Earlier this year, we had the extraordinary opportunity to donate thousands of dollars worth of hardware and plumbing fixtures to Portland’s St. Jude Dream Home Showplace, a community fundraising event that partners with builders and designers to construct an entire home with donated materials, labor, and services to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Led by Tony Marnella of Marnella Homes, the Portland Dream Home is a testament to our design community’s dedication to giving back and a personal achievement for Marnella.
“I have supported children’s charities most of my adult life,” says Marnella. “After enduring my own journey with cancer, it was an easy ‘yes’ when St. Jude asked me to design and build the Dream Home.”
Marnella envisioned the Dream Home to take residents beyond the Pacific Northwest to the Sedona desert by incorporating natural materials and open concept design with indoor-outdoor living. In order to achieve that aesthetic with a limited selection of donated materials, he called on local interior designer Aundra Liles of Aundra Designs & Co. to bring the project to life.
“This project was extremely unique because we had the chance to pick and choose from a limited array of materials,” says Liles. “Our goal was to take Tony’s vision of Sedona and incorporate that with what we were able to choose from. We had the best time making these selections. It made for a sort of exciting puzzle of design for this home, only using what was donated, but making it work!”
The final project is an effortless blend of modern-meets-cozy with subtle nods to the Arizona desert indoors and out. Residents enter the single-story home to an open concept living space, complete with a living room, dining room, and kitchen. A back wall of floor-to-ceiling windows open to reveal an outdoor entertaining space. Centered around a circular firepit, the backyard features a plush exterior living and dining space, a water feature, and putting green that embraces the outdoors and doubles the home’s entertaining space.
Back inside, Skinner’s interior furnishings are bright and warm, integrating colors like terracotta and burnt orange to reflect Marnella’s desert escape. The kitchen, located on the right side of the open living space, is grounded by a sprawling island with a workstation from The Galley. Donated from Chown, this piece is essential for cooking and entertaining. The home’s two-and-a-half bathrooms are refreshing with bright white countertops and floating wood vanities. The main bathroom includes a Crosswater Puro bathtub and accessories, as well as Baldwin door knobs in a Black Satin finish, bringing beautiful contrast to the light interiors.
“Chown’s quality products drew us to their Portland showroom,” says Liles. “The high-end quality elevates any design and we were excited to include that feel in this project.”
The completed home quickly sold in fall of 2021 and nearly $600,000 of the proceeds went to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Marnella was able to source almost 100 percent of the project’s materials, labor, and service from donations and we were honored to be included.
“At the end of the day, our residential business is about adding luxury, charm, and style to the spaces people call home,” says Chown’s Regional Outside Sales Manager, Joel Chown. “If we can do all this while supporting an organization like St. Jude, that’s the ultimate end goal. We have been a part of this community for 142 years, and giving back is part of our due diligence as a company.”
Shop Marnella Homes and Aundra Designs & Co.’s hardware and plumbing selections for the St. Jude Dream Home Showplace below.