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Orient Expressions In The Cascade Foothills

Graceful herons balancing on single, lithe legs, massive hardwoods climbing skyward, muted stone cooling every step... such are the cues that Tim and LeAnn Mobley of Trail borrowed from Mother Nature. When designing their 2600 square foot home in 2004, the Rogue Valley professionals wanted to combine a nature-oriented Northwest aesthetic with the simple serenity of traditional Japanese interiors.

"We stayed with four families when we were in Japan and the social and cultural experiences really meant a lot to me," says LeAnn. "It's a sense of simplicity and depth at the same time, with a real generosity and honoring of guests."

From the first step into the Mobley's gracious entry, this generosity is palpable. Greeted by one of the couple's heron sculptures, visitors are silently invited to take a deep breath and relax into wraparound mountain views and the home's quiet luxury. "The Asian flavor is very calming," says Tim. "And it's an accent you don't see very often although it works so well with the Northwest feel."

Having decided against a full-on log home, the couple instead gravitated toward a hand-fitted log joint infrastructure. Thirteen towering Douglas fir trees frame the great room and the 28-foot ceiling pitch; more smooth rusticity comes from the knotty pine ceiling.

"Because of the size of the room, everything needs to be on steroids and the fireplace reflects that," LeAnn says jokingly of the floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. On the hearth sits two, tall, Chinese wedding cabinets, foreshadowing the freestanding Asian cabinetry throughout the house. The color palette was chosen by looking out the windows, with walls painted in shades of oaks, lichen and leaves.

Below the great room's inspiration piece (a rug with dark earth tones and a slightly Asian design) is an expanse of slate floor tiles, all laid by the Mobleys and their extended family. "Over 6000 pounds of cement board and slate make up this floor," says Tim.

An open kitchen with a sleek, slightly industrial look anchors the great room. With its custom, semi-circular island built by Tim's brother, stainless steel countertops with granite inlays and black mirror behind a set of floating shelves, the room is at once professional and inviting. "There's plenty of seating and work space and the kitchen's big enough that we can set up a buffet for a large party," says LeAnn.

The Mobley's taste for exotic accents generated the unique cabinets, handmade from an applewood base with lacy sycamore faces and vertical purple heartwood inlays.

Passing from the spacious kitchen into the master bedroom wing garners an up-close look at a corridor lined with masks from around the world. On the other side of the hall entry is a dining room set that's been in Tim's family for over a century. "Actually, the table determined a lot of the room's design," says LeAnn. "And finding just the right chandelier wasn't easy." To maintain the room's clean lines, the Mobleys chose a light fixture that hangs from one of the rafters instead of from the ceiling.

A quirky half-bath with recovered barn board walls, a Tibetan prayer cabinet and a vessel sink serviced by a highly polished, wall-mounted faucet adds a sense of whimsy to the house while a traditional Japanese tatami room across the hall serves as meditation space.

Warmth comes to the home's only bedroom with a Bordeaux-colored accent wall, a lower ceiling pitch and a soft sisal carpet. Windows that let in majestic views demonstrate the couple's attention to detail. "We were careful to maximize our views as we placed the house and the windows," explains Tim.

Future-oriented function was added by combining the walk-in closet with a laundry room. Dividing this space from the bath is a narrow wall that supports a brightly painted Asian cabinet, this one used for linens.

Stepping into the master bath evokes a Japanese garden. A long, low birch vanity with simple basket shelving and a porcelain vessel sink are visually soothing. The cabinet's birch backdrop with two mirrors reflects the room's clean, linear double-headed shower, wrapped in ceramic tile and tile-and-birch lined posts. Glass panels let in the light from the shower's window and show off a set of heron appliqués, which were designed and installed by Chris Henry, owner of Commercial Sign and Design in Phoenix.

"They wanted something that suggested water, birds and trees, in the realm of an Asian look," says Henry. Once the appliqués were manufactured, they were installed onto the glass, which was then installed in the shower. "It was so easy to do," says LeAnn. "And much less expensive than other options."

To accommodate overnight guests, the Mobley's built a well-appointed, freestanding guest house. Overflow can always stay up in the loft, an area above the kitchen that now serves as the couple's office and den, with a full bathroom for convenience.

"This home is really our sanctuary, it' so quiet and peaceful," LeAnn says. "And everywhere we look, there's a bit of everyone who helped build it."

From meditation to memorable meals, the Mobley's new house spans continents and cultures, all the while showcasing their most treasured possessions-friends and family.

Orient Expressions In The Cascade Foothills