Garden Rooms at Lakecliff

View is grand as ever as historic home gets a new look

Allyson Pate never planned on owning a bed-and-breakfast, much less one that was also one of Hood River’s historic homes.

In fact, little more than a year and a half ago, she and her husband, James, were planning their move from California — to Bend.

James spends three days a week in Portland for work, and the couple figured Bend was the place for them. After a weekend trip there spent scouting for property, they drove back through Hood River ... and the rest is history.

“We took that fork where you can go left (to Portland) or right,” Allyson says, laughing at the whims of fate. They stopped for lunch in Hood River and fell in love with the town. Their purchase of Lakecliff Bed and Breakfast on Westcliff Drive also came about auspiciously. During another scouting mission, Allyson saw the for sale sign at the estate’s entrance. They drove up to the empty house, peered in the windows, gasped at the property’s river view and knew they’d found their home.

“It was one of those things that was meant to be,” Allyson says.

Lakecliff was built on the bluff overlooking the Columbia River in 1908. The house was designed by Albert Doyle, who also designed Multnomah Falls Lodge, and built by a member of the Kreig family, which founded Kreig Millwork.

The home had been turned into a bed-and-breakfast in the early 1980s and had remained one until the late 1990s when it was put on the market. By the time the Pates came along, the house had sat empty for a couple of years.

The negotiations for the house — which involved a protracted sale of the Pates’ home in the San Francisco Bay area — dragged on for nearly a year. When last fall began speeding by and the deal still wasn’t done, Allyson paid a surreptitious visit to the deserted — but not yet hers — property for one express purpose: to plant hundreds of bulbs.

“I figured, what’s the worst that could happen?” Allyson says. “If we don’t get the house, they’ll have daffodils in the spring.”

The house finally became theirs last winter and the Pates moved in in February. They immediately went to work updating the house which, along with an office above the garage, totals 6,000 square feet of living space. They replaced all the old wiring — which meant most of the walls also had to be redone. They brought gas into the kitchen and to fireplaces in all four of the guest rooms. Dark ceiling beams in the living room were painted white, brightening the appearance of the great room which stretches the width of the home and looks out on the river and the Washington shore beyond.

Allyson also commissioned complete make-overs of the four second floor guest rooms. Along with new gas fireplaces, the rooms were stripped of ancient wallpaper and painted in bright colors. Each room is done in a garden theme and named accordingly: the daffodil room is bright yellow; the lilac room is lavender; the forget-me-not room is blue; and the garden room, which overlooks the estate’s grounds, is pale green. Remodeling also was done so that each room has a private bath.

Allyson says the flower themes and colors for the guest rooms evolved over time.

“I started out a year ago with little paint chips I’d carry around,” she says. “Piece by piece, it all came together.” Part of the fun, she says, was getting to know “so many fun people” in the process.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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