Seeking a new home for their farm on Whidbey Island, Washington, a local family enlisted the help of Seattle-based design studio mwworks.

On Whidbey Island, north of Seattle, mwworks have designed a holiday home for a growing family with strong local roots. Located on a densely-forested hill, the farmhouse works its way around the forest, overlooking chicken sheds, a weathered red barn and cattle fields.

Through a combination of carefully selected natural materials and a collaborative approach between designer and client, mwworks have created a home entrenched in its environment and family legacy. 

The storage in the kitchen is plentiful, housing a variety of objects, including the Eames House Bird, designed by Charles and Ray Eames for Vitra.

The home honours the agricultural heritage of its site. Out of respect for its neighbouring cottage-style homes, the farm retreat considers the simplicity of the landscape, while still embodying a sense of modernity through its high ceilings and large windows. Polished concrete flooring is used throughout, married with a selection of natural timbers, locally-sourced stone and black steel accents. 

The layout of the home is broken down into separate wings, all accessible via the courtyard, providing connection but offering privacy when desired. Accommodating up to 20 people, the four-bedroom house is designed for quality family time – from fishing trips to summer barbecues.

Principal architect Eric Walter says that there was a strong relationship between the architects and the client of the home. “Client meetings typically included the owners, their three adult children, and sometimes their teenage kids as well,” Eric says.

At the owner’s request to respect the existing ecosystem, each building wing is carefully situated to wrap around the fir trees, in order to preserve as many significant trees as possible. Perfect for entertaining, the timber decking extends out from the large, open-plan living area of the home, complemented by a grand central fireplace. In the kitchen, premium Gaggenau appliances are met with streamlined teak cabinetry and stone benchtops.

mwworks have successfully designed a home that meets the clients’ need for sustainability with all of the modern trimmings, to be enjoyed by the family and it’s future generations. 

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