. It makes a really fun grandkids room!

  33. Eileen 2 says:

    Wonderful. I love the wood. I’d get tired of living with it 52 weeks a year, but if it were just something to enjoy during the summer or during Christmas, it would be fabulous.

    The quaint retro red fridge? I think somewhere someone is delightedly enjoying it. Maybe even in this same home, just not shown.

  34. Amy B. says:

    I continue to be disappointed by $50k to $100k renovations on Design Sponge. If I had such funds, I would be looking at websites for interior designers and architects, not here.

    It seems the more Design*Sponge grows, the more frequent the expensive, uber aesthetic renovations appear in the “before and after” section.

    It is a far greater challenge to have much less money, but the ability to demonstrate exquisite taste with limited funds and limitless imagination and innovation. That is why I originally came to love Design*Sponge.

  35. Becky says:

    No kidding on that curtain in the kitchen, horrible choice. Otherwise its nice. I want that red fridge.

  36. Emiliana Patriotou says:

    Great change, if but for the curtain in the kitchen. Otherwise a very worthy rennovation.

  37. Nice–this reminds me of my mom’s gorgeous 70s house on a country acreage. She has constantly updated over the years. I love how this makeover brings out the best of the beauty of that mid-century country style. It has such a strong organic sensibility.

  38. Yikes, that was ridiculously outdated – the fridge was a relic! Great makover that will take in beautifully into the future.

  39. Regina says:

    I am with you Amy B. Also, I think the bedroom is not cozy at all. Like the new dining space, but still would never take an island out of a kitchen.

  40. Maci Nogueira says:

    Is that the same house? It’s amazing!

  41. Arenda says:

    I also like the look of the wood walls, but I have to say that in general the cabin feels so stark! I would much prefer something warm, cozy and inviting.

  42. mary beth says:

    wow! absolutely incredible transformation. and i like minimalist approach…i really appreciate that and think it is cozy and inviting in its’ own way!


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