Caitlin Wilson has lived in her fair share of big cities, so the noted interior and product designer feels lucky to have her family’s remote ranch in southern Oregon as a touchstone. “After so many moves, it’s nice to have a place where we all feel at home,” she says.
When her parents, Kathy and Roger Carter, bought ample acreage in the Beaver State 10 years ago, they had visions of the entire brood—which, in addition to Caitlin and her husband, Brigham, and their four children, includes her four siblings, their spouses, plus 13 more nieces and nephews—gathering there. With such a large family, it’s little surprise that, after designing her parents’ home, Caitlin realized there were too many people and too few beds. She looked around and eventually set her sights on a large under-construction storage building. She immediately went to work, retrofitting the lackluster storage space into welcoming, guest-friendly quarters featuring three bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a living area, dining room, and kitchenette.
Because outfitting a garage isn’t exactly business as usual—even for Caitlin—she made up her own rules as she went along. While she’s typically known for her more feminine and preppy interiors and products (florals and bright pinks factor heavily into her popular line of textiles, rugs, and furniture), this time the green treetops, golden hills, and deep blue water views inspired a more muted palette. Says Caitlin, “It was important to me to create a place that felt at one with its surroundings. I wanted it to feel natural and more masculine and collected—like something that had evolved over many years, even though we completed it in 18 months.”
Now, what was once an equipment shed is a family-friendly retreat, thanks in large part to the downstairs garage bay swing doors that offer easy-breezy access to the living room and a plaid-walled bedroom.
Larger family dinners take place in the main house, so this space is outfitted for puzzle mastery and heated games of Uno. A cartridge display board and flat-weave Soleil rug in navy set the stage for an antique bobbin-leg table and “Abigail” dining chairs.
When the family needs a break from the lake, a custom heathered flannel sofa layered with Navajo and plaid patterns serves as a stylish crash pad. A pair of durable leather stools doubles as a coffee table and extra seating for when kids wander in from the nearby trampoline.
While the space is small—the corner spot houses only a sink and a mini-fridge—Caitlin didn’t skimp on designer luxuries like flush-mount cabinets and Silestone countertops. The latch hardware is both pretty and practical—it keeps wandering wildlife out of the Rice Krispies Treats.
Though Caitlin is known for her use of bright pinks and blues, the tree house’s palette—blues, taupes, and creams—is intentionally inspired by its surroundings. “I looked to the beautiful chestnuts, golden hills, and leaves, combined with the deep blues of the water,” she says. Her dad’s 19th-century landscapes, mounted antlers, and a bronze horse sculpture reinforce the great outdoors aesthetic.
Caitlin enveloped the small room—a mere 10 feet wide!—with plaid wallpaper. The handsome custom head- board is covered in camel-hued vinyl that’s a dead ringer for leather, but far more resilient.
Caitlin’s design plan for the master bathroom began with a mirror crafted from antler sheds. “Animals aren’t poached or killed for these—they’re actually just shedding them,” she says. Then she layered in herringbone tile, a custom gray vanity (Nickel by Benjamin Moore for similar), and brass sconces.
Inspired by the surrounding treetops, Caitlin chose Schumacher’s “A-Twitter” for the under-the-eaves loft bedroom. “We’re so high up here—I wanted it to be whimsical and ethereal at the same time,” she says.
Thanks to 11-foot ceilings in the bunk room, Caitlin’s kid-at-heart father came up with the novel three-bunk structure. “I resisted, but he insisted,” says Caitlin, who had the guardrails reinforced just to be safe. Playful equestrian wallpaper inspires a healthy dose of horsing around.
Caitlin—here with husband Brigham, Penn (6), Chloe (4), and Olivia (9) (shortly after this photo was taken, daughter Sienna was born)—can’t imagine spending fall anywhere except her family’s lake- front Oregon property. “We have views of Mt. McLoughlin and the Bradshaw Reservoir. I love the green rolling hills and golden pink sunsets,” she says.