• Douglas Shepherd • Fine Woodworking

Artisan-crafted • Design and Build • Portland, Oregon

Rosenblatt Bench

ImageRosenblatt Bench

Fall 2012

Mr. Rosenblatt, having just moved into the nicely appointed Olympic Provisions building in the industrial inner east side, wished to have a bench for clients to wait at that would match the interesting details on the interior of the public space of the building.

What I came up with was to mimic the horizontal dimensions and to accent the reclaimed Douglas Fir timbers with a beautiful live edge walnut seat to set off the contrast. Simple and classy.

All materials were supplied by the inimitable folks at Salvage Works in the fabulous Kenton neighborhood.

Holcomb Cherry Pantry Cabinet

Holcomb Pantry Cabinet

Spring  2012

Ralph and Penny came to me this spring with a second piece that they wanted commissioned to match the first cherry cabinet that I built for them last year.  This time they wanted to consolidate their storage options as their current pantry was inadequate and had them storing their pantry items in different cabinets in their kitchen.  Additionally they had a special request, they wanted to have a place to store their cleaning supplies – including their vacuum.  However, they fretted  – understandably –  over having the cleaning utensils and products near their food.

What I came up with was a pantry unit that would match their new cherry cabinet.  Over several iterations and designs they settled on enclosed slide out pantry shelves, hidden behind large doors.  Below that, a lower drawer to contain heavier pans and kitchen wares. In ti’s own cabinet would be a very large pull out cabinet that could contain their vacuum, brroms, dust pans and other cleaning tools.  Below that, a drawer for cleaning solutions and rags.

We wanted to have an additional element that would anchor the space and soften this large unit in their modest kitchen.  To achieve this we went with a curved upper and lower cabinet with a cherry butcher block countertop to match their existing unit.  The upper unit would serve as display, the lower for their china pieces.   A little bit of under cabinet, low-voltage LED lighting would set the whole thing off.

Neal Trellis Fence

Neal Trellis Fence

Summer 2012

This modest fence was brought to me by my friend Mary Jarboe, an excellent landscape designer.  She brought me in because one of the neighbors, Louise – a crisp and witty nonagenarian – needed her fence replaced so her flowers could be trellised and planters hung before we got too far into summer.  Louise, who kept me abreast of all the latest tennis news (as we were heading into the French Open, after all…), was a true gem with which to work.

Some of the issues dealt with on this project were poorly drained soil, which caused the previous fence posts to fail;  and massive amounts of rain fall that kept our post holes filled with water for days and days.  But, alas, the project went off successfully – we poured a new drainage channel to divert the rain water – and Louse had her plants climbing her new fence and was enjoying her patio once more.

This fence incorporates a good-neighbor design with a vertical over-lapping fence boards and an open upper trellis.  All the components are clear cedar, finished with Timber Pro UV – a fantastic tintable exterior finish.

My only complaint here is that Louise wouldn’t let me build her a new gate… maybe someday!

Ned Ludd Farm Tables and Benches

Ned Ludd Farm Tables and Benches

Summer 2012

Jason French, the fine chef and owner of Ned Ludd, asked me if I had any thoughts on designs for rustic farm tables for his restaurant.  Having designed a table [not built] a couple of years ago for Brian Steelman during Orange’s renovation of his family’s kitchen, I could say that I had a few thoughts.

With Ned Ludd’s rustic aesthetic in mind, we settled on reclaimed rough-cut Douglas Fir timbers from Salvage Works to relate the heft and simplicity they were looking for. The benches were constructed using 3″ x 12″ slabs that started out at 24′ long.  (Each slab weighing in around 250 lbs.)  After they were cut to size they were hand-sanded and fastened to it’s stylish trouser base (so-called for the unique profile of the bench).

The tables were assembled from various rough-cut framing timbers, selected for each one’s unique milling marks and characteristics.

These solid farms tables should blend well with Ned Ludd’s simple and bold menu. Happy hour is under way, so don’t miss out on all the bounty Portland food and drink has to offer.

See for yourself…

Holcomb Cherry Cabinet

Fall 2011


Ralph and Penny were sent to me from a client that I did a small trim project for 5 or 6 years previously.  Penny’s sister, Pat was the the client in question, and it was a great pleasure to be remembered after all these years.

Ralph and Penny had a vision of a cabinet that would serve as much-needed kitchen storage; provide more counter area; and divide the kitchen from the living space in their modest ranch home.  Their style is decidedly Japanese.  Shoji screens and Japanese prints nearby, we decided cherry was the wood to use – with it’s warmth and depth of color.  After a few revisions we came up with a design that would meet their storage needs and spacial requirements.

We opted for a 2″ slab cherry bar top with a gentle arc to define the room division.  With all drawers and no shelving, we managed to efficiently maximize their kitchen storage in an understated fashion that allows them to use the whole of the storage area.

Drawer boxes were made by Portland Drawer Box Co., while the install was expertly aided by Claus Junker.

Francis / Tannahill Garden Shed

Summer 2011

Sam And Cheryl were updating their backyard patio to have a more formal outdoor entertaining area.  One issue was a garden shed adjacent to the new main patio that was very much in need of attention.

I designed and built a sliding barn-style door that would allow for full access to the garden implements it housed and more elegantly blend in with the rest of the house.

New siding and trim were also installed to match the existing house.

Sam and Cheryl were some of my very first clients so many years ago, and it was a true pleasure reconnecting with them on this project.  Check out their excellent wines here.

Lea Backyard House

Lea Backyard House

Winter 2011

This low-impact, sustainably-built guest cottage was designed by Megan Lea for her and her family. She brought me in to design and build a loft structure that would, by turns, act a guardrail to keep her boys from tumbling out; function as a couch; sleep two guests; and showcase the natural elements and rustic nature of the materials.  And, because the walls are plaster, it needed a sturdy rail so those leaning back wouldn’t mar the unpainted plaster installed by Traditional Natural Plaster Company.

Some of the more unique aspects of the project include the fact that the entire piece was made from salvaged barn timbers (Barnwood Naturals); all the joints are hand cut lap joints that are then dowel pinned; and it snowed like a devil as I was installing this fixture.

This project was featured in Portland’s Build It Green 2011 home tour.  You can see more photos and learn more about Megan and her company Rise Over Run here.

Collaborating with Megan on this project was a great experience. The Lea family were wonderful to work with at every step of the way in this unique project.

Duchess Clothier Concierge Desk

Duchess Clothier Concierge Desk

Summer 2010

Now, the Lady Duchess and her cast of coquettish maidens over at Duchess have an eye for finery, this much is certain.  So, it was both a flattery and an honor to have them ask me to design and build their new massive concierge desk to grace their new showroom.

Miss Seyta requested a bow-fronted sweep not unlike that of a barrel or prow of a boat.  What I came up with was a modern and simple layout to house the tools of their trade and a place to greet their customers in style.

The exterior is clad in reclaimed European Beech taken from the basketball court of champions, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps – at least according to Toby Parsons at McGee Salvage, who is known for his colorful stories of provenance.

Alas, it was a pleasure to build this project for such fine folks… behold:

Schramm Living Room/Dining Room Remodel

Schramm Living Room/Dining Room Remodel

Winter/Spring 2010

Greg and Jennifer had me install 3 new windows in their living room.  At the same time they wanted to deal with the old existing water damaged ceiling and crumbling  plaster walls.   They also wanted to make the rooms more formal and period correct for the era of the house.

We rebuilt the arch between the living room and dining room to look more appropriate for the style of home they have.  This also allowed us to install a built-up crown in both rooms.  The casing is a beaded stock with a backband.  The windows have a simple bed-mould under the stool with a beaded apron.

Thank you for all the hard work. We love the way everything has turned out and very much admire your work.

–  Greg Schramm

Young Bathroom Remodel

Young Bathroom Remodel

Winter 2010

Ms. Young had a bathroom that had been through a remodel that took a turn for the worse when a severe southwest theme emerged – to her horror.  Not that she is disdainful of the aesthetic of the Southwest, it just seemed out of place in the Northwest and the sand textured walls were simply not her thing.

So, we gutted the bathroom totally, installed recessed lighting, subway tile, a custom CVG fir vanity, concrete countertop with vessel sink and new fixtures; new towel bars, bath hooks and hardware; vivid, red marmoleum; craftsman trim package, recessed craftsman medicine cabinet and a Schoolhouse Electric three shade sconce vanity light.