A strong creative streak runs through the Pacific Northwest and is on vibrant display in these spaces, featured in the pages of Dwell and on Dwell.com. Here, we venture beyond the region's major cities—Seattle, Portland and Vancouver—to see how design is flourishing in out-of-the-way places.
Looking like a jewel box at dusk, Scott Stafne’s Cantilever House rests easy in the woods near Granite Falls, Washington. The strong and sturdy house, designed by Anderson Anderson Architecture, acts as a warm respite from the elements when the weather won’t cooperate, which is often—horizontal rain and whipping winds can be the norm. Photo by John Clark.
The qualities that made Johnny Bellas's property on British Columbia’s Gambier Island attractive—a steep slope draped with trees overlooking a waterfront panorama of Howe Sound—are also a builder’s nightmare. However, Bellas was confident that the TD3 2490 model from Lindal Cedar homes, designed by Turkel Design and part of the Dwell Homes Collection, would rise to the challenge. He fell in love with its midcentury sensibilities, great room with soaring 18-foot-high ceilings, ample natural light, and a rustic facade that blends in with its surroundings. Photo by Patrick Barta.
The steel house that architect Ko Wibowo designed for his family in Puyallup, Washington, was inspired by a nearby landmark, Mount Rainier. To mirror the mountaintop, Wibowo drew three points at the top of the roof (one at the apex, two at intermediate points), then connected all the walls off at least one of those points. The result is a jagged yet sliding set of angles capping the structure. Inside, the top of the house is like a bright white snowcap. Photo by John Clark.
Erin Moore of FLOAT Architectural Research and Design, based in Tucson, Arizona, designed a 70-square-foot writer’s retreat in Wren, Oregon, for her mother, Kathleen Dean Moore, a nature writer and professor of philosophy at nearby Oregon State University. The elder Moore wanted a small studio in which to work and observe the delicate wetland ecosystem on the banks of the Marys River. Enlisting her daughter’s design expertise, her professor husband’s carpentry savoir faire, the aid of friends, and a front loader, Kathleen and her crew erected the structure in September 2007. Photo by Gary Tarleton. Totally off the grid—–Kathleen forgoes the computer and writes by hand when there—–the Watershed was designed to tread as lightly on the fragile ecosystem as the wild turkeys and Western pond turtles that live nearby. “
Eric and Melinda purchased a 10-acre plot in rural Yelm, Washington, with visions of a new home on the range. There would be vineyards, gardens, an orchard, bees and chickens—typical country fodder—but they would showcase their design sensibility with a not-so-typical modern abode. Enlisting Matthew Coates of Coates Design, they ended up with a modern home that, while striking, is still a natural fit in the country location. Photo by Lara Swimmer.
In Eugene, Oregon, the designer Ben Waechter transformed a small single-family house into a sales space for J-Tea International, adding an eye-catching canopy and a cedar porch to entice shoppers.
When Sally Julien and her partner, Peter Loforte, bought a 1963 lakeside house in Issaquah, Washington, it was in desperate shape. Much of the house had to be reframed because of the rot, all the windows needed to be replaced, and a new roof was needed. Instead of walking away, the couple brought the house back to its midcentury glory. Photo by Kyle Johnson.