A classic log cabin on Camano Island’s North Shore
offers stunning views of Utsalady Bay and has
been in Neil Hampson’s family since the 1940s.
Hampson’s grandfather Dr. Russell R. Bradley, an
Everett optometrist built the cabin himself.

The preface to a 1944 publication of the U.S. Forest
Service entitled “Building with Logs” assures the would-be
cabin builder, “The art of log construction is relatively
simple and easy to acquire, once a few basic principles are
understood.” But after such assurances, it lists a litany of
tools one must know how to use. “To do a first-class job
of log construction the worker must become familiar with
the use of either double-bitted or single-bitted ax, and the
broadax, saw, adz, chisel or slick, ship auger, and draw knife.”
Its illustrations offer glimpses into the building process,
with illustrated how-tos on subjects such as “Straightening a
Curved Log” and “Chopping the Notch.”

The Hampsons’ cabin is a stunning example of these
techniques. In order to achieve a remodel and addition
that was in keeping with the classic log cabin look and
feel, Hampson and his wife, Diane, worked with Dan
Nelson of Designs Northwest Architects to add 550 square
feet of living space. “When my husband and I realized
that the home would not work for us now that we were
living here full time it was a daunting prospect.
We wanted to enhance the house without destroying the
ambiance that generations have loved,” Diane said.

On the second level, a guest bedroom with a water-facing
deck was added. The master bedroom on the main level was
remodeled and a spacious bathroom and dressing room was
added. A key priority was making these spaces wheelchair
accessible. Diane said, “The addition fulfills our need for an
ADA bathroom but the use of carefully selected materials
allows it to blend seamlessly.”

When Hampson’s grandfather built the home, he used
granite for the stone fireplace. Nelson’s design incorporated
the use of granite throughout the addition, so the Hampsons
researched where the original stone was sourced and
discovered it came from a quarry on Lummi Island. Though the
quarry is no longer in operation, they were granted permission
to retrieve stone from it, so remarkably the addition’s
stone is an ideal match to the original stonework.

The addition’s ceilings are knotty pine to match the
original house. The porcelain tile flooring in the master
bedroom and bathroom feature a wood-grain pattern, and
the same tile was used on the walls in the shower, which has a
pebble-patterned tile on the floor and a frameless tempered
glass door.

“My favorite feature is the use of wood grain porcelain
tile for the floors. They are so easy to care for with sand from
the beach and wet dogs and kids constantly in and out of the
house. Most people don’t realize it is not real wood at first.”

The dressing room has a glass roof, which brings in light
without compromising privacy, and the water closet’s window
is an old porthole the homeowners found in an antique shop.
The exterior dressing room and bathroom walls that jut out
are clad in corrugated metal, which fits well with the aged
character of the original log cabin.

“Neil and I are the third generation to live in this home,”
Diane said. “Our daughters will follow us and hopefully
many more generations as well. We now have two bedrooms,
one for each, so family gatherings will be more comfortable
when they occupy the house. Our first grandchild is expected
in September so already another generation of children will
grow up enjoying the magic of Camano Island.

Architecture | Dan Nelson AIA, Principal Architect and
Matt Radach, Project Architect, Designs Northwest Architects,
designsnw.com
Construction | Dan Wickstrom, Wickstrom Construction,
wickstromconstructioninc.com
Interior Design | Wendy Kennedy and Garrett Khulman,
H2K Design, h2kdesign.com
Photography | Lucas Henning Photographic

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"We wanted to enhance the house without destroying the ambiance that generations have loved."