Project Description

Case Study:
Garthwick House

DESIGNER: Donna DuFresne Interior Design
: Petrina Construction
PLUMBER: Bruner Plumbing


While the world was in lockdown, we remotely collaborated with Portland interior designer Donna DuFresnse to remodel a stunning Garthwick home with Chown Hardware selections in every room. 

Nestled in Portland’s coveted Garthwick neighborhood, local interior designer Donna DuFresne remodeled a sophisticated, timeless abode with Chown Hardware selections in every room—all during the pandemic. Originally constructed in 1935, the house received a mid-century remodel in 1960 by local architect Richard Sundeleaf, inspiring DuFresne’s traditional-meets-mid-century design. But just after demolition started back in February of 2020, COVID-19 lockdowns began. 

“We had just enough time to take things down to the studs before COVID-19 hit,” says DuFresne. “Shortly after we met with all involved, the homeowners, and general contractor, we made the decision to press forward.” 

Following strict safety protocols, DuFresne collaborated with Chown’s Portland-based Sales Consultant Steven Arnold to select nearly a dozen products for the remodel while abiding stay-at-home orders. Since Chown’s showrooms were closed at the beginning of the pandemic, DuFresne and Arnold adapted to regular Zoom meetings, where Arnold provided the same care and support as an in-person meeting. “When your clients are investing in beautiful products, the presentation also needs to be beautiful and relational, whether you’re in person or online” says Arnold. Later on, the two held socially distant showroom meetings and site visits before the project was completed in late 2020. 

“Chown is my go-to for all plumbing and hardware needs, and has been since 2015,” DuFresne says. “Working with them on this project was not given a second thought. Their staff is knowledgeable and always ready to assist. I could not imagine doing a project without them. Collaborating from start to finish with a great retailer like Chown helps to streamline the process.” 

Washed in a clean, neutral palette, interrupted by pops of jewel tones and rich textures, the completed Garthwick home effortlessly balances minimalist furnishings with plush accents and antiques. In the kitchen, DuFresne paired a sleek white countertop with black wood stained cabinets and Top Knobs pulls, which are found all throughout the home. The main bathroom and child’s bathroom are filled with bright white interiors, natural textures, and Watermark faucets, whereas the powder room features playful black-and-white wallpaper and a sleek ceramic sink contrasted with a matte black Graff faucet. The back bathroom is also covered in moody black tile, offset by a chrome Graff shower. 

“I always try to design with juxtaposition in mind, yet with the understanding that continuity in some form is essential,” she says. “This approach maintained a level of cohesiveness while allowing us to explore different moods within each room.”  

Although this project was defined by distance, DuFresne and Arnold agreed that close relationships between the clients, design team, and builders made this project special. This project was a unique challenge for us, and reimagined how our collaborations can be done in the future. “We’re very proud of this project,” DuFresne says. “The odds were stacked against us to say the least, but with great clients, an amazing team, and retailers like Chown, the project surpassed everyone’s expectations.”