Editor’s note: The At Home section features a profile of a local home each month. To suggest a home, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When John and Arlene Watkins decided to build their second home in Bend, they specifically told residential designer David LiaBraaten from DesignHaus that they wanted “a modern, contemporary design with Japanese flair,” said John Watkins.
The Watkinses aren’t new to homebuilding and remodeling, having remodeled and added onto their first home in Sunriver.
The Watkins family also built a 4,900-square-foot home on a 2.5-acre lot in Bend, but as the couple looked toward being empty-nesters, they decided to downsize in Tetherow.
With a half-acre lot, the Watkinses decided they wanted a single-story home that’s easy to care for and would be energy efficient by using passive solar heating in the winter.
“This house has slab grade heating, including in the garage,” said John. “The passive solar heating warms the concrete slab floors in the winter. It’s 45 degrees outside now, and yet it’s 70 degrees inside the house now and we haven’t turned on our heat in weeks.”
“Our electric and heating bill went from about $10,000 a year to about $1,600, or a little more than $100 dollars a month,” said Arlene.
This modern home has three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms in 3,250 square feet. The home is steeped in daylight thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room.
From the front exterior of this house, it takes on a Usonian style.
Usonian was a term famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright used to explain his vision for flat-roofed, practical homes that were usually single story and built in an L-shape to fit around a courtyard.
The front courtyard of the Watkins home incorporates a rock sculpture water feature. Its simplicity and minimalist style evoke a Japanese sensibility and welcome visitors to the front door.