Coffee Bar Anyone?

In the past, we’ve seen many homeowners install permeant coffee/espresso machines in their kitchen or master suites. While that is an elegant solution to the daily caffeine requirement, may we offer another solution?

A dedicated coffee bar […]

Rustic Modern

Jess Alway is known for his fanciful custom homes. Usually they are a balance of  French Country and Western Montana Lodge. But this home just completed was particularly fun to work on. The homeowners were […]

Looking for Land in Central Oregon?

Jess Alway Inc builds custom homes on your land.

If you are looking for a lot to build on anywhere in Central Oregon, please contact Dave Faegans at Alpine Real Estate: 541-419-7914 and mention Jess told […]

Colorful Homes as Art

Jess Alway is not afraid of color.


You shouldn’t be afraid of color either.

Your home does not have to be a blank palate for furniture and artwork. Your home can BE the artwork!

This hardwood hand painted […]

Wood Carving

Is there no end to the creative artistry of Jess Alway? He does this stuff for fun, folks.

After being inspired on Pinterest, Jess set out to create a Western-themed room for his grandkids. The backdrop was […]

Venetian Plaster Fireplace All Done!

The Venetian Plaster Fireplace is all done now, and boy does it look good!

The finish is smooth and shiny (you can see the reflection from the spot light) and looks like leather from afar. We […]

Exposed Bulb Lighting

Exposed bulb lighting is a fun new trend —that doesn’t have to be trendy.

The great thing about exposed bulb lighting is actually how versatile it is.

Throw some Edison bulbs in your light fixture for a […]

New Project ALERT

Alway Homes is proud to announce a new project is in the works!

Get ready for an 8-lot subdivision located off Brad Street in NE Bend, Oregon.

You’ll find all the same fabulous personal touches Alway Homes […]


We recently had the pleasure of working with real tile artists!

The folks at Tempest Tileworks make their tiles by hand—and that human touch makes all the difference. You can almost see the fingerprints and feel […]

Rustic Industrial, The Renovation 3

One of the things that mattered most to our renovation clients was that the exterior didn’t look like a mish-mash. They didn’t want to give up the original 1960’s stone masonry—looking closely, the rock from […]

Rustic Industrial: The Renovation 2

Blending the old and new to create a seamless design can be a daunting task. This Rustic Industrial is a renovation, and a renovation is a LOT of work! You don’t get to start from […]

Rustic Industrial 1: THE RENOVATION

One of the best parts about working with new clients is exploring how to express their personalities through design.

It’s also fun when they come up with their own ideas!

Our latest house nearing completion is actually a renovation—but […]

Happy 2017

Happy 2017!

What a way to start the year: IN DEEP SNOW!

While the weather can set our schedules back a bit, we are still pushing forward into a year we are looking forward to.

Building houses is […]

Happy Thanksgiving from Alway Homes

Happy Thanksgiving from Aaron and Jess.

Alway Homes is thankful for all our wonderful clients. We love building houses, and YOU have made it an amazing journey this year!

We hope you are celebrating with friends and […]

Design with Doors 2

Alway Homes is a creative boutique building firm located in Bend, Oregon. Alway Homes is known for crafting houses that stand out from the crowd—but also stand the test of time. Art pieces that function.

We […]

Design with Doors

Coming in? Going out? Have some fun with your custom home—design great doors.

Most people probably don’t think twice about a door. It is merely a functional tool to keep people out, or things in, or […]

Update on the Country Estate

Back by popular demand: An update on the Country Estate!

The heart of every home is the kitchen. We don’t need Hallmark to explain why, either. Warm bellies make for warm fuzzies :)

In the kitchen of […]

Halloween Surprises: Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Halloween Surprises: Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make


Why doing walk-throughs with your home builder can make or break your job!

This is it! You have a lot purchased and a plan drawn and you are ready […]

Outdoor Living

Outdoor living space is all the rage.  It’s not simply a ‘buzz term’ anymore, either. People are beginning to enjoy their patios year round. With the additions of a few key elements, your outdoor space […]

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall!

Every house needs a mirror. Many, in fact. You expect them in certain areas: powder baths, master bathrooms, and often times closets.

Mirrors, like lighting, can be a fun, personal addition to […]

Work at Home

Do you work at home? One of the many advantages to custom building is preparing your own workspace, custom fit to your career and house.

At Alway Homes, we help design home offices for the vast majority […]

Creative Ceilings, Something Outside the Ordinary

If there is one thing you can count on when building an Alway custom home, it is that there will never ever be a repeat.

Your home is truly, absolutely unique.

From the floorboards to the ceiling, every […]

Jess Alway at Work

It’s a common sight.

Jess Alway in his natural habitat, on a job site, tools in hand.

He is one builder that you will not find in the office. If ever someone loved what they do, it’s […]

2016 Tour of Homes

Jess might not have a home in the Tour this year (he’s finishing up an enormous custom home just outside of Bend), but we still remember all the great award winners of recent past, today!

Mountain […]


It’s an Alway Homes house so we know there are highlights EVERYWHERE—special touches throughout this home that go far above and beyond most homebuilding standards.

Take this quick shot Jess sent me this morning. He was really […]

Custom Metalwork


One of Alway Homes favorite details to utilize in a custom home is specific metalwork.


Gates, handrails, lights and rail systems—we love to create unique pieces of functional art for homes.


Handrails can be a fun place […]

A Look Back at Pronghorn

Pronghorn remains one of Central Oregon’s hottest resorts. Complete with two award-winning golf courses, pools and tennis courts, this get-away in the middle of the high desert attracts visitors from all over the world.

Alway Homes […]

Country Estate Progress

The Country Estate near Bend, Oregon is coming along quickly now.

This photo of the front door was taken just before stucco.

As you can see, the body of the home will be a nice deep barn […]

Breckenridge Spec


Alway Homes is excited to announce the near completion of plans for our latest spec in the Breckenridge development, Bend, Oregon.

Located near St. Charles Hospital, Breckenridge is in a great spot—close to dining, shopping, and […]

Custom Art Niche

Building a home is an artistic endeavor. Finding and planning for art within a home is also an endeavor.

But, for Alway Construction, art is PART of the process.

Nearly every home we build in Bend, Oregon […]

Custom Country Estate 3

It’s a little bit quirky and a lot awesome.

The front door to this Country Custom Estate in Bend, Oregon, is nothing short of jaw-dropping. The front vestibule has a perfectly circular window that matches up […]

Country Estate Custom 2

Even in this half-finished state, there are some pretty awesome things to talk about in this custom country estate by Alway Homes. Take this Great Room, for example. Balanced on two sides by warm stone, the […]

Country Custom Going Strong

Progress on the new Country Custom by Alway Homes is going strong! The stonework is complete on the exterior.

Flatstack stone surrounds the home, and is a showpiece inside as well.

This is the Great Room masonry […]

Awbrey Glen Custom 3: the Master Bath


The master bath of any custom home is primary—right after the kitchen, it is what most clients care most about! Not only must this room look good, but it must function well. Spaces have to […]




Homes should feel seamless. Traveling from one room to the next shouldn’t be jarring, but instead, an interesting journey of vignettes.

Vignettes may be a funny word to use in a  homebuilding blog—but it’s exactly how Alway Homes sets […]

Awbrey Glen Custom 2


There are so many details in this Awbrey Glen custom kitchen, it’s hard to know where to start!

But maybe we can work our way down, starting with the reclaimed timber beams in the ceiling. They […]

Awbrey Glen Custom

Welcome home! Alway Homes was happy to move another family into their new Awbrey Glen home. This custom build job was a lot of fun. Not only were the clients great people—but they enjoyed the […]

New Custom Home Complete!

Take this gorgeous stair detail photo as a sneak peek of our latest completed custom home in Awbrey Glen, Bend, Oregon.

The in-depth video presentation is coming soon—stay tuned in! You are going to LOVE this […]

The Shower of Your Dreams

So, how can you make taking a shower the best part of your day? Well, as homebuilders, we believe it has to do with the construction of the shower. It should be both beautiful and […]

Throwback Thursday: MRE, week 2

Chambres des Reves was a great favorite of ours in Mountain River Estates. Despite the small square footage, it lived BIG and had just the right amount of fun to up the interest levels in […]

Throwback Thursday: MRE

It’s a Throwback Thursday kinda day with a fun look back at one of our very favorite houses in Mountain River Estates, Chambres de Reves. For the next two weeks we’ll look at this home […]

Fun Framing Details

In Alway Home’s latest custom estate, Jess and Aaron have created some magical moments throughout the home. During framing, Jess walks through the home and marks where ‘highlights’ can be added—details that are not on […]

Happy Valentine’s Day

Looking for something LOVELY to do with your special someone this Valentine’s Day?


Time: 2/14/2016 5:00 PM
Location: Sunriver Resort, 17600 Center Drive, Sunriver, OR 97707, 541-593-1000

Who […]


Alway Homes has moved into a new office!

490 NE Butler Market Suite 180, Bend OR, 97701



Just thought we’d show off some of the fantastic stonework on our Awbrey Glen job. The project came together perfectly—just like these natural stones.

Awbrey Glen is a golf community located in Bend, Oregon. Residents there […]

Unique Front Doors

Alway Homes specializes in building unique, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping custom homes. The homes we build are reflections of our clients personal tastes and viewpoints.

Take this new custom home we are building between Bend and Sisters! The […]

Happy Birthday, Aaron!


Happy Birthday, Aaron Alway!


Say Happy Birthday to this guy today! We won’t divulge how old he is—only that we are more than happy to have him on board with Alway Homes. His ability to organize […]

Progress on Acreage Custom

A few weeks ago we highlighted some pictures of a new custom home we are building on acreage between Bend and Sisters.

The home is coming along quite nicely.

The house is dried-in (roof’s on and […]

Merry Christmas from Alway Homes

We wish you a Merry Christmas with a few special kitchens from the archives. May your Christmas season be warm and bright and full of love.


Happy Holidays from Jess and Aaron!


Reclaimed Timber Beams

Jess Alway is known for his love of timber trusses and antique / reclaimed beams. We thought it would be nice to share a few quick shots from a custom house Alway Homes is building […]

Awbrey Glen Back Patio

After the last post, we had a few requests for additional photographs of the Awbrey Glen custom home’s back patio.

We’d be happy to show you a better view of this special area, but first a […]

1470 NW Puccoon Ct, Bend OR 97701 (Lot 33, North Rim)

Now Available: 1470 NW Puccoon Ct, Bend OR 97701. Lot 33, North Rim

A blank slate. Just ready for a beautiful new North Rim house by Alway Homes!

And how about a sneak peak at the plans in-process? […]

Happy Thanksgiving from Alway Homes.

Happy Thanksgiving from Alway Homes!

We are so thankful for our friends, family, and homebuilding clients. Thank you for making this an awesome year!

We are thankful for the Central Oregon sunshine! Grandkids! Fresh apples. Acreage. Barns. […]

Stone Benches—Creative Homes

Looking for a new idea for a creative home? As an example of one of Alway Home’s interesting and arresting details—may we present: natural stone benches!

Eventually, these hefty stones will be the seating area in this entrance […]

What does a HAND-CUT roof look like?

In a world of manufactured EVERYTHING, the hand-cut roof can seem like a bit of a relic. And, may we say, an art form. Competent framing is a thing of beauty. So we thought we’d […]

Custom Estate in Framing

New Project Alert! This custom estate in framing is going up outside of Tumalo, west of Bend, Oregon. And nothing gets the creative juices flowing like a new house!

Right away, you can see something extra […]

Prices of Single-Family Homes Rise

It’s hardly news any longer that prices of single-family homes continue to rise in Bend, Oregon.

According to the Bend Bulletin, the median price of a single-family home is (as of September 2015) $348,000. Compare that […]

Old Mill Halloween Party


Looking for something safe and fun to do on Halloween? How about the Old Mill District Halloween Party? Bring your kids and costumes to the Old Mill at 3 for a […]

Taylor Dayne in BEND OREGON

I’m actually not sure why this didn’t make national news.

Taylor Dayne in Bend, Oregon? YES. And you still have time to get tickets to this amazing event!

No, Jess isn’t writing this blog post. It’s Alisha. […]

Railings, Kitchens and Wood Floors


How do you set one house apart from another? Railings, Kitchens and wood floors?

The difference doesn’t have to be a 20-person multi-media theater room. The difference doesn’t have to be an additional butler’s pantry and crafting room. […]

Have you seen this boy?

Have you seen this boy?
He’s on every Alway Homes job site, managing the sub-contractors, schedules, and materials.

He is very obedient considering his level of independence.

Loves cuddles, belly rubs and back scratches.

Works very hard.

Comes to the […]

Awbrey Glen Custom House

One of the best reasons to work with Alway Homes is the off-the-plan creativity. With well over 50 years of combined homebuilding experience, Jess and Aaron are able to walk through a framed home and […]

Awbrey Glen with a View

New projects are especially exciting when the vision begins to come together. The latest Alway Homes custom is going up in Awbrey Glen and drawing plenty of positive reviews!

The beamwork alone is worthy of awe. Check out […]

Golfing in Central Oregon

What do you do with 360 days of pure sunshine?

In Bend, Oregon you play golf.

Jess and Aaron Alway were recently invited to participate in the 2015 Parr Lumber Tournment in Bend, Oregon and had a […]

Bend Oregon Architecture

Bend Oregon continues to grow. In 2014, Oregon was THE destination for those moving to a new permanent home from across the country. 2014 Movers Study

Moving to a new place can be a challenge. Bend’s self storage […]

Tour of Desert Escape

Recently, Aaron Alway uploaded his latest virtual tour of Alway Home’s custom house DESERT ESCAPE.

This house has some memorable features!

The smooth stucco finish is one-of-a-kind, in a custom color-matched green.

Inside the home, Aaron shows off […]

What To Do in Bend, Oregon

Sometimes, even residents need a refresher on what’s going on in this beautiful, growing community!

This week is so full of fun, we dare you to try half of the things on the calendar :)

Besides gearing […]

Make ‘Simple’ Outstanding

Make ‘Simple’ Outstanding.

Custom homes do not have to break the million dollar mark to be considered ‘outstanding’. An ‘outstanding’ home is not a matter of pure expenditure. It’s a measure of the builder’s creativity and […]

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July from Jess and Aaron!

Light ’em up– but keep it safe. Watch those sparks. :)

Stucco Exteriors

Stucco is that magic material that can work for just about any house. In the High Desert of Central Oregon, it’s an especially great material to work with. Hot summer and cold winters wreak havoc […]

Home Sweet Home

It’s time to introduce another Alway Homes custom-built house!

This gem above the Bend skyline is replete with special touches. But you know that, taking one look at the smooth green stucco and stone front exterior.

A stone […]

Castle on a Hill, Part V

At last we near the end of this beautiful Bend-area custom home. So far, our blog tour has taken us through the impressive stone entrance into a indoor/outdoor kitchen, through an intimate master suite and bath fit […]

Castle on the Hill, Part IV

One of the great parts about this Castle on the Hill is the abundance of special moments found throughout the home.

Besides touring through the rest of the home, today we’ll focus on a few of […]

Castle on the Hill, Part III

Welcome back to the Castle on the Hill, part III, of our series on this beautiful retreat in Bend, Oregon. The last post focused on the intricately detailed kitchen and indoor/outdoor patio area. Today, we’ll […]

Castle on the Hill, Part II

Welcome back to the Castle on the Hill, one of our latest custom-built homes in Bend, Oregon. Last week we shared with you the impressive entry. Now, let’s dive deeper into this gorgeous house by […]

A Castle on the Hill

Nothing feels as good as moving a fantastic client into their brand new house. Especially, when this client provides an abundance of creativity! The finished product is therefore, guaranteed, to blow minds. We like it […]

Man Cave

Because pictures are worth a thousand words…we present: Man Cave.

Cascade Journal Article on Alway Homes

Did you happen to catch the Cascade Journal article on Alway Homes? If not, we have a digital copy for you, right here. CJHome15_AlwayHomes_spread

The focus of the article is the award-winning home we built in Mountain […]

North Rim, Bend Oregon

Alway Homes is proud to finish a beautiful European-inspired mountain retreat in North Rim, Bend Oregon.

A video presentation and photo tour are coming soon—but we wanted to tease you with these beautiful snapshots.

Stay tuned! This […]

Natural Stone in the House

Use of natural stone in the home has become very popular. We here at Alway Homes LOVE natural stone. Whether marble, granite or slate, natural stone has a ton of personality and color. Plus, it’s […]

Barn Busting, Part III

For the past two blog posts, Alway Homes has had the pleasure of interviewing John Robinson, professional ‘Barn Buster’. His job brings the consumer the beautiful and very authentic barn wood so coveted in newer […]

Barn Busting: An interview with John Robinson (Part II)

This is Part II of our Alway Homes interview with professional ‘Barn Buster’ John Robinson. Want to know where we have sourced some of our amazing barn wood? For the whole skinny, please read PART […]

Barn Busting: An Interview with John Robinson (Part 1)

If there’s one thing Jess Alway loves, it’s old wood. Weathered wood. Used, serviced, nostalgic wood. No one can truly copy rehabbed barn wood—the kind that reeks of character and history. Thus, there’s only one place […]

Belgian Architecture

Belgian Architecture, you ask?

For many years, Alway Homes has been known for their representative French Provincial architecture featuring soaring beamwork and intricate detailing.

So what’s up with Belgium?

If you’re really interested, may we suggest you pick […]

Drone Tours with Alway Homes

It’s official: now you can tour an Alway Home with the help of a drone. Eeek, right? No way. This is the coolest addition to our website EVER.

Alway Homes video

Aaron Alway narrates the tour of our […]

North Rim Lot 33


What a gorgeous day!

Wow, with that off our chest—let’s get straight down to business.

Alway Homes has a fabulous deal on North Rim lot 33. This acre building site is located at 1470 NW […]

North Rim Lot 79

Alway Homes has two lots in North Rim — and today we’re highlighting Lot 79, off Wild Rye.

North Rim is a private neighborhood of acre lots on Bend’s Awbrey Butte. You really can’t do much […]

Aaron takes Vegas

Aaron Alway, the handsome guy on the right, was recently let loose in Vegas to learn everything he could about the latest home building trends and techniques at the NAHB International Builders’ Show, January 19-21. […]

Bold Color

Use bold color in your home.

Color doesn’t have to be garish to make a statement. Black cabinets, as seen above, add depth and masculinity to the gun room we recently designed for some clients.  Paired with […]

Space Saving Techniques to Make Every Space Count

Make every space count in your house.

At Alway Homes, this is a basic tenant of construction. Every bit of square footage in the home should improve the homeowners quality of life. Form and function should work hand in […]

Why Bend, Oregon?

Why Bend?

For those of us living here, the merits are obvious. Why Bend? Is that even a question? But, let’s say you’ve never been here and you don’t know what you’d have in common with […]


Santa might have a little bit of trouble getting down this chimney—but—it wasn’t built for him.

Alway Homes would like to invite YOU (yes, you!) to their Holiday Open House Party! Come take a look at […]

The Backsplash

The Backsplash.

One of those important (and vital) areas of home design—can sometimes fall into the last minute category. Glass? Tile? Stone? If you aren’t working with a professional designer or builder, you might find yourself crazed […]

The Coolest Shower Door EVER

I really didn’t know how to title this post—so— I went with the first thing that came to mind: The Coolest Shower Door Ever.

And it is.

Featured in our 2014 Tour Home, this guest bath really […]

Update from Jess, and a word about Stucco


Good September morning to you. It’s hard to believe the summer is officially behind us. Thank goodness we have a little more sunshiny weather to look forward to here in the High Desert. Isn’t Bend […]

Artistic Details

Building a house is, for me, like creating artwork. There are so many opportunities in a home to add artistic details in otherwise purely functional areas. One of the reasons I love touring through old European […]

Outdoor Living

Outdoor Living. Gotta love it, right? Especially in Bend, Oregon.

There is nothing better than kicking back in the heart of microbrew country and watching the sun set over the MOUNTAINS! Is Bend amazing or what?

Of […]

Doors and Windows

We get asked a lot about our doors—interior and exterior—and we need to give a good shout-out to our friend Rob over at Old Creek. Jess and Rob worked together to create this work of […]

Tour Home Touches 2: Woodworking

Laundry cabinets, kitchen designs and closets—all focus areas for outstanding woodworking. The Alway Homes Tour House 2014 had many stand out moments in the woodworking arena.

All cabinets throughout the home are Alder wood, stain grade […]

Tour Home Touches 1

Miss the Tour of Homes? How about another look at some Tour Home Touches before we move on?

This tire tread backsplash was a big hit. It added just the right amour of masculine to the […]


Coming soon and available for customization right now, a NORTH RIM EXCLUSIVE by Alway Homes.

Unveiled at the 2014 Tour of Homes, the boys are busy on this new plan, infusing it with some extra special […]

Award-Winning Builder and Tour of Homes winner: Gorgeview

Award-winning Builder and Tour of Homes winner, Gorgeview, by Alway Homes. Awards won: Best Architectural Design and Best Feature in the COBA 2014 event.

Thank you to all our friends and family who came out and supported […]

Tour of Homes: Gorgeview

Many thanks to everyone who came out and toured through our 2014 Bend Tour of Homes entry! We will be open again this coming weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday—so, if you didn’t already have the […]

2014 Tour of Homes Sneak Peek

Tour of Homes is a special time each year where we builders have the opportunity to share something extra special with our family, friends and fans. It’s the culmination of thousands of hours put in by expert craftsmen—all […]

Classical Old World


Be sure to take a tour through the French Provincial Portfolio page as we have just uploaded new pictures of this gorgeous new custom in Salem, Oregon. The home is a perfect blend of classic […]

Creative Flooring

Creative Flooring. There’s really no need to go boring basic in any home. This past week I was talking with some folks in the middle of a remodel. They had just recently purchased their first […]

Custom French

This custom French home was recently completed near Salem, Oregon.

I’ve built a lot of homes over the years. It would take me quite a while to count them all. :) And in my thirty plus […]

Villa Tranquille: Journey through the Details

Villa Tranquille remains a benchmark for home building artistry. Let’s take a closer journey through the details.

This particular picture of the kitchen and dining area of Villa Tranquille captures so many of the hand-crafted details […]

Villa Tranquille: A Look Back at the Great Room

This week we are revisiting Villa Tranquille for a look back at the Great Room.

While there were blueprint similarities within the Mountain River Estates homes, each property was highly differentiated. Villa Tranquille’s floors are art pieces: circle-sawn […]

Villa Tranquille — A Look Back, Part 1

I thought I’d go backwards in time for a few posts, to review one of the most popular Tour homes I’ve built in Bend.

Villa Tranquille is a unique home — big living on a small […]

Bend Tour of Homes 2014

Mark your calendars—put it in your phone—write in down on the white board: the 2014 Tour of Homes is coming to Bend this July 18-20, 25-27. The Friday thru Sunday event brings a lot of traffic […]


Starting a new house is always exciting.

It’s even more exciting when the lot is ideal and the views are outstanding.


This Tuscan Revival was framed by Joe and Bea Large — absolutely, hands-down the best framers […]

Newly Finished Custom Built Home

At the end of every successful job it’s so nice to take a walk through the newly finished custom built home and snap a few pictures for the road.

The powder bath pictured above turned out […]

Hand-crafted Hardwood Floors

There simply is no better floor than a hardwood floor (in my humble opinion). Yes, travertine has its place — in fact, I’ve lived in a home with 100% travertine floors and from a scratch […]

Venetian Plaster

I don’t think we’ve talked much about Venetian Plaster on this blog…yet.

It happens to be one of my favorite wall finishes. Beautiful, variable (the finishes can go anywhere to a varnished sheen to a beeswax […]

Dressing-Up Bookshelves

Love books? We do! Alway Homes nearly all have one thing in common: built-in library bookshelves. Lately, we’ve been dressing-up bookshelves anew.

Take a tour through an Alway Home and you’ll find out soon enough that […]

Rustic Elegance

“Rustic Elegance” has been a design buzzword / phrase for the past few years. Used to describe pastoral French design as well as urban-restoration and Tuscan projects, the phrase really means that you are bringing some […]

Beams and Lighting

We design a lot of wood beams here at Alway Homes! Beams and lighting!

Wood beams add a special something to any living room or great room — any style of home, actually. They can dress […]

A Country Kitchen

Aaron and I just had the honor of completing a beautiful home for some clients that were a lot of fun to work with. They were going for a ‘Country’ kind of home. Here is […]

A MasterBath with Country Flair


When clients come to Alway Homes for a custom build, we work hard to understand their design vision and partner with them from the very beginning stages. Words and colors can be deceptive! Pictures are […]

The Beauty of Iron Railings

The beauty of iron railings is simple: you can make them as ornate and fanciful — or as masculine and heavy as you like.

There is a perfect balance available for every home and every style, […]

Great Rom Details

The Great Room details can make the whole room come together.

That’s the case with this Great Room, recently moved into by a couple who each have their passion: Quilting and Books, respectively.

May I say, there […]

Combining the Old and New

There is something fun and desirable about combing in the old and new.

You see it in design magazines all the time  (two of my favorite are Veranda and Architectural Digest) — high level interior designers […]

Art As Part of the Home

Have you ever considered art as part of the home?

Not just something you hang on the wall, but something you build into the house?

A house does not need to be a shell. It can easily […]

Your House Address

The House Address. You could simply go buy the stick-on / screw-on numbers from home depot — or you could get creative.

I think you know where I stand on the issue. But to be clear, […]

Custom Cabinets

By designing custom cabinets in each one of my homes, I can add a certain character and flair that cannot be found in off-the-shelf cabinetry.

I am impressed with the selection of powder bath and master […]

Wood carving

Customizing a home with wood carving is one of my favorite artistic touches. Wood is just one of the best materials to work with, period. It is warm, soft to the touch, and melds itself […]

Closets for Small Spaces

One of the echoing themes of this blog is How to Create More Usable Space — and building closets for small spaces is a perfect example of making more usable space in any bedroom, craft […]

Warm Kitchen Colors

People are always asking me for advice on warm kitchen colors.

There’s the obvious answers: toasty almond, butter yellow, pine greens — accented with chocolates, plums and tart reds.

But what, they ask, if you don’t want […]

A Home’s Statement Piece

Every home needs a statement piece.

From the smallest budget to the greatest, a focal point adds interest and value and art.

For some homes, the beadwork can be the flair. In others, entry tile work and […]

Creating Space: Laundry Rooms

I’m not sure people think laundry rooms are particularly vital until they live in the house. Then all of a sudden, creating space in the laundry room is of utmost importance!

What if you designed more […]

Creating Space in Your Kitchen 2

Need to create space in your kitchen? Be sure to catch my first post on Creating Space — but read on! You can start right here.

Many people believe that building a house is “too difficult”, […]

Creating Space in Your Kitchen

Who needs to create more space in their kitchen? Outside of the bedroom sleeping hours, it is by far the most used room in the house. Everyone wants a piece of the kitchen! The cook […]

Copper: A Stand-out Material to Build With

Copper is one of those materials that has been used in the building trades for millennia. And for good reason! It resists corrosion. It withstands the weather. It is easily shaped. It holds up! And […]

Curb Appeal: Make Your House Stand Out


Curb Appeal is all about making your house stand out from the crowd. Curb Appeal can also drastically improve your home’s resale value. But how do you do it?

I’ve long been a strong proponent of […]

Effective Use of Space part 2


People keep asking me to talk more about creating square footage inside a home. That sounds funny, huh? Well…there’s a lot of unused volume inside most houses. I like to find all the square inches […]

Effective Use of Space

It’s 2014 — CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!?

What really gets me is that 1980 is now as far away as 2048– and who knows what’s going to be happening in 2048. We will probably all have […]

Art Niche

Some art niches are built into homes to showcase paintings and photographs owned by the residents. Other art niches are built for art’s sake. This is such a niche.

An art niche can be a focal […]

Get Creative with Stamped Concrete

If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you know how much I love details. In my mind, the house doesn’t end at the foundation corners — the house extends to every inch of […]

Meet Aaron Alway

Meet my son and business partner, Aaron Alway.

The addition of Aaron to Alway Homes has  been nothing short of amazing.

He brings with him a wealth of knowledge in construction and client relations, an MBA, fluency […]

The Little Things

Sometimes it’s the little things that really set one house apart from the next.

I’m a big believer in letting the details do the talking.  I’ve compiled a short list of the “little things” that can […]

Happy Thanksgiving, 2013!


Happy Thanksgiving, 2013 from Jess Alway Inc.

Tomorrow is turkey day – and I hope you have an opportunity to get together with family or friends and celebrate. My favorite Thanksgiving memories all take place around […]

House Happy! Your House Should Make You Happy.

Are you house happy? You should be. Your house should make you happy! When you drive in the driveway and look at your castle, I hope you have a sense of peace and wellbeing — […]

New Home by Jess Alway for SALE

The latest new home by Jess Alway is for sale — in Holiday Ranch Estates, Salem, Oregon.
Possibly the most bold design yet in Holiday Ranch Estates, Alway Homes has brought together new details and ideas […]

Repurposed and Reinvented

Guess what? I’m finally in vogue. I’ve been a believer in repurposed and reinvented recycling for decades. It’s part of what makes my job as a home builder and designer really fun! When I came across […]

Functional Built-ins

A functional built-in is truly a thing of beauty.

It serves double-duty — first, by taking the place of a piece of furniture, and secondly, by creating a seamless flow through the house.

Built-in’s in my homes […]

DIY or Hire it out?

DIY? (Do it yourself?) Or hire it out?

Many times this is the question facing homeowners getting ready to do a renovation on their existing home. With a quick trip to Home Depot you can collect […]

A Modern Twist on a Classic Master Bath


As I’ve mentioned in this blog before, I’m a sucker for the rustic cowboy look. Or High Mountain Design — call it what you will. So you can imagine there were a few tongues wagging […]

Custom Built For You

A Man’s House is his Castle. Where you live should represent YOU! So, when sitting down with folks ready to build a home, I ask them about themselves. “What speaks to you? What makes you […]

Making an Entrance: Home Entryways

I wish I’d taken this photo from further back..but I was going for details again :)

Today I want to talk about home entryways. They are often overlooked in the home building process. Why, I don’t […]

Muirfield Kitchen Complete

Last week I posted some photos of a kitchen under construction on Muirfield in Salem, Oregon — located in the Holiday Ranch subdivision. The kitchen is now complete and I thought I would upload a […]

Don’t Fear Colored Cabinets!



I LOVE COLOR. Anybody else? And I’m not afraid to use color in my houses — even bold colors like reds and greens. I especially like colored cabinets.

This color combination above is one of my […]

Black and White Bathrooms

You can’t go wrong with a black and white bathroom.

It’s nearly a law.

Whether you are building a custom home or remodeling, consider a clean and crisp black and white second bathroom.

They are especially great for […]

A Home with Less Expensive Elegance

A home with less expensive elegance? Can’t be custom, right? Wrong.

This home above sold in the mid $300k’s. Which, in the Oregon market, is a darn reasonable price for hand-wrought details!

Let’s highlight some of the […]

Make Fireplace Inserts Look Great

Notice! Fireplace inserts can look just as amazing as masonry fireplaces!

Anyone reading my blog has come to know that I love a faithful wood burning fireplace. But, sometimes it simply isn’t possible to build one […]

Muirfield In-Process

I have two homes under construction on Muirfield, Salem, Oregon (South). Please come by. I’d love to show you some of the details that are going into these homes!

Most all the floors are reclaimed wood […]

For Sale: 173 Muirfield Avenue

173 Muirfield, Salem Oregon is now FOR SALE! This one-of-a-kind new home is as unique on the inside as the outside! Get into an Alway Homes original for only $369,000 — an unbelievable price.

173 Muirfield […]

Bend, Oregon

There really is no finer place to live than Bend, Oregon. That’s my opinion, anyway.

The weather is perfect; not too hot, not too cold. Golf year-round! In fact, you can fit in any number of […]

Sisters Oregon Custom Home For Sale


Sisters, Oregon — Aspen Manor, one of Alway Homes’ most compelling custom homes of French Provincial architecture, is back on the market.

Aspen Manor is located within the private gated community of Aspen Lakes Golf Club, […]

Me? Pinterest?

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not exactly a techie. I’m not even sure what a “techie” is — so there you go. But I can’t escape all manner of technology these days. It’s downright […]

Arch, my Brick Archway

There’s no question about it, I love a strong brick archway. But I love all kinds of arches. They are so much more refined than a plain jane squared off entrance — which everyone has. […]

Creative Stonework: Stone Cottages

There’s no question that I like to build unique and creative homes and stone cottages — and part of that equation includes a strong swath of stonework throughout my structures.

Stonework adds a timelessness to any […]

A Front Door to Welcome You

I love a good front door.

A front door should be memorable and solid. Welcoming, yet impenetrable — a brute with a heart.

These days, front doors on all my homes (whether custom built for a client […]

Open Shelving in Your Kitchen


Open shelving in your kitchen is a must. Open shelving is versatile, classic, useful and creative. Open shelving can display your prized possessions or keep that favorite frying pan within easy reach.

This particular kitchen shows […]

Bold Paint Colors

There’s a time to play it safe and a time to go big. Bold paint colors go wonderfully in a den, library, office, dining room, and/or powder bath. Whether custom building or renovating the home […]

Timber Beams

A French Country home just isn’t complete without some great timber beams.

This home, built in Mountain River Estates, Bend, Oregon featured a Great Room with a spectacular ceiling of trussed mortise and tendon beams.  Timber […]

Custom Media Cabinet and Fireplace

Building a home with less square footage is a challenge, but a fun one. If a Great Room is going to fulfill the combined spaces of a living, family and dining room — it’s got […]

Custom Built Homes

With thirty-five plus years in the building game, it’s fair to say I’ve encountered just about every building scenario there is. And many people believe (sometimes rightly) that custom built homes are difficult beasts. But […]

Unique Wood Flooring for your Home.


For the money, I’d say wooden flooring is just about the best investment for your home — whether a remodel or a custom build.For the money, I’d say wooden flooring is just about the best […]

A Copper Dormer

Right now I have the envious blessing of building a beautiful custom estate home in Salem, Oregon for a client with impeccable taste. He and his wife have traveled the world over and are giving […]

The Cottage Life

When building Mountain River Estates in Bend, Oregon, I made it a point to design most homes with a Cottage on property. Their uses are immeasurable. Guests, mother-in-laws, returning adult children, grandkid sleep-overs, game rooms, […]

A Ceilings’ Details are Typically Overlooked

There are so many things I’d love to talk about in this photo– and I might just do that in later blog posts. But today, I’m focusing on the ceiling. Why? Because a ceilings’ details […]

The Manliest Man Cave

Hey guys, here’s a great picture to pin on your Man Cave Pinterest Board. Nah, you don’t have to lie. I know you have one. Whether you are renovating your garage, basement, or den — […]

Making the Most Out of Small Spaces


Having a small square footage to work with shouldn’t limit your living. You can make the most out of small spaces with smart and thoughtful design.

Building and living in small spaces was quite trendy just […]

One Hot Fireplace

Even though this world keeps getting so tech-heavy I hardly know how to function, I refuse to make a smart TV the center of the home. Yes, it can be part of the home (for […]

Personalizing Your Home

Personalizing your home starts with the build. Finding a builder who understands who you are, and how you want your home to serve you, is paramount. After all, this is a huge investment. Not only […]

Thin Brick Detailing

I love old homes. I love old buildings! I love anything ancient. Classic design gets me going. But I absolutely can’t stand deferred maintenance. Older homes are beautiful, but often wrought with endless fix-its and […]

Every Master Bath Can be Special

Every Master Bath can be special. Whether you have an enormous space to fill, or just a corner — thoughtful details make all the difference.

In this particular Master Bath, I focused on making the space […]

Western Flair for the High Desert

Building custom homes in Bend, Oregon is the most fun a builder can have. Inspiration is right outside your front door.

For me, I find the Oregon High Desert quite reminiscent of my growing-up days in […]


Details personalize a home.

But sometimes people focus so strongly on decor, that they forget the home itself can be an expression of personality and vision. One way to differentiate your home from the millions of […]

A Masterbath to Brag About

Your Master Suite Bathroom may be the most personal space in your home — so, do you love it?

This particular bathroom is a direct reflection of the homeowner’s desire to create opulence in a small […]

Custom Kitchens

Kitchens are the heart of the home, no question about it.  The kitchen is where the family gathers—not just to make food, but to talk, play games, celebrate holidays and much more.

This particular kitchen is […]

Great Rooms

Great rooms have replaced the ‘old’ concept of a compartmentalized home. You don’t often see living room/family room combinations these days, as every one is eager to mingle in the same area of the home! […]

A View From Above

In a previous post, I talked about how the great room is fast eclipsing the compartmentalized home. It’s not very often you see a new home with a living room, family room, formal dining and den. This new trend in home design is helping to bring the family back together.
This photo shows the view looking down at a great room from the second-story landing. This home also features a Romeo & Juliette balcony—and you can see the edge of it to the left side of the photo.


127 Radiance—New Construction

I’m working on a new home in Salem— 127 Radiance.

We’re about 3/4 of the way done and I’m really excited about the unveil.

The plan is one of my favorites—all main-level living, with both a formal […]

Now Building in Salem, Oregon

I began building a new neighborhood in Salem, Oregon in 2010. These custom beauties feature mastersuites on the main level, and the kind of design and craftsmanship usually only seen in million dollar listings.

This home […]

Mill-Wheel Lighting

These might look like oversized wagon wheels—but if you look more closely, you will see that they are really mortise and tendon mill wheels, built to exact spec replication. These mill wheels are also the […]


Find out what is happening with Alway Homes by reading our blog! Updated weekly, we highlight the best of Jess and Aaron’s latest creations. Alway Homes: Bend, Oregon’s most exciting homebuilding company.