Collection by Kelly Dawson

A Couple Builds Their Ideal Retirement Home in the Forest


After years of visiting the area as vacationers, one couple builds this striking home for their retirement outside Greenwater, Washington.

Over the course of many years, a couple in their late 50s perfected a cherished routine. At the end of every workweek, the pair would leave their property in Gig Harbor, Washington, and drive 90 minutes east to the banks of the White River. A small cabin near Greenwater would be waiting for them, but instead of spending their weekends inside, the couple sought adventures outdoors. Seasons came and went with five-day intervals—summers were devoted to mountain biking and winters were passed skiing–until one day, the couple sought a change. They didn’t want to wait for the weekends to enjoy themselves any longer, and they grew tired of road trips to a secondary home. The couple wanted to create a permanent residence in the area, a place where they could retire and still revel in the rugged surroundings. On a flat site surrounded by evergreens, principal Robert Hutchison and his namesake firm met their straightforward request with a two bedroom home clad in stained cedar. “To the east of the site is the White River,” Hutchison says. “When the windows and doors are open during the summertime, you hear the sound of the rushing river throughout the house.”

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