Perched on the edge of a heavily wooded hilltop on Whidbey Island, Whidbey Farm is home to a mix of artists, artisans, farmers and sea captains. Whidbey Farm was conceived as a retreat for a multi-generational Seattle family studio to discreetly immerse the home in the landscape. A palette of local, durable materials and natural finishes, combined with the modernist ethos of less is more, subtly give the home a rustic aesthetic that still feels contemporary.
At the owner’s request, great care has been taken to preserve the large fir trees on site so that most of the house slides between them as it wraps around a modest clearing at the edge of the woods. The clearing, loosely defined by a low local stone wall, has been subtly transformed into a natural courtyard filled with native shrubs and ferns and crisscrossed with pathways. The house is built around the courtyard and consists of two rectilinear volumes of modest size that separate the living areas from the private spaces and a third volume that functions as a guest house. The western volumes of red cedar and glass blend harmoniously with the natural terrain, bringing the beauty of the landscape inside.
With a palette of naturally weathered timbers, concrete, locally quarried stone walls, deep oak window jambs, soft plaster walls, and black steel accents, the home strives to be warm and rustic yet simple, clean, and open. A similar choice of thatched woods, warm concrete floors and rich plaster textures is used in the private areas of the home. Despite the minimalist decor, the home was designed with the family in mind.