When Vancouver-based architect Jesse Garlick was growing up, his family used to take him sailing. Those aquatic outings instilled a love of solitude, design, and self-sufficiency that inspired him to join his profession. But when Garlick and his wife, Susan Elliott, decided to build a vacation retreat, they chose a different kind of geography and challenge: a prefabricated, off-the-grid home in eastern Washington’s high desert.

A narrow building next to the main structure houses storage and an outdoor kitchen.

The restrained 820-square-foot interior is defined by the angular ceiling. Garlick left the prefabricated structural panels unfinished to save on material costs. A True North wood stove from Pacific Energy heats the house. Max, the family’s cat, naps on a vintage rug purchased on eBay.

Architect Jesse Garlick’s rural Washington vacation home references its rugged surroundings. The steel cladding has developed a patina similar to the ochre-red color of bedrock found in the area.

The bedroom is outfitted with only the basics.

The kitchen island is topped with PaperStone in slate and wrapped in the same steel used to clad the house’s facade. “We matched the color to create a ‘2001: Space Odyssey’ monolith,” Garlick says.

The floating bookshelf is composed from wood found on the property.


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  • Jesse Garlick