A Trip to Seabrook: Sunset Magazine's First Idea Town

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to take a trip to Seabrook, Washington this past weekend. The brainchild of married couple Casey and Laura Roloff and town planner Laurence Qamar, Seabrook is a concept town that was built in 2004 in an attempt to extend indoor living space into the outdoors and the community, and create a slow, neighborly feel to the entire town.

Nestled on the West Coast at Pacific Beach, Seabrook was discovered by Sunset Magazine in 2012, and has since been named their first "idea town" — a place to invest time, create lasting relationships with neighbors, take things slowly, and bring back an old-fashioned township feel. Seabrook is a treasure trove of charm, with double-sided wood burning fireplaces for roasting marshmallows at each cottage center meeting place, domed street lamps for easier views of the starry night sky, and bicycles littered throughout the town to dissuade the use of cars.

After Sunset's adoption of Seabrook, they commissioned several "idea houses". Each idea house interior was designed by Brian Paquette (a Northwest native) to create an ideal model living space, utilizing the beach and town's natural color palette. Paquette created stories for each model home — the artist matriarch or the modern couple with young son — and created a living space perfect for each fictional family.

The outdoor spaces, designed by Stephen Poulakos, are just as enchanting, using sustainable Northwestern resources and pervious materials that drain the substantial amount of rain water that the Washington coast sees each year. Fun fact: the pathways in the town are all created using recycled, crushed oyster shell, which reflects light, making for the perfect moonlit walk or a brighter, more cheerful day during the dark and dreary Washington winters.

If you ever get the opportunity to visit this amazing and quiet town, I'd highly recommend it. Still in the building process, they are adding more centers, a traditional-style town hall, and numerous shops and restaurants.


(Images — 1 & 15: Seabrook, 2-12: Andie Powers 13 & 14: Brian Paquette Interiors)