Family-made vacation home

Six designers—all related—create the ultimate labor of love: their shared vacation home on Washington’s Whidbey Island

Designing for family
Thomas J. Story

Designing for family

Some extended families manage to get together only once a year. For the Robertsons, family reunions happen every other month, and the entire crew—parents Don and Suzy plus their sons Nick and Chad, daughters-in-law Isabelle and Emily, and two young granddaughters—always decamp to the same place: the waterfront cabin they designed and built together.

In a family of designers, it’s only natural that they were hands-on with the construction of the home, located on Whidbey Island, about 25 miles from Seattle. Still, the project took a lot of sweat equity and compromise to create. “Initially, there were two sets of plans,” says Nick, who’s quickly corrected by Chad: “There were more than two sets of plans,” he says, smiling. “But everyone wanted the same thing: locally sourced materials, a big main room, lots of windows, a green roof, solutions that would last.”



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