Raw cedar covers the Whidbey Dogtrot house in Washington by SHED

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Cedar siding and a central walkway in this compact Pacific Northwest home designed by American company SHED for a couple who will be retiring soon.


The project, called Whidbey Dogtrot, owes its name to its location on Whidbey Island, just north of Seattle. The single-story dwelling is perched on a bluff overlooking Puget Sound.

Whidbey Dogtrot overlooks Puget Sound

The project was designed by SHED Architecture and Design in Seattle for a retiring couple. They wanted a compact, low-maintenance home that embraces its picturesque setting.

“In addition, the house needed space for guests, visiting adult children, recreation, music and a home office,” the team said.

Dogtrot House with covered passage
The house was informed by traditional dogtrot style houses

For inspiration, the architects turned to the dogtrot-style house, which has a central covered passage covered by a roof.

They designed a low house consisting of two rectangular volumes flanking an open passage, where the front door and a wooden bench are located. The building has a black metal standing seam roof.

Open concept housing
The living areas include an open-plan kitchen and a dining area

The exterior walls are clad in raw western red cedar with a semi-transparent black stain.

To ensure privacy, the team limited the number of openings on the front elevation, which faces west. The house opens to the east, where large expanses of glass offer stunning views of the landscape.

One side of the house contains the main living quarters, which total 915 square feet (85 square meters). This area includes an open space for cooking, eating and lounging, as well as a master bedroom suite and reading nook.

The other side contains 281 square feet (26 square meters) of flexible space and a bathroom.

Reading corner in the Whidbey Dogtrot house
A bedroom suite has a reading corner with a view of the surroundings

Throughout the home, the team incorporated neutral colors and contemporary decor. Interior finishes include pale wood cabinetry, creamy white walls, and concrete flooring. The heat is provided by a hydronic system.

“The house is carefully designed to make the most of its square footage,” the architects said. “The result is a modest and functional home strongly anchored to its site.

House dressed in rough sawn timber
Western red cedar envelops the building

Other SHED projects include a sustainable home in Seattle that has been influenced by circus tents and Japanese design, and converting a stable into a studio and guesthouse.

The photography is by Rafael Soldi.


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