Selma and Bud Pierce were searching for a vacation property that would be a haven from their fast-paced daily and work lives, and easy access from their Salem home was a top priority. They settled on the Oregon Coast for this reason. “It is slightly over an hour from work, easy to get to, easy to return from, a dependable drive—rarely is there a traffic jam,” says Selma. “The close distance allows us to spend time at our retreat.” The house they found was the right location in Gleneden Beach, but needed some updating to turn it into the tranquil hideaway the homeowners envisioned. “Originally, the home was someone else’s corporate retreat with a lot of wood paneling on the walls and ceilings and gray carpeting,” Selma explains. “The paneling looked to have been installed at different times, with different woods and different patterns. Each was very nice, but there wasn’t a cohesive whole or common theme.”

The Pierces turned to Salem-based C&R Design Remodel—which had completed the remodel of their primary residence several years prior—to help with the update. For this client, C&R aimed to “create a space that would allow the homeowners and visitors alike to be able to enjoy the Pacific Ocean inside or outside,” says Beth Rhoades, co-owner of C&R whose family company founded the company in 1961. Their specialty is design-build renovation projects primarily in the Willamette Valley.

“The existing house felt dark, cavelike, and lacked windows and views from some of the key spaces,” Rhoades adds, including in the kitchen, which was tucked in a corner with soffited lighting over the island and wood on the ceilings, cabinets, and floors. “We moved the kitchen area from under the part of the great room with the lowest ceilings to the light-filled two-story part of the house,” Selma says. To give the space new life and purpose C&R, working with Salem designer Linda Stewart and architect Steve Schwanke, selected a calming palette of textured tiles to mimic the feeling of waves. White honed Carrara marble countertops, painted surfaces, and flooring both play on the beautiful surroundings and helps to create a consistent flow on the first floor. Adjacent to the kitchen, a breakfast/bar area employs soft darker gray countertops with flecks of shine, “reminiscent of sun on grains of sand,” Selma says.

Lighting choices were also deliberate, based on the oceanside setting and allowing for maximum lines of sight. “The light fixtures at the kitchen island hang from large-scale rope with gold trim on the glass, which relates to the more formal marble countertops,” says Stewart. Shades in the adjacent dining area help define the room as a separate space within the great room concept.

Along with an appropriate natural palette, Stewart and C&R also had to take durability into consideration in the coastal climate, and with the owners’ active lifestyle and pets. When the sandy-colored flooring was selected that would run throughout the main floor, “it became the common thread for the materials and colors,” Stewart points out. Far from the home’s previous Southwestern-style look, with its cowhide patterns and oversized furniture (“I like to say I had a whole herd of cows inside the house—nice, but better in Montana than at the coast,” Selma says), the new furnishings are again of natural materials such as patinaed metals, wood, and leather.

“Remodeling a home on the coast lets one understand the powerful natural forces that exist where water meets land,” Selma explains. “It is a challenge to create and maintain a structure that is constantly at the mercy of the elements.” Rhoades agrees. “The structural changes had us opening up this home back to the garage and rebuilding the interior walls and roof to get the desired ceiling heights, windows, and open space. The wind and rain was something we worked through constantly and battled with the steel framing, getting everything dried in, and selecting materials that would have a lower maintenance long term.”

“This was a year-long project that had a few big challenges that were met with calmness, creativity, and imagination,” Selma adds. “The home is so much more than I anticipated. Beautiful, serene, and an extension of the coast that we will enjoy for many years to come.”


C & R Design Remodel

Steven Schwanke

Beth Rhoads

Linda Stewart


Plumbing Brands: Ferguson: Kohler, DXV;
Appliances: Sub-Zero, Wolf, Bosch, KitchenAid