Whether nature lovers are drawn to the Pacific Northwest or the environment inspires builders to open homes up to the elements, we've noticed an organic theme in our house tours from this region. The appreciation and integration of nature is abundantly clear in these eight house tours:
Architect Robert Harvey designed this house based many of the owner's requests. "He loves nature, so he wanted to be able to look out into the trees, open up the windows and doors, and listen to the birds sing. He also wanted to use natural materials as much as possible, creating a continuation of the interior and exterior space. We saved all the trees on the site and made sure the design worked around the trees. Ultimately we wanted a structure that would be at peace in its environment and that people would feel at peace inside."
The beautiful home that Mimi Lettunich occupies was designed by architect Roscoe Hemenway and was awarded House of the Year in 1954. As contributor Brandon Roberts reported in the into, "Mimi has not been shy about undertaking significant remodeling projects, making additions to the home and yard and truly making the space her own. Her home offers year-round entertaining options: a gorgeous deck with cozy fire pits has been added, perfect for a cold night spent sipping Spanish coffees ... During warmer months, there's a glamorous little pool house perfect for a brief respite from summer sun and fun. Mimi's favorite thing about her home? "The indoor/outdoor experience everywhere," she says."
Sitting in the office of Oksana and Tim's house must be akin to sitting outside. And it's that way by design: "Tim and Oksana tackled another huge home adventure: designing and building a 650 square foot office/living space overhanging their steep 30% grade backyard. As expected there were challenges but once the construction was complete, they were proud to say that they were a part of the process every step of the way."
A home doesn't need walls of glass or to hang over steep grades to enjoy nature. Even old fashioned bungalows can get in on the fun. Brad and Lis bought their bungalow because of its abundant windows and natural light, as you can see here in the photo of the couple's bedroom.
Yes, that's right — two adults, two children, and one dog call this little cabin home. What the cabin lacks in space it makes up in atmosphere. "The cabin is sited on five acres of gorgeous west coast wilderness on one of the islands in BC's Gulf Islands chain. We're at the top of a bluff, with a lovely meadow behind us. In front of us is a breathtaking ocean view straight across Howe Sound to the Coastal Mountains on the mainland."
Located on the edge of Portland's Forest Park, it's actually surprising that this John Yeon designed house is bathed in sunlight. Normally the houses here are shaded by the towering trees. Lucky for Nando and Linn, there are plenty of windows for letting that sun stream inside. They're also the couple's favorite element. "We really love the feeling of being surrounded by vegetation and we have the endless windows to thank for that."
The littlest inhabitant of this house also gets the prime spot – his own treehouse set on the acre of land. It's also the kids who provide the most feedback on Chris and Gretchen's house: "Our friends always compliment us on the house, but it's Eero's friends that really make you feel special. Kids are so open about saying things, like "You have the coolest house, I want to live here." or, " Can we trade houses?"."
The wall of windows in Roy and Dana's house provide an enviable view of their backyard. The couple cite their home and grounds as an inspiration: "The incredible privacy of the grounds, the greenbelt just beyond our backyard and creek that runs through it. The landscaping, the yard and all of it's critters (black tailed deer, coyote, the family of quail that scurry about, piliated woodpeckers, daily visits from the annas hummingbirds, pointy eared pine squirrels." Of course, that wall of windows is their favorite element. "Our house sits high on greenbelt and the elevation of our house puts our sightline mid-canopy with the greenbelt. The "tree-house effect" is such a wonderful and unique perspective."
Images: As credited in individual house tours.