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High desert skinny home feels big facing Bend’s mountains

Gary Beaudoin wanted to build a home with intention, where every square foot was laid out for a purpose and in correspondence with the sun and the surrounding trees.

After buying a 6,000-square-foot lot near downtown Bend, Oregon, he began to camp out on the site. He watched where the sun set and fell, where the old-growth Ponderosa pines could provide future views, and began to design his 875-square-foot dream home.

To take advantage of the views of the Deschutes National Forest below he built the home tall, but he kept the footprint small (28 feet long and 16 feet wide). It’s enough for a bedroom/office and bathroom downstairs and an open living room/kitchen upstairs.

Downsizing afforded Beaudoin the opportunity to follow his passions, mainly, his love of Navajo weaving. After years of collecting wool textiles of a mother/daughter weavers, he published a book on their work “Unbroken Web: The Art of Ellen & Lucy Begay.”

Beaudoin’s appreciation for the variety of Navajo weaving designs lies in the uniqueness of each piece, “the weavers’ ability to synthesize geometric images into works of art” and the Navajo idea of “hózhó” (covering beauty, order, and harmony, striving for balance).

“Have you heard the phrase ‘walk in beauty’,” asks Beaudoin. “It’s not descriptive; it’s the act of doing. It’s not the result. Art is a process, a daily process.” His home has been described as “whimsical” and “fairy tale”, but it’s obvious, for Beaudoin, the process was more important than the end result.