Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Country Inns: Springbrook Hazelnut

Just 20 miles from downtown Portland, Oregon, lies Springbrook Hazelnut Farm, a welcoming inn set amid 70 acres of hazelnut trees.

Pleasant stays in several country inns in Ireland inspired Ellen McClure and her husband, Charles, to open their 1912 Craftsman-style home to guests. Situated on the couple's working hazelnut orchard in Newberg, Ore., Springbrook Hazelnut Farm is part of a farm complex listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can tour nearby wineries, stroll through the property's gardens and orchard, fish the stocked pond, swim, play tennis, or simply relax on the porch.

All of the rooms on the first floor open off the 40-foot-long center hall, which features a vaulted ceiling, a gleaming oak floor, Doric columns, and its original 1920 light fixtures. In an effort to brighten the space, Ellen painted the elaborate woodwork the same shade of yellow used by Impressionist Claude Monet at his home in Giverny. The French doors at the far end of the hall lead to the back porch and the perennial garden.

Rise and Shine

Each morning, a multicourse breakfast is served in the airy sunroom that runs along the front of the house. A checkerboard floor, bright cotton seat cushions, and a wealth of nasturtiums set the cheerful tone. The wicker furniture was fabricated in the 1920's by a now-defunct Oregon manufacturer; the concrete architectural remnant on the window ledge was salvaged from a Portland building that was demolished in the 1960's.

Sleek and Glossy

Shiny Marlite from the 1940's covers the kitchen ceiling and walls. "It's funky," says Ellen of the lightweight surfacing material made in imitation marble, "but I like it." Streamlined and commodious, the room is outfitted with a chopping block salvaged from a meat packing plant and a pristine Spark stove Ellen found for next to nothing at a tag sale.

Peace and Quiet

For guests in search of privacy, the carriage house can be reserved separately. It features a bedroom as well as a separate living room, kitchen, and bath. The golden tones on the wall are picked up in the soft floral bed linens and the crisp checkerboard floor.

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