Sometimes you come across those homes that offer endless inspiration, despite the season or current trends. Homes that offer a certain kind of comforting charm you just can't seem to get enough of. The home of Dawn and Eric Weeman, located just outside Hood River, Oregon, is one of those magical places that we keep coming back to again and and again.
To get us in the mood for spring, we wanted to step back inside this bright and airy home full of stunning details and thoughtful touches, surrounded by lofty, clear skies, a sparkling river, and miles and miles of blooming fruit orchards.
Below, we chat with Dawn about how her family ended up in Hood River, her favorite hosting tips and tricks, and what she loves most about her sweet and charming home.
Can you tell us a little bit about your home – how did you know it was the one?
We had been dreaming of living in Hood River for years. Each time we were in the area we picked a new (to us) gravel road to drive down, just to see what was there. Sadly, most of what we saw were homes from the '80s and '90s; nothing with the kind of character we saw in our dreams. However, while passing through on a northwest road trip in 2013, we spotted a gravel road we had not yet explored. And it had a "for sale" sign at the top! Following the signs, we pulled into the driveway where we saw the wrap-around porch and the view. I said, "This is it." My husband questioned, "But, you haven’t seen the inside yet." We saw it the following day and that was it!
Can you share a favorite memory that you’ve had in this house?
My favorite memories, off the top of my head: The first weekend that we owned the house, Erik carried me over the threshold. We had a bunch of friends helping us move in. We had mattresses delivered that day, but no other furniture. We had a roaring fire, I made a simple dinner and we set up camp chairs in the living room while dreaming of all the good times we’d have in the future with those friends and more. We slept on mattresses on the floor and had a great time.
Can you share some of your favorite spots and details of your home?
We live on the porch swing all summer long. During the winter, the fireplace and husband-built window seat hold us cozily captive.
"I also love cooking and decorating and enjoy tailoring my home to the seasons. When it's hot, I serve a local rosé (the Columbia Gorge AVA!), Aperol spritzes, or mocktails with fresh fruit and herbs from my garden. Often I'll make pizzas on the grill to ensure that we are outside enjoying the warmer evenings."
What does your ideal weekend at the house entail?
We usually arrive early to get the house warmed up and the work done (gardening, laundry, snow shoveling, wood chopping, grocery shopping, etc). We have friends visit most weekends, so I’ll make a simple dinner for everyone to enjoy Friday night. In the winter, we usually do a big (but simple) breakfast and then head out for some skiing. Après-ski is at our house and includes drinks, snacks and several additional friends we ran into at the mountain. In the summertime, we would spend the day hitting estate sales, picking fruit, jumping in a swimming hole, or kiteboarding. We love ending a summer day at COR Cellars (an amazing winery in Lyle, WA) or Analemma (a winery in Mosier, OR).
How do you like to make people feel welcome in your home?
Welcoming people into our home is one of my favorite parts about being an adult. As a child, my grandmother seemed to have a magic touch when visitors stopped by. She never seemed stressed, but she always had a drink or a treat to offer and people were happy and relaxed in her presence. When I first grew up, it seemed stressful to have dinner parties or houseguests, but then I realized that my grandmother had the perfect mix of southern hospitality and a willingness to take shortcuts. Now I stock tater tots in the freezer and batch cocktails in the refrigerator. These easy tricks, combined with flowers and freshly ironed linens in a guestroom, make a guest feel welcome but also maintain a relaxed, homey atmosphere.
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