A Rock 'n' Roll Dad's Pad Understands a Tune-up
Single daddy Dave Hepler spent the ’90s as a drummer in the rock band Inch, but after performing the Lollapalooza tour and having a song featured in a Ben Stiller movie, he’s traded in his drumsticks for a briefcase to practice law in Portland, Oregon.
Today the proud owner of a midcentury ranch, Hepler has made small renovations and improvements to update his house. Corrugated steel siding, a fresh design and a spacious backyard turned this easy space into a contemporary home that’s perfectly suited to children, rock stars and attorneys alike.
in a Glance
Who lives here: Dave Hepler, daughters Lela and Sydney, along with cat Red
Location: Portland, Oregon
Size: 2,400 square feet; 3 bedrooms, two baths
That’s intriguing: Dave grows his own hops for home beer brewing.
The ranch house exterior shines with corrugated steel panels. Still, the house blends into the landscape, which Hepler is steering toward a native planting plot. He added tall native grasses; the English ivy and blackberry are about to be eliminated.
Hepler eliminated the home’s authentic teal columns and rebuilt the entry with the corrugated steel complete and open windows. “People either love [the steel] or despise it,” he says. “I’ve gotten a lot of strong responses. People don’t really know what to make of it”
A retro-cool Natuzzi leather couch, burl redwood coffee table along with shag rug offset huge windows in the understated living area. Repainted dark ceiling beams contrast a white ceiling. Cedar wall paneling creates spaces for recessed lighting.
The house was built in 1946 by an architect who lived there for over 30 years. Thin glass initially filled the home’s big, wood-framed windows. Hepler had thicker panes installed, as well as aluminum frames along with an elegant sliding curtain. This piece of glass alone weighs 700 pounds!
Hepler discovered this amusement center in a thrift shop in San Diego. The reel-to-reel setup as well as the LP turntable take priority on contemporary electronics, as well as the Gibson SG guitar shows that Hepler hasn’t fully abandoned stone ‘n’ roll. He is teaching among his brothers to perform.
A classic dining room table expands to double in size for easy fun.
Like panes in a fish tank, the pieces of the home’s authentic L-shape corner window join invisibly.
Dining room seats: Urban Chair, Ikea
A closer view of the “fish tank” window.
Pendant lamp: Ikea
The kitchen’s stainless steel countertop and electrical range came with the house. Hepler added a dual-fuel using two electric ovens and a gas stove between Basco Applicances.
He also updated the flooring with environmentally friendly and affordable cork.
Flooring: Lumber Liquidators
Deep skylights illuminate a long hallway leading to the garage. “I love negative space and have no plans to hang on anything in the hall,” says Hepler. “I love it’s simply a bright, clean passageway.”
The home office has a lot of those novels you’d expect to find in a writer’s area, including works by Poe, Hawthorne and Tolstoy. “While I majored in literature, I just write legal records,” Hepler says.
You’ll discover musical instruments in virtually every room. An acoustic guitar hangs on the accent wall and an African doumbek drum sits on the bottom shelf of the bookcase.
Hepler constructed this small freestanding, soundproof drum space in a corner of this 1,000-square-foot garage. He along with his daughter painted the cheerful stripes. He eventually wants to set up a small recording studio.
The backyard is private and spacious. One side boundaries a quiet park, and on the flip side, the nearest neighboring house hides behind thick trees and shrubs. The patio and the barbecue area provide lots of space for outside entertaining.
Table: Cost Plus World Market
A natural gas line in the new slate outside entertaining area feeds the stainless steel grill. An electrical smoker and a charcoal grill pit provide Hepler all the barbecue options he could ever need.
Electric smoker: CookShack
The steel siding on the front part of the house flows to sections of the rear exterior too.
The firewood is by a hazardous tree that Hepler needed to cut down last year. It’s just about completed curing and will be employed to warm the house this winter.
Portland is known for its artisan beer and coffee, and Hepler enjoys both. These strands of hops grow from the ground all the way to the roof. He has some brewing gear in the garage but plans to use this year’s jumps harvest at Portland’s U-Brew and Pub. “They have much better equipment than I do, enabling me to roll up with a bag of hops and a couple of friends for a societal brewing session on their premises.”
Hepler also has a tiny coffee-roasting company called Bean Boy, plus he roasts nearly daily for friends, family as well as himself.
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