Simple island living

In details large and small, the design for this family home pays homage to its spectacular setting on a curving bay in the San Juan Islands.

Tall posts lining the entry corridor evoke a sculptural forest and direct the view through the front door to a distant strip of land. Each of the three shed-roofed structures is sited to capture vistas through floor-to-ceiling windows; the first two house the family's common areas, while the bedrooms are tucked into the third and most intimate structure.

Simple materials used throughout ― such as a metal-clad fireplace set against a board-formed concrete wall at the end of each wing ― keep the focus on the surrounding beauty.

Great idea Make a hearth do double-duty. A raised blue-stone hearth extends the length of the wall to provide additional seating or shelf space. The steel frame and legs give it the look of furniture.