WHEN TALENTED PROFESSIONALS TALK, WE LISTEN.
ADMIT IT, YOU HAVE AN INQUIRING MIND, AND YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE TEAM DESIGNING YOUR CENTRAL OREGON DREAM HOME. WE UNDERSTAND THE INCLINATION. SO WE DECIDED TO BRING YOU SHOP TALK, CONVERSATIONS WITH THE TALENTED PROS DESIGNING, BUILDING, AND OUTFITTING YOUR HOME.
Studio von Kalinowski Design
Wendy von Kalinowski, LEED AP, AIA, owner design principaL & Mark Smeltzer, co-owner general contracting & construction principal
Studio von Kalinowski Design applies a holistic approach to the design of the home. Our focus is the whole dwelling—our designs respond and reflect the uniqueness of the site as they respond to the uniqueness of our client, their requirements and their aspirations. We create and integrate each element into one flowing design of continuity and integrity. A place you love to call home.
Describe your process.
Each project, be it a full design/build package or all design, is initiated by understanding the client’s needs and application. Through engaged table dis-cussions, we develop the client’s program of specific requirements, budget, and character. We know that good communication is critical throughout the process, from early schematic concepts through final design for both the client and the project’s success. Our work process is a continuous collaboration that is uniquely tailored to the client and their project from beginning to final completion. Each project is a journey of creativity, innovation, and realization.
We are passionate about design and its purpose in creating the home that reflects your personal needs and brings daily inspiration to your life.
What is your personal background?
We have both definitely taken the path less traveled over many enriching years to find the one we travel on now.
Wendy: I started out as an Art History major and then transferred to the Art Center College of Design as an Industrial Designer graduating in Environmental Design. My instructors, all pro-fessionals, suggested I pursue architecture, and eventually I did, getting my license in California, but only after working in the diverse fields of corporate design, healthcare design, and hospitality design in Europe—designing hotels and restaurants. I also taught product design in Europe and interior architecture in California. When returning to California, I was given the opportunity to design a private custom residence and the path was set. I found my career passion and the love of my life–now my husband and partner.
Mark: I started studying landscape design only to realize that at the end of a project the budget may be impacted, so while doing summer construction I found that I loved building with my hands. I’ve built everything from a beach house with a hurricane-resistant palapa roof in Mexico, to ocean fishing boats, to high-end luxury homes with some of the most complicated engineering and detail. I’ve been in the construction industry now for over 35 years, and was a former co-owner and VP of a large construction company in San Diego before we decided to take our path and family to Central Oregon. I like the challenge of problem-solving, learning better ways to build, being more efficient and less site-invasive.
As a partnership, what words best describe your role?
Wendy: I’ve always have looked at our surroundings through an artist’s eye—so…artist, creative conceptualist, inspirationalist—every-thing has a design and a purpose weighing between aesthetic and functional—I like the challenge of defining it and sharing it. With a client my initial role is to listen, interpret, and then create accordingly.
Mark: Pragmatist, value engineer, logistic and technical coordinator, team communicator with insert of dry humor. I’m good at taking the design and finding the best means to build it; the only way to build something is to do it right, and I’m always willing to do the extra research to find the best solution for an unusual situation.
W/M: Our partnership, includes full respect for each other and each other’s skills and talents—we complement or balance each other, we communicate well together.
What projects are you most proud of?
W/M: That’s a loaded question and truly our pride comes from completing a successful project for a client; a great home has a great client, with a great team and great details. At the end of the day, maybe even a year later, we will get a call or email or letter saying how happy they are with their home, that they really couldn’t imagine it being so perfect for them, that we created something for them that was not only beautiful, and nurturing, but they now see how much heart and soul we put into our work for them. Then we’re really proud and very appreciative!
Wendy: I remember from a college lecture I attended during which a panel of international designers were asked, “What is your favorite design?, and Giorgetto Giugiaro of Alfa Romeo simply said, “My next one.” I like to believe that as well, as it gives me the chance to try again.
What inspires you?
Wendy: Nature—all water, mountains, wilderness—Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks—I’m humbled and in awe of it all. Art—Claude Monet (romantic dream quality), Mark Rothko (raw, powerful), Georgia O’Keefe (rich simple beauty), Japanese design (no detail too insignificant), Noguchi, Arata Isozaki, and yes, Frank Lloyd Wright, The Nature of Man, and the adventuresome and courageous young people walking their talk.
What do we like most about living here?
Where else can you live the dream—to work in one of the most beautiful environments and be able to go hiking, fishing, skiing, camping, river rafting with your dogs and some tunes from the Marshall Tucker Band, all within an hour with no traffic, and share it with your friends and family for great memories?!This is the Place.
Cody Hawes, Owner & Welder
SimFab specializes in complete custom welding fabrication and design. They are a full turnkey, one-stop shop for all your specialty steel needs, even for some specialty wood accents to warm up the feel of your steel dreams, if desired. Their business model is to provide excellent customer relations with every project they take on. SimFab also strives to be the shop that provides the highest quality when it comes to the small details that others overlook or simply fail to discuss.
Cody’s role in this company is mainly to provide great leadership to the team, as well as to be a loyal and thoughtful representative to service the needs of all their customers. He is also one of their certified welders.
What services do you offer?
We offer complete custom welding, fabrication, and design for all your residential needs, such as steel staircase stringers of all kinds; staircase, loft, and deck railings; professional entryway, security, and driveway gate systems; steel accents such as steel sheet walls and ceilings; mantels and corbel/shelving brackets; zen-scape art such as fire pits of all shapes and sizes; custom light posts; and sculptural pieces. We also can service all of your commercial/residential structural steel needs, from columns to beams to support brackets and more.
What inspires the folks at SimFab?
What we enjoy most in our line of work is the ability to serve others in our community and see the smiles on their faces after we provide them with the quality steel creations they have always dreamed of. To know that we created a masterpiece out of just a pile of raw steel is a really incredible feeling.
What project(s) are you most excited about right now?
The project we are most excited about right now is an underground wine cellar that we get to build some incredible stuff for. We will be building a custom front entry door cover and a steel table with a glass top that’s hanging from the ceiling and is backlight with lights. But the thing I’m most excited for in this build is the custom wine rack that will be along the entire back wall. The rack will look like a bunch of steel beams collapsed in a mine, all crisscrossed in random ways, and this wine rack will have a secret pop-out door that brings you into the room behind it, which will be amazing.
What word(s) do people use to describe your work?
Some words people use to describe our work here at SimFab are words like incredible, amazing, quality, attention to detail, unbelievable, and perfect.
What places in the world do you find most inspirational?
I find Central Oregon to be one of the most inspirational places for me because it’s the place I call home with all my friends and family nearby, and they give me the inspiration to keep moving forward and fighting on day after day so that I can better serve my community.
If you were not custom welding, what do you think you would be doing?
If I wasn’t in this field I would probably either be an engineer of sorts, or working on the next blockchain-based life hack tool to help improve life for all.
If you could own any three pieces of fine art, what would they be & why?
I would own the original painting of The Last Supper because it’s the real portrait of true fellowship and community. It is also a constant reminder to remember our creator and purpose for life on earth. Plus, A Friend in Need because I love dogs and poker. And the No. 5, 1948 a painting by Jackson Pollock because it really makes no sense but it’s mesmerizing to look at.
What is your favorite season?
Summer is my favorite season because I’m cold-blooded (hah)…dark, cold, wet winters seems to give me seasonal depression.
what’s the Last book you read that you would highly recommend & why?
The last great book I read and would recommend is The Richest Man in Babylon because it teaches you how to use your money wisely and how to pay yourself first to set up your future. I think it has given me many valuable lessons on how to run my personal finances as well as the finances of SimFab.
The Nest Design Studio
Emily Head, owner & interior designer
Whether you’re building a new home or plan to remodel, The Nest Design Studio can provide whatever level of help you need along each step of the way.
Their design services encompass a comprehensive scope from concept design to final touches and contractor coordination to ensure everything runs smoothly.
If you have a smaller project or just need a little guidance, The Nest Design Studio also offers hourly consultation services for all your needs.
How did you get your start?
I grew up visiting jobsites…my grandpa, dad, and uncles all worked together and built custom homes in Southern California. I loved seeing the architecture take shape and all the finishes going into the homes. So, I knew I wanted to be an interior designer as young as 12 years old. After I got my degree, I moved to Portland and worked for an independent designer and then for Neil Kelly where I learned a ton about designing kitchens, baths, and cabinetry.
If you weren’t an interior designer, what would you be doing?
I made a list in my planner when I was in college of all the things I would love to do. On that list was to become a hair stylist (which I actually did when the market crashed), a chef, a children’s book illustrator, a fabric designer, a graphic designer (I’ve also designed a handful of logos), a college professor (in design), etc. I love anything creative! But interior design is my first choice and passion.
Do you have a favorite recrea-tional activity?
I have always loved anything to do with the water! I have loved getting our family together on the boat and spending the day on the lake. There’s nowhere for the teenagers to hide, so we talk, laugh, and encourage each other surfing or wakeboarding. We always come home happy, sun-kissed, and exhausted. There is nothing that beats it.
What do you enjoy most about living and working where you do?
Although Central Oregon is not known as a designer’s paradise, it is one of the most beautiful places to live. I know many people grow up visiting the area and have always wanted to live here because of the memories they have made during their childhood. I think people love the laid-back, outdoorsy atmosphere. Everyone wants to be outside. Because of that, design becomes less formal and more practical. I get to help design spaces where families gather and spend time together when they aren’t outside enjoying all the natural beauty. These spaces usually try to bring the outdoors in through material choices or walls of windows to capture the views.
What services do you offer?
I can do anything from help you pick a paint color to designing and drawing a new home or remodel. I provide whatever level of help you need along each step of the way. Our design services can encompass a comprehensive scope from concept design to final touches and contractor coordination to ensure everything runs smoothly. If you have a small project or just need a little guidance, we also offer hourly consultation services. I also have a design studio where I offer wood flooring, carpet, tile, lighting, furniture, art, accessories, fabric, hardware, bedding, and rugs. My absolute favorite project involves me from the very beginning to completion. I love pulling a whole design together through the materials that stay with the home forever (tile, lighting, flooring, plumbing) to the finishing details (furniture, rugs, art, and accessories).
What areas do you serve?
What areas do you serve? I love Central Oregon and call Sisters home, so most of our clients are referrals from the areas of Black Butte Ranch, Sunriver, Bend, and Redmond. However, thanks to mobile devices and high-speed internet, we also take projects in other parts of Oregon such as Portland, Eugene, Corvallis, Salem, Florence, and Medford. I am willing to travel. We have done homes in Laguna Hills and Laguna Beach, CA.
What is your professional and educational background?
I graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Interior Design in 1997. I went straight to work in Portland, Oregon, with an independent designer to start with and then worked for Neil Kelly until I had my twins. I did a little freelancing from home until we moved to Central Oregon in 2005. My husband is a builder, so I designed a couple houses for him to build and we worked to complete those together. I chose all the fixtures and finishes and I also drew the plans and designed all the cabinetry. We sold those first two houses quickly and his career as a custom home builder in Sisters had started. I continued to work with him and his clients for years until the market crashed. When the market picked up I opened The Nest Design Studio and I have worked independently since 2015. I work with many contractors now as well as clients who are doing their own work, both new builds and remodels.
What makes a difference between good design and great design?
Attention to detail…for example, the finish of the lighting or the door hardware is important to the overall look and feel of a home. The flow of the room or the cubby in the shower can change the overall experience. I also believe that listening to the client’s needs and desires while remaining true to the style or architecture of the home can make a home great. So many people just pick finishes or furniture for their home that they like without taking into account the architecture or style of the home. Great design is thoughtful and detail-oriented. Great design is not trendy, but timeless. It is an artistic mix of texture and materials.
What do you enjoy most about helping people create a home or business that reflects their lifestyle?
I love helping people make a house a home that they feel comfortable in by capturing their personality. The beauty that surrounds us influences the way we feel, so a home is so important. I love taking an outdated home and refreshing and giving it new life, but I also love seeing my collaborations with clients come to life from the ground up! I love creating timeless interiors that raise the quality of the lives in the home.