The other week I had the pleasure of visiting the Sunset Idea Town houses in Seabrook, Washington. The houses will be featured in the October issue of Sunset magazine, but you can learn more about them online.
The Sunset houses were a lot of fun to tour – they pull together a giant amount of living space into relatively small footprints. All the space in the houses is used to the best advantage to bring in light and maximize views. The houses use materials from the area, like the crushed oyster shells used to cover pathways. The indoor and outdoor plants are native to this part of the country.
The idea houses are two houses with guest houses (called, charmingly, coach houses which are over the garage space) and which share and outdoor patio area. Brian Paquette, the designer, said that the team created a fictional family (cute!) while they were planning and designing the spaces. In the fictional family the grandparents lived in the larger house, their son and daugther-in-law with their little boy lived in the smaller. I fell completely in love with the shared outdoor area with the large fireplace (awkward photo taken from a third story window shown above). The outdoor space was on different levels giving each house it’s own areas, but altogether it’s a comfortable and welcoming courtyard.
Brian used art from a variety of West Coast artists to decorate the houses, I fell in love with all of it.
I adore this staircase, it’s simply photocopies of photos that have been Modpodged into place!
The wallpapers were incredible.
All of the upholstered furniture used fabrics used in the indoor and outdoor living rooms of the houses was by Sunbrella and I was surprised at how soft it all was. I admire how practical too, the ocean beach is a minute away so you know everybody will be dragging in sand.
The Idea Houses include rain barrels, edible gardens and other thoughtful features, like outdoor lights that have been hooded downwards to minimize light pollution towards the night sky. Stephen Poulakos is the garden designer and I loved his use of large and small plants in the courtyard to create cozy gathering areas. There is also a greenhouse and it smells amazing when you stick your head inside, it’s all ripe tomatoes and basil.
The houses look towards the huge ocean beach shared by the Seabrook community.
The houses were really well done and if you’re a design lover it’s well worth making a day trip (or longer, rent one of the Seabrook cottages!) to have a look at. Tickets for tours of the houses (including the outdoor spaces and two guest houses) are $17. While you’re there you can investigate Seabrook, have lunch in the pub and take a walk out on the beach. I’ve recently recommended this as a day trip to visiting relatives (in-laws even!).