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Summer Camp–Inspired Home

A family mixes the nostalgia of summer camp with the vibe of a city loft for a one-of-a-kind vacation home

Paige Porter Fischer
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Camp slow down

Kristin and David Hall had a few points of inspiration when they started building their getaway on Washington’s Mystery Bay: the Seattle loft they lived in for years, the summer camps of their youth, and modern European design. But above all, they wanted a no-fuss house. “We had in mind the shacks along the coast—those one-room structures on stilts, with just enough room for what you need for a day at the beach,” says Kristin.

The Halls hired Anderson Anderson Architecture () to design their “shack,” with space for son Joe, 19, and visitors. The design is unconventional: two boxes divided into public and private spaces, supported on stilts and united by a greenhouse-style roof.

Although the cedar and galvanized metal exterior give the home an industrial look, Kristin was adamant that the interiors embrace color. Architectural interior designer Michelle Burgess () let loose with a palette of tomato red, deep turquoise, and bright green.

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Prop it up

The home may look large from the water, but its design is light on the land. Anchored by square cement foundations, the rest of the house (about 1,500 square feet, not including the basement) is buoyed by an interplay of tripodlike stilts.

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Invite in light

The Halls consider the 20- by 80-foot yellow cedar deck an adjunct living space. It’s protected from the rain by a roof of corrugated polycarbonate, a plastic material that allows ample light to filter inside. Tomato red chairs surround a simple folding office table, transformed by painting the top of it bright turquoise blue. Chaise: .

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Preserve the view

The Halls chose steel cable railing with ipe wood caps, so they wouldn’t block their views.

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Play it safe

The stairwell, which divides the buildings, is made of industrial metal, with perforated holes so that no one slips on wet days.

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Connect with the outdoors

The living room has two 12-foot walls of light on either side; when both sets of French doors are open, the room feels completely connected to the outside, with cool breezes passing through the space.

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Design around a star piece

The living room is a mix of high and low pieces. Kristin’s big splurge was the Orla Kiely Lusk sofa, which Burgess paired with Ikea chairs reupholstered in turquoise wool. A favorite painting, which reminds Kristin of a quilt, hangs over a credenza Burgess made out of Ikea cabinets. French doors on both sides of the room let breezes pass through.

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Add color

Designer Michelle Burgess outfitted the kitchen with white cabinetry and poured concrete countertops. Green glass tile runs all the way up the wall behind the stove for one striking stroke of color. The other comes from the recycled-metal chairs.

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Feature your favorites

Kristin wanted open shelves to display her collection of colorful Orla Kiely dishware, which inspired the interior color scheme.

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Retreat farther in

In the master bedroom, Burgess kept things simple. Eames-style rockers give the couple a place to take in the view with their morning coffee. The bed is tucked into a wall of cabinetry Burgess designed to keep the room free of standing dressers. Two barn lights add an industrial element. Rockers: .

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Use color cleverly

Burgess added pigment to the concrete counters, which were poured in place, to make them a dark charcoal gray. “I love their durability and simplicity,” says Kristin, who also asked for the master bathroom to be the one space painted her favorite color: tomato red.

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Embrace nostalgia

The guest room, above the master bedroom, reminds Kristin of the cozy cabins of her childhood summer camp. Burgess stained the birch ply panels with a soft matte stain. Playful European textiles outfit the guest bed, and a modern white desk offers a place to write letters or sketch.

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