Nature Design Inspiration by Laura DeVito

Painted Hills

Nature is great design inspiration. When working with my clients, I use my art and design expertise to offer another lens when it comes to selling their own home or potentially being interested in another home. There’s many possibilities out there, and sometimes color makes all the difference in the world.

Take the glorious Painted Hills in Eastern Oregon for instance. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the Painted Hills a couple of times in my life. The different layers showing time and what types of materials are embedded. Red usually indicates copper. I have seen prints on the Painted Hills before. Sometimes human, and other times it looks like deer have traipsed on through. Although sometimes irritating to see human foot prints on these pristine hills, it also creates another texture to the landscape.

The subtle layers that have taken thousands (if not millions) of years to stack up are awe-inspiring. I think that we are in awe of such a place, because within our very being we realize in a second that it has taken that long to create such a place. Nature is a talented force.

When it comes to home design, be it surface or structural, nature may serve as a compass. For example, the gradation of color throughout the Painted Hills, the way in which they are spaced out within the landscape, and also the brilliant contrast that is created between the soft lines of the warm colored hills to the vibrant blue sky. Putting red and orange next to blue actually cause color vibration to the eye. This means, that the colors pop more. Perhaps this is something to think about regarding your home and design inspiration.

Biomimicry Woven Architecture by Laura DeVito

Barcelona is a place of art, whimsy, and wonder due to Gaudi’s architectural vision. I had the privilege of experiencing it first-hand. Antoni Gaudi was a bit of a Renaissance person living in the times of Art Deco. Gaudi was an architect of glorious buildings, and also created things like furniture and type. Nature was his ultimate inspiration, and biomimicry seemed to be the guiding force for many of his designs.

Sagrada Familia Interior

Sagrada Familia Interior

The Sagrada Familia is most famous. Antoni Gaudi realized that he would most likely not be around for the completion of it, so he made elaborate models for guidance to future architects and designers. Gaudi also figured out how to get rid of the buttresses by using gravity to show the most effective way of constructing arches.

Gaudi door handles

Gaudi door handles

Not only that, but he designed from the soaring arches above to door knobs. Gaudi actually molded the door knobs from clay to fit his hands. When I went to try these, it seemed that he also had consideration for many types of hands. When it comes to homes that Gaudi created, they are truly wondrous. From tiles that look like candy to flowing glass and roof tops, Gaudi challenged what architecture could do, even to this day. If you’re around Barcelona in 2026, that’s the goal for Sagrada Familia to be finally completed. Wouldn’t it be brilliant to experience a cathedral that has been completed within our lifetime?

Gaudi’s Casa Battlló

Gaudi’s Casa Battlló

Make Your Fur Baby Right at Home by Laura DeVito

Home is where the heart is, and it may also be where you’re lovely furbaby hangs out, too. If you have a little furry creature in your home that you adore, then you may have also adapted your home a bit so it’s easier for them to get around and make them feel like they have a special place in the house. There are so many ways to incorporate elements you already have in a home to make your fur baby even more at comfortable.

Instagram via @Mod.Homes

Instagram via @Mod.Homes

Take this fireplace for example. If you have a fire place that is not operating, then this is a super cool idea to not only figure out what to do with it, but also make Fido more at home. Of course, there’s also ways to make the Dog House seem like a luxury hotel, so that way your canine has a place when it’s time for lights out. Cats also have their own ways of feeling more at home. Usually, they like to be up higher, so making something in which they can climb to the top is a great way for your feline to feel like they are king or queen of the castle. I have also known homeowners that do simple fixes like making it so the cat door actually is cut out for the cat to be able to go do their stinky business out in the garage. Ah, the ways in which we love our little furry pals

Instagram via @cafechatlheureux

Instagram via @cafechatlheureux

Whether you’re a dog or cat person (or perhaps an iguana person), there are many options for them to feel at home, and for your home to still be stylin’ and comfortable for you, too!

Your Home Match by Laura DeVito

You may have heard the term “open plan” home in magazines, blogs, and also when describing homes that are for sale. What exactly does an open plan mean? It essentially means that there aren’t walls separating the various rooms that have different functions within the home. Some might say a lot of people prefer an open plan versus one where there are more walls dividing up space. However, it all depends on how one uses the space. Typically, I have seen open plans mean that the kitchen, dining room, and living room are all in one area with no walls necessarily separating them. Except, perhaps, some shorter walls indicating where one space ends and the other begins.

Gaudi Architecture, Instagram image via @momentsofgregory

Gaudi Architecture, Instagram image via @momentsofgregory

A good amount of older homes actually had more walls and specific rooms dedicated to particular uses. That’s why, if you tour a home that’s older, you may also see remnants of where past owners have removed walls. For example, it was common to also have walls divide up the living room and dining room but shorter walls that sometimes included built-in sliding doors. A lot of these types of built-ins have been removed over the years for various reasons, but one of them was possibly to achieve that open plan feel.

So, then the question is more about you and your family. Asking the question, how do I use this space? How do I use it with others in it? How often will we have a dinner party for 12 people? Back in the day, it seems that people used to have more meals together in larger familial settings. Historically, families used to live in multi-generational households. At present day, it seems that there are some that are moving back into the multi-generational household model while others are quite content to be living solo or with a partner.

When I tour with my clients, I pay attention to how they feel about the place. Feeling is a powerful thing, and I believe that it’s coming from all one’s preconceived notions up to that point and being brought to a space that either fits who you are or doesn’t quite match up. That’s why sometimes choosing a home is thought of as choosing to be in a relationship. After all, in theory, you and your family will be residing in the home a majority of the year. So, a feeling is important. Although subjective, it’s something that can be quite the guiding force.

With all that in mind, how do you feel about an open plan home? How do you feel about one that may have walls up between the dining room and kitchen? Perhaps you are somewhere in between. The point is, the more you are clear about your preferences, the easier it will be do choose the home of your dreams.

Let’s chat about those dreams and find a home that makes your heart sing.

Home Water Harvesting by Laura DeVito

In the Pacific Northwest, we have a good amount of rain. This is a great resource you can utilize for your home. Many people may choose to collect rain using something as simple as a rain barrel. You can affix rain barrels right to the downspout. Imagine all those winter months of rain, and you could possibly use that to water your garden come spring time, now that’s resourceful. This water harvesting may just be the ticket to you having a delectable harvest of fruits and vegetables.

Instagram @franphoto63

Instagram @franphoto63

Not only is it helping conserve water for the environment, but it may also help you spend less on your water bill in the hot summer months. I have also seen an animal or two take a swig of some fresh rain water, too. So there’s an added side benefit for parched pets. There’s many different types of ways to collect rain for your landscaping. From rain barrels to even larger receptacles, there’s a lot to choose from.

Instagram @happybellygarden

Instagram @happybellygarden

If you’re looking for inspiration around town, the Oregon Garden has a few different examples. You may also see some when you’re walking around town. Why not make use of all the wonderful rain that we have, and make your landscape look good?

Silverton's Historic Oak by Laura DeVito

Silverton Historic Oak

If this tree stump could talk. It’s historical to Silverton, and actually influenced the way in which Silverton grew as a town. It was a meeting place for most likely the Kalapuya and Molalla tribes. Then, pioneer, Polly Crandell Coon, was deemed the founding Mother of Silverton, because she designated the platting of the town around tree. Homer Davenport, a Silverton legend and famous cartoonist in the day, wrote that the short-brimmed hat people came on through and chopped it down in the night. Short-brim was a term for later pioneers that were thought to be from the big city. Silverton is just the type of town to pay homage to the great oak tree. In fact...there’s a mural dedicated to it right in the heart of Silverton.

It’s pretty brilliant to have a tree was the reason for how Silverton formed as a town. Using natural features of the earth, such as waterways were also ways that towns would orient themselves.

Happy Earth Day by Laura DeVito

Oregon Garden Earth Day

Earth Day was a hit at the Oregon Garden. It was awesome to see vendors out spreading the word on all the valuable things people can do to be more environmentally-conscious. Earth Day has been evolving since the 70s. In the 80’s it was all about the three Rs - reduce, reuse, and recycle. Schools had efforts focused on saving whales, and the even the polar bear started appearing on the radar. And, now there’s a lot happening with regards to recycling and reusing bags. Have you got your reusable bag yet? If not…stay tuned for some wonderfully flashy bags soon to arrive.

Yes, that’s me sporting a vintage Earth Day shirt!

Yes, that’s me sporting a vintage Earth Day shirt!

Sometimes it takes a bit of learning to catch-on. But, if you have a good teacher, then you’re on the right track. I remember arriving from Kansas to Oregon, and learning what it meant to recycle and what compost was about. I’m glad I had some patient roommates, because I didn’t know much about co-mingling recycling. We are lucky in the Pacific Northwest to have a lot of systems in place that champion earth-friendly efforts.

Whether you’re interested in new construction or a home that has history, there are many ways to be earth-friendly with your home. For new construction, there’s certifications like Earth Advantage, LEED, and more. I am an Earth Advantage Broker, and this means I have a deeper understanding of what it means to have an energy efficient and green home. There are reports you can also do that show home much energy your home is saving, which also may mean saving some money as well. For homes with more history, perhaps looking into adding some more energy efficient and green features is the way you may choose to go. Either way, I’m here to guide you in this journey to finding your dream home.

Save Money by Laura DeVito

A great sign posted here in Silverton to show the way you may be able to save with home costs and live more energy efficiently.

A great sign posted here in Silverton to show the way you may be able to save with home costs and live more energy efficiently.

Energy efficiency is one of the many ways you may be able to save some money on continuous home costs. It could be as simple as replacing light bulbs with LED or perhaps getting a Smart thermostat to regulate the temperature in your home. Other ways to more your home more energy efficient may be to think about if your home is as insulated as it could be, so that way your heating and cooling aren’t accidentally leaving through the crack in your backdoor. This is what some builders call having a tightly sealed envelope, because it means all the potential leaks both within and on the exterior of the home have been sealed up.

Other ways of increasing the energy efficiency of your home could be to think about are having Energy Star appliances, or perhaps those solar panels you have been thinking about. These types of upgrades are a bit more of an investment. However, if you’re thinking about staying in your home for awhile, they may be really great things to consider.

Besides saving money by using energy more efficiently, there’s actually programs out there that may be able to help with the bill for these upgrades. So, that’s pretty rad, too. The Energy Trust Program is one of the many programs out there that may be able to help you out with your quest to live a more green and energy efficient lifestyle.

If you’re in the market for a more energy efficient home, or perhaps the upgrades you could do with an older home, let’s talk. I’d be glad to help you with your home search.

Gorgeously Innovative Windows by Laura DeVito

It was awesome to visit what Green Hammer is up to during Design Week PDX. I toured Tillamook Row, a set of 16 apartment units with a community lounge area to boot. We met up at the community community, which had a nice open-plan with a kitchen, a hang-out area for Blazers games (with a screen that pops up from the ceiling), a workshop in the back, and a work-out area upstairs. On the first floor, there’s an interesting…we shall call it…energy accountability screen. It gauges the energy usage of each community member. If you’re blue, you’re good to go, if you’re yellow, then you need to mellow out on your energy usage. I think it will be interesting to see the community dynamics that emerge from showing these types of stats in the shared space.

The apartment we toured was on the second floor. Director of Design, Erica Dunn, led the tour and explained the various features. This included sustainably harvested materials, triple-paned glass windows, and a lot more. One of the features that drew the most attention were the windows. Probably due to the interactive component and a lot of people in the room have never seen windows that function like this. They opened two different ways to serve two different purposes, which were to be able to let the fresh are in during the day and then be able to keep the windows open at night, but only from the top portion as a bit of an urban safety feature. There was also a panel, which one could slide across the outside of the window in case there’s an extra sunny day and you want a bit more shade.

The design of the home was well thought out, even with 20+ people navigating the space, it didn’t feel too crowded. The second floor was divided up nicely with the possibility of different uses for each room, in case you don’t want all three to be bedrooms. Plenty of natural light spilled in from the windows as well.

The courtyard was beautiful with what looked to be some community gardening in one of the nooks and areas for rain water to go right back into the soil. Yes to more courtyards! They provide that community and nestled feel away from the urban bustle. Another perk, is that these homes are just a hop from bike commuting to get to downtown.

Green building and energy efficiency are great attributes to look for when searching for a home that’s healthy, durable, and comfortable. Here’s to more innovations in architecture.

Gallon House Bridge by Laura DeVito

Gallon House Bridge

Hi, I’m Laura. Some people just call me DeVito. I’m a broker licensed in Oregon with Bledsoe Santana Team Realty LLC. They are a super awesome crew! I live in Silverton and love hiking around the temperate rain forests here. I’m actually at the oldest covered bridge under continuous service in Oregon! I think of it as joining up Silverton and Mt. Angel, two very cute and one of a kind places. I love helping my clients navigate buying and selling their homes with my marketing expertise and showcasing the unique qualities of all the different homes out there. Let’s talk about your dream home, and get started on this adventure.

Lovely Cabins by Laura DeVito

Silver Falls State Park has so many wonderful things. I usually hike it once or twice a week, and each time it is different. With the changing seasons of brilliant yellow leaves from the Big Leaf Maple to the gorgeous bluish green lichen that tends to get more vibrant as winter rains fall, there’s a lot going on. Did you know that there’s also some fun places to stay and also have events? Silver Falls Lodge and Conference Center is a fun place to explore, too.

They have a wide range of cabins including fun names like Calypso or Chickaree. It could be for a retreat, a wedding, or perhaps just a little get away where you can fully enjoy the temperate rain forest in all it’s glory. There’s also a food service that comes along with some of the plans.

Imagine breathing in all the goodness of different flowers blooming in spring and exploring trails that start right outside your door. Did you know that there could be homes out there with similar qualities to being out in the great outdoors? Let’s explore those options together and figure out your perfect oasis.

Silver Falls Lodge and Conference Center - Dining Area

Silver Falls Lodge and Conference Center - Dining Area

Local Chocolate by Laura DeVito

Whimsey Chocolates

There are many gems you will stumble upon in good’ol Silverton. Sometimes I have a sweet tooth, and Whimsy is known for some one of a kind gifts. From cute kitchen utensils to silly socks, there’s a lot of things to choose from. If you make it past all the awesome merchandise and head past the giant gnome, you’ll find some delectable treats. I absolutely adore truffles, and this is a great place to stop in and try a few. Yes, that’s right, if you keep exploring little places in Silverton, you’ll usually get wonderful surprises like this.

Chocolate from all over Oregon are here, and there’s also the specialty truffles you can choose from. My favorite is Smores…and well, it really depends on my mood. There’s also ones with coffee and mint, and if you like other types of chocolate, you’re in luck, there’s a lot of options.

If you like options, you may also want to know about the other sweet shops starting up in Silverton. There’s one called Candy that I will definitely need to check-out and I hear rumors of a cupcake place? Either way, you get the point, there’s a lot of sweetness in Silverton.

Contact me to experience all the potential sweet homes right here in the Willamette Valley.

Bikability in Silverton by Laura DeVito

One of the many reasons I love living in SIlverton, is the easy access to just about everything. I enjoy walking and biking immensely. I think it’s a brilliant way to get to know your surroundings and see what’s happening. For a town of just over 10,000 people, Silverton has so many fun things to offer. For instance, debating between Thai food, or some darn good fried pickles at the Gallon House. The Oregon Garden, which is truly a gem, is a quick jaunt up the street, too. It was a no-brainer to become members of the Oregon Garden, because it’s acres of gardens that are usually fairly quiet. Sometimes, it’s just me and my husband walking about it together. Not to say that we also don’t enjoy the busy times, like for Christmas in the Garden.

Coolidge Park is a quick little walk. WIth the Silverton Arts Association right there along with wonderful festivals like the Strawberry Festival. I’m more of a road bike kind of person (no mountain biking for me please), but if you’re also into that, then there are many bike marathons that go on, too! Sometimes, while going to the Willamette Valley Pie Company, I’ll see people biking along the hazelnut lined roads. It’s a beautiful sight. Otherwise, just taking a spin to the farmers market is more my style.

If you like to bike, the SIlverton may be a great place to be.

Come by and say, “Hello!”

Come by and say, “Hello!”