A waterfront residence showcasing sustainable design; designed to inspire and educate others to follow a sustainable design path. The Barn Gallery is a place for us to promote our ideas, network with like-minded professionals, and to showcase and enjoy local artists.

During the summer season it's a vacation rental where you can experience your passion for sustainable design; live and learn, before you build your own home.

Strict budgets and limited resources of an island location, coupled with sustainable design criteria, drove the design process and product choices. These included "deconstruction" of the '70's era house while retaining the original foot print, SIPs construction, automated LED lighting control with a centralized driver panel (100% LED), energy monitoring, HRV & heat pump technologies, rainwater catchment, and designing with reclaimed wood and metal elements. The result is a tight, energy efficient house combining the very best of old and new.

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The Barn Gallery faces southwest to a secluded waterfront bluff, and is surrounded by 4 acres of woodland and a private meadow.

Collection and filtration of rain water, and a focus on natural landscaping are integral parts of the Barn Gallery sustainable design philosophy. The rain garden (foreground) functions as a natural filtration system for stormwater runoff headed to the channel below, and is one of the most talked-about features.

The siding planks were cut from the floor joists of the original house; themselves cut from trees on the property in 1970. They were carefully removed from the original house and transported down the road to a neighbor’s saw mill, where they were resawn for use as the siding you see here; they are untreated and weathering naturally to what will become a beautiful silvery patina. That’s a small carbon footprint!

Recycled steel and metal artifacts are integrated into the design, complementing the reclaimed woods. The design echoes a barn on the adjoining property, but with a decidedly contemporary flavor. Guests comment both ways…… they love the modern design yet they appreciate the design maintaining the local rural feel!

The great room is 22'x44', so specifying structural insulated panels (SIPs) for the roof was a logical choice for the designers. This resulted in unobstructed ceiling spans, as the structure (fabricated laminated splines) is incorporated inside the insulated panel joints.

The structural insulated panels (SIPs) for the walls and roof were prefabed in a local Washington factory, delivered to the site and erected in less than five days. The house was weatherproof, including doors and windows in a week.

A glossy Ferrari-red kitchen is topped off with high-end Euro-size appliances, recessed LED strip lighting bringing into play both form and function. On the platform above the kitchen a series of glass vessels by artist John deWit and a Ferrari pedal car are displayed.

A custom fireplace and media cabinet fabricated from raw steel is recessed into a wall of reclaimed wood planks from a deconstructed building outside Vancouver, BC.

The wood burning fireplace is somewhat contrary to “sustainable” design, however, with winter winds downing trees there is an abundant supply of firewood and an occasional winter fire is enjoyed!

There was insufficient wood from the original house to do the large expanse of the west side of the Barn Gallery, so additional planks were sourced from a dismantled warehouse in CA. As the wood naturally fades it blends with the wood from the original house. Corten steel frames the roof and walls.

The Rosso Corsa kitchen is Italian-styled. The porcelain tile backsplash is Fossil, from Refin, and the counter is concrete-look porcelain tile.

The over-scale pivoting front entry door wasmcrafted from VG white pine planks 3″ thick, sourced from a previous century Farmers Co-op building in eastern Washington. The door locks are accessed with the touch of your smart phone.

The great room is an adaptive space and functions equally well for a work project as for intimate entertaining!

This rain storage tank is a feature to be displayed at the entrance and not hidden away, as so often is the case. Sustainable infrastructure can be beautiful.

The eight foot high terrace doors open onto an expansive wrap around deck, with views across the meadow to the San Juan Channel.

The rain catchment pre-filtration tower filters the rain water from the roof of particulates before it supplies the storage tank. The first flush filtration system is hidden inside the recycled culvert. It is displayed prominently next to the storage tank near the Barn Gallery entrance.

The copper towel warmers are plumbed inline with the hot water pipes in the floor. As the hot water cycles through the heating pipes it detours through the art on the wall. The minimalist design is accessible.

The custom design sandblasted shower glass mimics the fossil porcelain tile on the opposite wall. The minimalist design is accessible.

The Bamboo Suite so named because of the screen of bamboo visible on the exterior. Several pieces of printmaker Bruce Bott’s whimsical art are exhibited on the walls and enjoyed by all.

The closet wall is crafted from reclaimed wood, split bamboo wall covering and a C1900 Chinese chest. A sandblasted glass urn in a style reminiscent of topiary, by glass artist Janis Miltenberger depicts the popular Aesops fable of the pitcher and the crow.

The antique pew is from a demolished church, and the art bench fabricated from a beam of a deconstructed Yaletown warehouse (Vancouver, BC)

Local Artists are showcased in a changing exhibit, and every time you return to the Barn Gallery you will discover new and different Art to enjoy.

The Barn Gallery mechanical room showcases some innovative technologies, and we use it for teaching and helping others to make informed decisions. The water heater for the Sanden heat pump heats the water for the radiant floors and domestic hot water, for pennies a day, exchanging outside air for hot water.

Setting priorities for a sustainable infrastructure and its implementation takes considerable research if you are on a limited budget. You can always buy the expensive couch or upgrade the kitchen cabinets later, but it’s not so easy to add a radiant heated floor or 12” thick roof later.…

At this point some may notice the absence of any solar discussion….we did not include a solar system, and we are often asked why. This was designed from the outset to be an energy-efficient house; and the costs of a solar installation would have taken >20 years to recover (a bit less perhaps with rebates). However, our goal was a cost-effective sustainable build to a budget, and after professional evaluation and lengthy debate, we selected the best-value technologies for the project. For a number of reasons, not least siting and environmental considerations, solar did not make the cut.

Details: The portico is fabricated from corten steel and reclaimed wood. OEX is Original Evergreen Experience which embraces a balanced view of "Green" (left)

The custom design Adirondack chairs invite guests to enjoy the west deck (right)

Detail : Chimney cap and entrance from driveway at east side of house

You arrive at the Barn Gallery via a meandering driveway through native woodland of Fir, Pine and Alder.

Twelve species of Bamboo and several different ornamental grasses integrated with wildflowers will become more evident as the natural landscaping matures.

The Bamboo nearest to the house is in spiral galvanized pots fabricated from the left over culvert used for the pre-filtration tower located near the rain storage tank.

When you arrive at night you can turn the lights on with an app on your smart phone.


Posted By
Interior Design
Landscape Design
  • Caroline Di Diego (CASUDI)
  • Scott Havel /Mud Bay Builders
  • Steve Horn


  • 2
  • Full Baths
  • 2
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2017
  • Square Feet
  • 1590
  • Lot Size
  • 4 Acres
  • Smart Home Tech
  • Nest
  • Press