home + design
Their 8-acre parcel outside Seabeck is in a forested spot with sweeping views of Hood Canal. “It kind of feels like the edge of the world,” Eric Walter said. Walter owns the Seattlebased firm mw | works architecture + design, and partnered with Brent Heath of E&H Construction to craft a simple cabin getaway for the couple—one that, like Seabeck, delivers everything they need and nothing they don’t. The design process started with a 20-foot square foundation, which had belonged to the site’s previous home that had been torn down. “We chose to reuse that foundation, so that gave us this constraint right out of the gate. It forced us to think about what was important and what could fall away,” Walter said. “There was a desire to keep it simple, but there was also a necessity to work within this footprint and make it efficient.” The resulting 1,140-square-foot cabin appears as a straightforward box, with open living spaces on the first floor and two bedrooms and shared bathroom on the second. Exterior oxidized tight-knot cedar siding and blackened cement infill panels allow it to blend in with the trees. Inside, floor-to-ceiling glass frames canal views downstairs, while upstairs skylights admit natural light into the bathroom and let the couple stargaze from bed. Walter limited the palette to just a few textures, combining alder floors with walls covered in white-painted MDF and pine plywood. “We didn’t want any drywall,” Connor said, citing how the material turns to mush during floods. Thanks to the design-and-build team’s attention to detail, precise reveals around the interior paneling give it a more modern look. “It almost feels like somebody clicked this house together, like Legos,” Connor said. “Having those wood walls really changes the feel of the house. It feels very solid and very warm.” For the couple, the real attraction to Seabeck and its surroundings is the chance to spend long, relaxed days outside hitting the hiking trails that start at their front door, where they can savor the “wildness” that inspired the home’s design. “Ideally, the house isn’t making a statement greater than the place it sits,” Walter said. “So, our first response, and I think theirs, too, was to try to do something that was pretty modest and receded into the forest, rather than make a mark there.” 30 1889 WASHINGTON’S MAGAZINE
AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2019
Open living spaces and floor-to-ceiling windows keep this Seabeck home simple.