Pacific Northwest Modern Island Design

I think about Pacific Northwest Design a lot. I am influenced by this style every day. After all, this is where we live and the style is a direct response to regionalism. It is entirely appropriate that a designer in the PNW think about and be influenced by the style originated by our region. However, I am also strongly influenced by modern design (see my post about Les Corbusier). Then, there’s the fact that… well, I live on an island as do the vast majority of my clients.

If anyone is questioning what Pacific Northwest Style is, take a look at Miller Hull, Olson Kundig and Cutler Anderson. These are three very well-known architecture firms that provide (I would go as far to say that they helped to form it) PNW residential design. Key elements one would find in PNW design would include sustainability, locally harvested materials (AKA, a lot of wood!), large expanses of glass meant to incorporate the views, clean lines, exposed joinery and construction, and perhaps a touch of an industrial aesthetic. Essentially, extremely modern spaces wrapped in wooded warmth. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? It is!

Living and working on an island brings a slight twist to this aesthetic, though really any home on the puget sound will likely be considering the proximity to water. The influence of the water is brought into the space and often in many ways. We look to the most obvious solution, bringing the colors of the ocean in- we often lean to slate and dark teal tones because the colors of the ocean here is usually dark green and grey-blue. We work with fluidity and loose waves. We try to open the space as much as possible to feel the way the ocean front feels. Light, bright and airy is our specialty… when it makes sense! That doesn’t mean that we will not encourage a deep, rich powder bath. Or that we might not throw off your thinking by suggesting a black ceiling (we’ve done it before!).

We love our regional styling and will absolutely move in this direction in the vast majority of our projects. Regardless of the original architecture or your personal style, we are positioned in the Pacific Northwest. We are also designing today, not yesterday- so modern elements make sense even in the most traditional spaces. Of course, we are on an island, so we will absolutely consider our surroundings, whether immediate or a part of living in island life!

Just for fun, take a peek at one of my favorite Pinterest boards below and let me know what you love or what you’re not fond of in Pacific Northwest styling!