The Belle Maison of the Ball

A Custom Wood Village in Bend, Oregon seems transported from France

French music wafts from an open window of a small cottage. Fresh lilacs shiver in a blown glass vase after a breeze whispers across their blooms. The sun glides behind the distant skyline of a mountain range.

As you wind around the gentle curve in the street, you feel certain you have traversed the ocean to arrive in a quaint village in the South of France. Yet you have entered a six-acre French provincial village envisioned and created by builder Jess Alway in the mountainous landscape of Bend, Oregon.

The idea originated from a 15,000-square-foot provincial-themed home Jess built in Portland, Oregon. “The owners wanted a French-themed home. I felt I needed to visit Europe to learn more about their building styles,” says Jess. “My wife and I went to visit our daughter Alisha, who was in school in Italy at the time. We toured 15 countries in 20 days. During our trip, I found I really liked the clean, graceful lines of European homes.”

From there, Jess cultivated the idea of a small community utilizing the same building styles he had seen in Europe and the style he adapted for the Portland home. “The Portland home had such a fabulous look, I took a number of the features and minimized them into a smaller square footage,” he says. “With Mountain River Estates, I created European living in the heart of Oregon.”

Source: Custom Wood Homes, Spring 2007