Rick Wright Designs a Luxury Barn Apartment While Respecting a Ranch Lifestyle

Article by Sarah Laken

Photography by Rick Hayes

Originally published in Bend Lifestyle

Taking a creative home idea and making it a reality, no matter how big or small. That is Rick Wright’s trademark as an award-winning, sustainable home designer, and owner of Wright Design Studio in Bend. Wright has been designing homes since 1980 and one of his most noteworthy creative projects combines the rural lifestyle of Central Oregon and small home living on a luxury scale.

In 2016, Wright’s clients wanted to build a barn that would include a small living area and a place for horses. The couple had spent many years vacationing in Bend from Portland and wanted to start making the transition to living on this side of the Cascades near Tumalo on 20 acres of picturesque ranchland. As always, Wright takes notes of the natural landscapes he’s working within. He has an eye not only as a home designer, but as an outdoor enthusiast and past president of the Deschutes Watershed Council. In this case, the surrounding mountain views and agricultural lands were commanding, the perfect place for this barn project. 

Wright got to work designing the barn, resulting in a 900-square-foot, perfectly spacious and cozy dwelling with one bedroom, one bathroom, open ceilings, exposed wood beams, a beautiful full kitchen, a stone fireplace, numerous large windows for natural light, and a large deck overlooking the property. The space cleverly uses the apartment’s fullest potential. The downstairs barn features 2,100-square-feet with four horse stalls, a tack room for equestrian gear, a washroom, a storage area, another bathroom, and an office. Wright worked with builder Rick Hayes of Visionary Homes to bring the concept to life.

“The view to the mountains influences the openness of the upstairs apartment,” says Wright.  “It brings the outside into the esthetic of the inside.” This multiphase project started with the barn apartment and a home for horses and will eventually lead to a permanent home and a future shop to come with a matching exterior to the barn. Once all of the structures are finished, this project will show how a little bit of dreaming and a lot of planning are keys to successful design.  “I have always liked the barns that are located in Central Oregon,” he says. “I wanted to project that image in the complex at this rural location. The lot will later be planted with alfalfa, reinforcing the ranching lifestyle.”

Wright encourages other homeowners looking to find creative space at their own homes to bring attributes of the site into the living spaces of the house. In this case, the barn esthetic works wonderfully into the concept, but the most important aspect of the design is how the exterior plays into the interior of the living space. The barn as a whole is a treasure the owners will enjoy for many generations and a nod to the past in a region where barns dot the landscape and the work of farms and rural life lives on. WrightHomeDesign.com


915 NW Gasoline Alley, Bend.


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