Sep 29, 2022

Pacific Northwest Home Styles

The Pacific Northwest is home to many architectural influences from mid-century modern designs inspired by the Frank Lloyd Wright era seen all throughout the Eastside communities of Bellevue and Mercer Island, to the various craftsman style homes found in Kirkland, Redmond and Woodinville and of course the twenty-first century design in-filling many of Seattle’s established communities such as Madrona and Queen Anne. Travel less than an hour east of the city and find yourself in Suncadia where large cabins populate the fairways of the Tumble Creek Golf Club.

If you call any of these communities’ home, you may find yourself asking, “What is the right design aesthetic for my lifestyle?” If you imagine something other than the home you are currently living in, you might wonder, “What am I able to do with my home to make it a favorite place to live, raise a family and entertain?”

Starting simply with interior décor, elegant finishes such as soft linen window coverings or refreshed throws and pillows may provide enough change. If these simple touches do not deliver, consider adding a hand knotted Persian rug or Moroccan carpet to any large area with hardwood flooring. Of course, any original art piece that speaks to you will make a living or entertaining space feel more personal. When adding a single piece to a new space many homeowners consider reviving other décor including furnishings and this is where the expert eye of an interior designer often proves invaluable.

If making a few changes inside your home will not suffice, yet you love your community because the schools are great or you’ve made life-long friends nearby, you may follow the path many have chosen, to build your dream home! Perhaps too, it is time to build your dream vacation or second home. When getting started with a new construction project the first question is, “What is the architectural style of home that is right for my lifestyle?”

With such architectural diversity in the Pacific Northwest it is not uncommon to see a variety of home styles next to one another. Particularly in areas where zoning favors larger lots such as the Bear Creek neighborhood in Woodinville it is quite possible to see a large craftsman home on acreage neighboring a NW modern style home. In some of Seattle’s established neighborhoods such as Broadmoor, which was founded nearly 100 years ago, one might observe a beautiful estate constructed in the era of the roaring 20’s with intricate and ornate exterior finishes adjacent to a newly constructed contemporary manse with the sophistication of clean lines and impressively tall doors welcoming visitors.

So much to choose from!

Once you have identified the general architectural design aesthetic of your dream home the fun work begins! From drafting the layout with careful consideration for functional elegance to the detailed selection of tile, paint color, flooring, furnishings, finishes and all that fills a home, clients enjoy the guidance and experience Ariana and her team have to offer.

Some of our recent projects are highlighted below.



(Image above: View of kitchen, three bar stool chairs, granite island with wet bar, gas cooktop, chandelier, glass cabinetry, tile backsplash, custom rangehood)

This home on Mercer Island designed by the team at Ariana Designs represents a traditional design often seen throughout many communities in the greater Puget Sound. While the city of Mercer Island was not incorporated until 1960, new construction of single-family homes began increasing decades earlier as bridges connecting Mercer Island to Bellevue and Seattle were constructed. The lasting impact of new homes being constructed over nearly a century is such that traditional design as pictured above is a natural fit for nearly every neighborhood on the Island.


(Pictured above: Leather couch, accent pillow, wicker hutch, polished coffee table, natural wood flooring)

Many Seattle and Bellevue area residents enjoy spending time at their vacation home in nearby Suncadia. Having a second home opens entirely new possibilities for those seeking the ideal living space. Perhaps their primary residence is an ultra-modern new construction project, or a penthouse condo in one of Bellevue’s new high-rise buildings such as the Premier ONE88 and they also enjoy the experience of a Pacific Northwest inspired cabin with heavy timber, large beams and beautifully polished natural wood finishes.


(Image above: Dining area with floor to ceiling windows surrounding dining table, custom chandelier, glass dining table, four chairs, area rug with modern design, views of water, neighboring floating homes)

The views from this floating home on Seattle’s Portage Bay are one-of-a-kind. Floating homes are iconic to the Pacific Northwest as many know from the movie Sleepless in Seattle. Living in a floating home is a unique experience. Perhaps waking to the sounds of the water, boats and gulls is the appeal, whereas for some the idea of not having landscaping to maintain is most suitable for their lifestyle. According to the City of Seattle’s City Archives, “Floating homes on Lake Union were occupied by fishermen, boatmakers, and others in the 1920s. In the 1930s, houseboats were cheap places to live for those living through the Depression. Slowly, the houseboat population changed to a more bohemian texture.” More any other style of home, the floating home is in very limited supply and opportunities to build a new home on the water are very rare. For those who desire to live on the water a complete remodel of an existing floating home may be the right solution. Hear about Mark ‘s experience working with Ariana Designs on his floating home project!


(Pictured above: Modern design kitchen with white marble waterfall island, custom chandelier, backlit shelving, black lacquer dining table, eight black leather chairs, custom ceiling height glass front cabinets, marble backsplash, recessed ceiling lighting, light colored flooring)

For some, the very modern look is most appealing and works best for entertaining due to the clean lines and open special design. The kitchen featured above is one look at a Kirkland waterfront home designed with entertainment in mind. This new construction project considered everything from beginning to end to provide the homeowner with exactly what they need to enjoy the space they will call home.

Large windows add to the experience of this entertainment space. A popular addition to many waterfront homes in the Pacific Northwest is the NanaWall. Eliminate the barrier between inside and out. NanaWall promises to, “Open your living space to the outside world by flooding your home with fresh air, natural light, and panoramic views. And when the weather turns, you’ll have all the warmth and protection you need.”


(Pictured above: Living room with four oversize wooden armchairs, circular coffee table, fireplace, reading lamps, large wall clock, woven carpet, windows facing garden)

Living spaces that hold the quiet tranquility of garden views and crackling fires are exactly where many in the Pacific Northwest find comfort. Balancing comfort with modern design aesthetic often necessitates delicately pushing one boundary into the other. For example, the living space above is supported by the structure of clean lines provided by the hard wood armchairs while being softened by the thick linen cushions resting in them.

Inviting the natural elements which make the Pacific Northwest a beautiful pace to live into the interior experience is done best with carefully place windows and entryways. The tall light green foliage seen through the window serves to soften this space while adding depth and dimension to the room.

When it comes time to select the home that is right for you there are many considerations from the neighborhood, surrounding properties, landscape, amenities and more. The Pacific Northwest offers a wide variety of home styles and for the most part many neighborhoods are home to their own unique variety of architectural designs. While styles evolve and what may be en vogue today is likely to change in the future, there are many timeless design aesthetics visible all around the scenic waterways of Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish and the beaches of along the Puget Sound. Moreover, the foothills and mountains surrounding Eastside communities of Woodinville, Redmond and Issaquah offer homeowners the opportunity to experience a rural way of living with access to modern living.

Learn more about what Ariana’s clients have to say about building their dream home or transforming their existing home into the living space of their dreams working with the Ariana Designs team.

Ariana Adireh is an award-winning interior designer with extensive experience in residential, commercial, and architectural design projects. Thanks to her cosmopolitan training, she breaks the boundaries of design and space to help clients step outside their comfort zone. She enjoys going the extra mile to bring design ideas to life.