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Habitat

Kitchens + Spaces

The “Spaces” part of this feature gives a look at stunning designs for a variety of rooms. Take a look at these beautiful PNW homes.

The Twin Peaks Passivhaus + ADU

This month’s featured home is green—designed and built to minimize the home’s ecological impact in the face of climate change.


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Skagit Bay Waterfront Home

Architects Dan Nelson and Matt Radach of Designs Northwest worked to transform this Skagit Bay cabin into a classic beachfront home.


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The Art of Aging in Place

Designer and certified aging-in-place specialist, Susie Landsem, intersects both design and utility to help aging homeowners make their homes more accessible.


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A Hidden Sanctuary

Terry and Jackie Lehmann show their appreciation for travel and design with this breathtaking Asian-inspired oasis, located just north of Lake Whatcom.


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Geometric Tiles Add Pop to Condo Bathroom Revival

Jennifer Ryan brings new style with this geometric Bellingham bathroom remodel. See the end results of the makeover with Katheryn Moran Photography.


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Chuckanut Crest View Home

Take a look at this Featured Home on Chuckanut Crest in Bellingham. A modern industrial space with a state-of-the-art kitchen and beautiful view of the bay.


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Remodel Brightens Kitchen, Spirits

My client’s husband had recently passed away, and her daughter contacted me as a means to brighten her mother’s mood. The client and her husband had been dreaming of remodeling their home and just never thought the time was right. So when her family contacted me and asked if I could take on this special project and handle every detail of the kitchen redo so their mother wouldn’t have any worries, I cheerfully said yes. When we arrived…


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Build Cabinets, Throw Axes

Mathew Blubaugh is the owner of Northwest Woodslayer, a woodworking business specializing in custom cabinetry. There is also an axethrowing station.


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Farmhouse Kitchen

This beautiful Farmhouse Kitchen remodel was designed by Jennifer Ryan. See the end results of the makeover with Katheryn Moran Photography.


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Kitchens + Spaces

The “Spaces” part of this feature gives a look at stunning designs for a variety of rooms. Take a look at these beautiful PNW homes.


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Kitchens + Spaces

The “Kitchens” part of this feature gives a look at the inspiration behind each design for these six kitchens, and kitchen tech recommended by the experts.


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CLICK TO WIN!


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Island Cabin to Year-Round Home

This month’s Featured Home is an island cabin near Anacortes. This year-round home has a view of Deception Pass State Park.


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A Kitchen with a View

Kelly DuByne of Distinctive Interior Designs showcases a kitchen remodel in Lake Stevens. Cabinets from Architectual Cabinet brighten and warm the room.


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Keeping Your Home ‘Healthy’

There are many environmental hazards that can affect our homes. This safety guide lists safety checks for the house to keep you living in a healthy home.


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Home with a Better View

Jennifer Ryan took on the challenge of a home remodel to open up the kitchen, dining room, and living room, so a view of the lake could be enjoyed.


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Home for the Holidays

This month, our featured home showcases a home for the holidays, with Christmas trees and seasonal decor to brighten and warm the room.


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Whidbey Island’s Unpretentious Getaway

The Saratoga Inn on Whidbey Island makes a delightful getaway this winter. In the remodel, owner Jim Pensiero gave the inn a refreshing, comfortable look.


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Inspired By Roots

Interior designer Tanna Edler answers her most frequently asked questions about home design including inspirations and tips and tricks.


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Snohomish Backyard Retreat

Heidi Skievaski and Kryssie Maybay of Sublime Garden Design worked to transform this Snohomish backyard into a relaxing retreat, complete with a waterfall.


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Transforming a Garage Into a Game Room

Jennifer Ryan transformed this garage into an Archie comic book themed game room for two teens, complete with disco ball and foosball table.


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Picture-Perfect on Sandy Point

Take a look at this Featured Home on Sandy Point in Ferndale designed by Alexei Ford, built by Ian Hamilton, and photographed by Tim Chandonnet.


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Beach Drive Remodel

Take a look at the amazing transformation of this beach drive remodel on Camano Island. This article details the renovations made during this home remodel.


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CLICK TO WIN!


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Far East Home Comes West

Take an inside look as Ross Grier builds his dream home in Fairhaven by fusing Japanese elements with a Pacific Northwest Washington feel.


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Finding Elbow Room In a Bathroom Overhaul

Approximately 40 years ago, this bathroom and closet off the master bedroom was a luxury. After much love, it was in desperate need of a makeover. Updating the fixtures and bringing the “look” to the current century was my clients’ first request. Next, they wanted to brighten the space and gain more room without changing the footprint. Last, they wanted a farmhouse…


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Hamlet Hotel

Downtown, An Old Space Becomes New Again For Fred and Colleen Schacht, the Hamlet Hotel has been a reclamation project, sentimental journey, and business venture wrapped into one century-old downtown building. The Hamlet…


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Fighting Bathroom Splash

The challenge: Designing and remodeling a bathroom that involved a rotting floor due to water splashing from the shower curtain enclosure. The first question was “How do we keep the water in the tub?” My clients wanted to keep…


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An Anacortes Home for the Sunset Years

Here is a quick glimpse inside this beautiful home in Anacortes, with amazing detail to design and even more incredible views.


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Real Estate

In Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties of the North Sound, the real estate industry has grown from a decade ago. No…


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Above the Boulevard, A Year-Round Beach Home Shines

Faith Ulate grew up in Whatcom County, and long dreamed of having a beach home. So, she and her family lived in Costa Rica for 11 years. But when it came time to move back, she was determined to bring beach life with her. Ulate, a realtor with a passion for turnaround projects, gutted this three-bedroom, two-bath condo overlooking Bellingham’s Boulevard Park. Then she led its transformation to an airy living space with a premium on light and…


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A Home Office Remodel

What may have been best described as a collective mess before our design update is now an “organized oasis.” The enhancements in this project have increased the functionality by doubling paper-related storage, adding private storage and providing an appealing place to display family favorites. Along with the added advantages of the enlarged…


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Updating with Charm and Style

When you find the perfect house —it’s got a beautiful view, a great lot, lots of space for three growing girls, and in the desired location —but it’s lacking charm and style, what do you do? This is what my some of my interior decorator clients purchased last year. Right away they knew they wanted to make some changes. But they were unsure of what to do and how to pull it all together in a cohesive…


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So, You Want a Pond?

So, you’ve decided you want to build a water feature in your back yard That’s a wonderful idea. A pond draws hummingbirds, songbirds, and butterflies. The trickling sound of a stream is soothing as is watching colorful gold sh or koi swim lazy laps. Water lilies in full summertime bloom are stunning. You’re already imagining perfect…


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Bad Boys in the Garden

Pesky Plants to Avoid We gave you the best and easiest plants to grow in your Pacific Northwest garden, but it’s also invaluable to know what not to plant. See our list of what…


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CLICK TO WIN!


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Home, Healthy Home

There’s warmth just looking at this yellow cedar home, originally built in 1927 as a single-story, working-class Craftsman. But in addition to adding a second story and master bedroom to their now two-bedroom, three-bath home (plus basement apartment), the client wanted…


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Executive Treatment

Elegant styling with a luxurious arrangement balanced this office remodel. With a creative pattern and texture, the simplicity of the accent wall was a stand-out. A sustainable and organic passion created this tremendous geometric attraction, and the custom salmon art gave a nod to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Our goal was to bring nature indoors, with a hint of tradition, plus…


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Lake Whatcom Home Gets An Update

New owners of this home loved its sweeping views of Lake Whatcom and its modern character. But sometimes, even modern needs an update. With a family of five, the house was also…


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Palatine Passive House

The Palatine Passive House by architect Tiffany Bowie of Malboeuf Bowie Architecture was one of eight homes featured during last year’s Seattle Modern Home Tour in April. Bowie,…


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What’s My Style?

Today, I have many clients confused when trying to explain their “design style,” not wanting to commit to just one, fearing they might end with the wrong result. Combining hints…


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A Picture-Perfect Refuge

Private Gardens Design Susan Harrison, owner of Private Gardens Design, is no stranger to awards. She won our own Best of the Northwest for Best…


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Birch Bay Mansion

This spectacular Birch Bay estate is what dreams are made of: This private 66-acre property consists of a 12,000-square-foot mansion with 1,575 feet of pristine, south-facing and jaw-dropping Georgia Strait shoreline. And that’s just the beginning. If…


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Back at Home

Western’s Carver Gym Renovation a Sight to See for Fans After undergoing an extensive and much-needed renovation costing $70 million and spanning two years, Sam Carver Gym at Western Washington…


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San Juan Log Cabin Retreat

This striking home in the San Juan Islands started as a log cabin. A full overhaul, led by Bellingham interior designer Lisa Staton and client Kristina Gladstein, transformed it to a lighter, brighter vacation getaway that fits the quiet elegance of its surroundings, just off Roche Harbor. The original logs,…


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From Craftsman To Clock Tower

Ferndale Landmark It’s hard to believe the clock tower building that looms over Main Street in Ferndale was once a 1920s craftsman home. Today the structure is a sprawling, multi-story sight to behold. Each exterior wall is coated in a different siding material, highlighted with maroon trim and scattered windows, all beneath a series of jutting rooftops. Its most prominent feature…


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Hemp House is Small, but Cool

While the tiny building that sits on Pam Bosch’s property isn’t legally a house, it serves as a model for future construction projects. It…


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CLICK TO WIN!


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One-of-a-Kind Design

RE Store’s Revision Division We love to recycle here in the Pacific Northwest. We’ll divide, compost, and reuse until just about everything gets another home or is made functional again. And while recycling might seem more mundane than stylish, Matt Vaughn and David Spangler at the RE Store’s…


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Chuckanut Bay House

The airy lightness of this Chuckanut Bay home’s interior stands in contrast to its big, bold, concrete frame that attracts attention from those who live nearby or paddle past. The owner, a builder himself, wanted to convey permanence in a home situated between the everchanging water…


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A Garden from Scratch

If you think the compacted-soil, rock-hewn, lifeless plot of land on your property could never support a garden, we have a story for you. More than 100 volunteers recently transformed the empty gravel lot across from the Bellingham Food Bank into a garden in a massive project that included installing a six-foot wood and wire mesh deer fence, 32 raised beds, and a market stand to sell produce. Oh, and they did it in one day. It’s the new…


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Edgemoor Neighborhood Historic Home

Lairmont Manor Historic homes can be a focal point for neighborhoods. In Bellingham, few are more famous than Lairmont Manor, in Fairhaven’s Edgemoor neighborhood. Originally named The Larrabee House, it was designed in 1914 for local power couple Charles and Frances Larrabee by renowned Seattle architect Carl Gould. Gould designed a 25-room Italian Renaissance-style…


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Rustic & Reclaimed

Bath Renovation Antique wood and a sliding barn door in a bathroom? Say it isn’t so! Yes, that is exactly what we incorporated in this recent remodel and the trend has exploded. The juxtaposition of materials and finishes in homes today is…


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Gem on the Water

Lake Samish Row House This distinctive home on the shores of Lake Samish was built in 2010 with rowers in mind. We want to say its curvy roof and contemporary, minimalist design evokes the smooth, effortless air of a rowing team in sync. But like the sport itself, looks can be deceiving. Bellingham Bay Builders and the Cirrus Design Group, with the owner’s direction, put substantial…


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Freezing Cabin

Kitchen Remodel Helps Ease a Drab Winter’s Chill This home, a one-time 1930s beach cabin, got so cold in winter that its owner would routinely flee to Mexico for three months. But after six years of annual escapes, it was time to put down year-round…


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Cheetah-Chic Living

Animal Prints Rev Up a Room It might be safe to say that while keeping the color palette tame on this project, we got wild with the style. Prior to our makeover, we were welcomed with a pet-soiled off-white carpet with poorly placed furniture. My client rarely used this room and wished to make improvements in order to entertain during holidays. Her dream was to have an inviting space with a better layout for…


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Little Old, Little New

This home, located on 12th Street overlooking stunning Bellingham Bay, was past due for a kitchen remodel. I had worked with this client on previous projects in her home and was thrilled to have the opportunity to design her kitchen. By giving her tons of cabinet, floor and counter space, I felt this kitchen could be not only beautiful but a…


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Guemes Cottage

This peaceful retreat on Guemes Island designed by David Hall (since retired) of HKP Architects draws on Finnish and Scandanavian summer houses for inspiration. Situated on the the north end of Guemes Island with expansive views of Bellingham Bay, this 625 square-foot cabin combines the best of comfort and tranquility Hall worked closely with the owners to…


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Broadway Beauty

The beautiful thing about ranch-style houses is the way in which a good designer can open up the interior, build in great storage, and add light and space. Many of these homes have been updated a few times, and…


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CLICK TO WIN!


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A 1940s Camano Island Log Cabin Remodel

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…


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Snohomish Backyard Retreat

Heidi Skievaski and Kryssie Maybay of Sublime Garden Designs transformed a two-acre property that was essentially a blank canvas, a hillside with a few junipers and rhododendron and a sea of lawn, into a backyard retreat with several gardens and distinct areas for entertaining. The property’s former owner was an architect who designed and built the home, which features intriguing…


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Orcas Island Beach House–Featured Home

This beautiful Orcas Island beach house is an island paradise, nestled among towering evergreens and set right on the water. As with most things Orcas, this home is the perfect balance of architectual distinction and cabin-like intimacy. The natural wood beams and finishes complement each other, incorporating the context of the surrounding woods while offering expansive views of the water. The…


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Warm Comfort

In a nutshell, this home is nestled on two acres overlooking a pond with stunning landscaping. For this design, I wanted to bring all the elements of the outdoors inside. I did this by using soft robin egg blue on the walls to mirror the sky, along with wood elements found in nature. By building with textures and fabrics these three rooms are all different yet build on one another. The end result is a comfortable…


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Palatine Passive House

The Palatine Passive House by Architect Tiffany Bowie of Malboeuf Bowie Architecture was one of eight homes featured during the 2016 Seattle Modern Home Tour in April. Bowie, a certified passive house consultant, fielded questions from tour…


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Mid-Century Makeover

Good things do come in small packages! Bringing back the bright was our design goal for this tiny ranch home. Every square foot was important; therefore, scale and proportion played a huge role…


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Distinctive Details

The owners of this Blaine residence wanted the finest in architectural construction as well as the most aesthetically compelling styling possible. The overall…


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Mid-century in Medina

An updated landscape is just what this Medina property needed after it underwent a major remodel. Heidi Skievaski of Sublime Garden Design delivered a landscape design and install that complemented the newly renovated mid-century exterior. One of the challenges of a landscape remodel is incorporating existing elements. For example, homeowners desired to keep the giant Empress tree that functioned as the focal point of the garden. There was also an existing basalt retaining wall and…


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Oops! Landscaping Mistakes

Oh it’s that time of year, time to plant and sow, to weed and cultivate. The sun is getting closer and brighter, the soil is warming up—it’s time to make the most of your landscape. There are…


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South Hill House

You know what it’s like when you paint your living room, and then the adjoining dining room looks drab, so you…


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Small Changes that Make a Big Difference

Though you probably haven’t convened your family members to hold a climate change summit in your living room, sometimes it can feel inordinately challenging to agree upon and make sustainable decisions at home. Ask anyone who has…


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CLICK TO WIN!


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A Contemporary Coastal Landscape

  For landscape designer and certified professional horticulturist Heidi Skievaski of Sublime Garden Design, an unsightly curtain drain that skirted a newly constructed high-bank waterfront home was a design challenge turned opportunity. Because of the…


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Beach Drive Remodel

As far as remodels are concerned, you might think that the most dramatic transformations are also the most expensive and the most complicated. The waterfront Beach Drive Remodel on Camano Island, executed by principal architect Dan Nelson of Designs Northwest Architects, proves these misconceptions wrong. The resulting…


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False Bay Writer’s Cabin

This stunning San Juan Island beauty is a perfect metaphor for a writer’s personality — open, receptive, and unguarded at times, and closed, private, and introspective at…


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Northwest Modern Luxury Home – Featured Home

Perhaps the crown jewel of the entertainment space, a glassed-in wine display room showcases a wine library and is conveniently located near the wet bar, an upgrade from the traditional bottom-floor wine cellar.


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Outfitting Your Tiny House

Tiny houses make it difficult to squeeze these large appliances into a tiny footprint. Luckily, manufacturers have stepped up and sized down without sacrificing quality.


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Eldridge House – Featured Home

The couple set about remodeling, using mostly local artisans. The result? A comfortable, unpretentious, and yet artful home that accommodates family, friends, and even a lovely bald eagle who lurks in the trees above


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Net Zero House – Featured Home

Sean Haven of Haven Design workshop took on the challenge of designing and building a Net Zero house.


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Eco-friendly design

Considerations like direction of sunlight, storm runoff, window materials, and flooring are all part of the eco package.


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Bay View House – Featured Home

Natural textures like wood and stone complement the white walls and countertops.


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English High Bank Waterfront Home

The goal was to build a timeless waterfront escape—a vacation home on Camano Island with architectural character and traditional elements. “My clients wanted the home to feel as if it had been lived in before,” said principal architect Dan Nelson of Designs Northwest. Situated on an exceptionally steep…


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This Old Shed

For this remodel, my clients wanted to revamp an old shed. Fifty feet from the house, this outbuilding is the perfect place…


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CLICK TO WIN!


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Ramble On

Remodeling an Era If you are like me, you’ve driven around an older neighborhood at some point in your life, admiring homes with a certain style – long, low profiles with minimal exterior decor. You were probably touring an established neighborhood where ramblers were the…


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Creating Sanctuary Space

Find a corner, spruce it up Perhaps you need a spot for yoga, or a place to sit and read in the sun. Maybe you like to knit by the fire or watch the rain as you write in your journal. Whatever your interests, if you feel the need for a little corner of your own, we have…


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Bringing it Back: The Recycled Remodel

One of the features that makes our area so charming is in the way in which we preserve and restore houses and buildings from our past. With the RE Store, Skagit Salvage and antique stores galore, it’s not difficult to find materials for an era-authentic remodel. This was not always the case, but the surge in DIY…


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A Delight-ful Remodel

Homeowners Delight Green and Michael Newlight hired Craig Burling, owner and general contractor of CB Premier Construction, to build an addition onto the master suite of their creative Chuckanut Drive house. The 850 square foot addition included a…


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A Master Bath Worth Waiting For

Our master bath remodel had been a long time coming. It started in my head when we bought our 1920s Tudor in Bellingham 13 years ago. The unfinished attic had been remodeled in the 80s, and the bath was added then—good space, but the dark wallpaper, phone booth-sized shower and graying linoleum floors were showing their age….


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Lopez Island Getaway

When architect Don Larkin and his small Eastside architectural firm were asked to design a Lopez Island vacation home on the original foundation of a dilapidated cabin, he and his team drew upon the stunning views and quiet, driftwood-strewn bay below to create a sophisticated seaside escape. A stunning blend of Nantucket-meets-Northwest, this 2,900 square-foot home is surrounded by forestal acreage and hedged in by large plots of rolling farmland. Don…


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Fabulous Faux

The effect of faux tile finishes once depended on how light fell, how the sun or kitchen lights caught the pattern in the floor, how the tile felt underfoot or how it looked behind the sink. Decades ago, faux was just another word for fake, ersatz, as something that was meant to reach for an…


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Container Herb Gardens

Herb gardens are perfect for small spaces. They thrive on patios, balconies and even on your kitchen counter. Thyme, parsley, chives, oregano, cilantro and basil are common and satisfying herbs to grow. Herbs are among the easiest plants to nurture — all you need are containers to plant them in, potting soil and a green thumb. Many herbs, including basil, can be propagated in water from a…


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Brightening Your Bedroom

The Light Touch With incandescent bulbs disappearing in favor of more long-lasting light bulbs, finding light that has the right color temperature can be a challenge. Florescent…


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Remodel: Bring the Outdoors In

As the leaves fall and the cold air starts to blow, we find ourselves enjoying intimate moments in our homes once again. Now is the time to bring the outdoors in through décor. This project incorporates native items that resulted in a…


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Casual Contempo

In my recent project, I assembled an eclectic collection of furniture, which is neatly placed in a symmetrical living area layout. In…


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CLICK TO WIN!


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Vintage Industrial Redo

“Your home is whimsical, cozy, cottage, industrial with raw, organic elements, quirky focals and current styling. Am I close?” This was my first question after the initial consultation at my client’s rambler home in Snohomish. She has a flair for the eclectic, as well as many hand-me-downs that are absolutely gorgeous….


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Tiny Tack House

Q & A on the Tiny Tack House Bellingham Alive: What is your background and interest in building a tiny house?…


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Woodland Retreat

This issue we feature two small spaces that are nestled deep in the woods and surrounded by mature forest. The paths around the property teem with wildlife, the trees are alive with birdsong. A peaceful spot overlooking…


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Samish Island Cabin

This lovely house is located on the tip of Samish Island, just above high tide. It is owned by an oyster farmer who farms the surrounding waters of Samish Bay. Built to withstand harsh conditions — the salt, sand and constant breeze of the island elements — it’s solidly…


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Farming Inspired Design

He’s a little bit country and she is a little bit rock ‘n roll, and the combination is something I call “organic modernism.” We combined the homeowners’ mementos, industrial pieces and warm textures to create a collection of oddities that satisfies their rustic-inspired living, giving them the luxurious lodge look they desired. The family I worked with had a large, multi-purpose space that had no purpose at all. An [off] white…


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Mod Redux: 1950’s Classic Gets Contemporary Update

Half old/half new, half vintage/half current, half refinished/half refreshed describes this throwback classic! A 50/’50s blend that bridges the decades with a touch of organic and man-made: What was popular then is popular now.


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Living Green – Lake Samish Home

Read about this Bellingham eco-friendly home, owned by Carlos Dinares and Julie Dykema towers just off the shore of Lake Samish.


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His Place

From boring basement to high-end man cave, designer Tanna Barnecut takes us on a journey of transformation…


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Design Trends – Colorful, Cultural & Clever

Give your home its own unique look, inspired by today’s design trends.


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