The “Idea Town” created as a collaboration between Seabrook and Sunset Magazine is more of a village for creative art and artists than a town.
In fact, its designers even created a cast of related artful characters they were planning for, right down to the furnishings, artwork and layout of some of the elegant and most creative spaces within the new development.
There’s an artist’s studio and retreat, a writing room, a media room, and open spaces for quiet contemplation.
For entertaining, there’s an enclosed patio for large barbecues and parties, a fireplace, a green house, even a sand box covered with beach tent.
The project includes a “carriage house” above the garage, a 1,672-square-foot “beach bungalow” and a 2,544-square foot “shoreview” home with a second-story view living and dining room that literally puts guests in the fir trees looking out over a peaceful ocean cove.
Seabrook’s design and development team and Sunset staff this past week were busy putting last-minute items in place and taking the media and others through the new project at the ever-expanding “new-urbanist” coastal town steadily growing south of Pacific Beach.
The Idea Town is open to the public for tours for the next two months, and it will be featured in the October edition of the popular lifestyles magazine, something that Seabrook President and founder Casey Roloff has been awaiting for the past year.
“We’re hoping for close to 15,000 people through the house if we’re successful,” Roloff said in a previous interview as the Idea Town took shape over the past year. He noted that Sunset has an estimated 5 million readers, too.
“They always do an Idea House, and a lot of magazines have idea houses, but their editor said, ‘We’re going to do something different,’” Roloff said. “This year, it’s their first Idea Town and for it to be Seabrook is major. It exposes us to a very large audience.”
Nicole Hendrick and Sarah Gaffney of Sunset manage the Idea House projects for the magazine and yearly help pick out the locations and determine the type of development to be featured.
“We just loved the concept of Seabrook,” Gaffney said. “It really embodies a sense of ethos with sustainability, the walk-ability factor, slowing down, enjoying the outdoors, enjoying your neighbors. So the Idea Town really embodies everything Seabrook is about.”
The design team includes town planner Laurence Qamar Architecture & Town Planning (the Seabrook planner currently redesigning the Ocean Shores project formerly known as The Villages), architect Peter Brachovogel of BC&J Architects of Seattle, Brian Paquette Interiors of Seattle and garden design by Stephenn Poulakos of Seabrook. Seabrook Land Company did the building and the Seabrook Community Foundation will benefit from the proceeds raised by the public tours.
“Sunset has collaborated with this remarkable coastal town to create two exceptional Idea Houses that truly exemplify the casual, beautiful, and innovative ideas that are found throughout the magazine’s pages,” Sunset said in a media release. “With sustainable design features, breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and native coastal forest, and an emphasis on outdoor living and community interaction, the Idea Houses are truly one of a kind.”
One of the more impressive features is the lovely enclosed garden space, adorned with many native plants.
Also of note is the commissioned artwork of Virginia Wilcox (photography), Jermey Miranda and Michelle Morin, Jennifer Ament and Robin Layton (photography).
And there are dozens of artful items you can find just about anywhere.
The Carriage House, for example, has all furnishings from Cost Plus World Market. Other sponsors with features in the project include Sunbrella, Benjamin Moore, Eukanuba, Andersen Windows and Doors, ASC Building Products and Torani, along with Grays Harbor Tourism, which provided $50,000 for publicity and promotions.
The Idea Town, from furnishings to design to artwork, is envisioned as a place where creative imagination and coastal living fit together against the dramatic background of the Pacific Ocean to the west and the stately Seabrook main development on the hill to the east. Interior designer Paquette said he tried to imagine what sort of residents might one day inhabit such a home.
If anything, the imaginary inhabitants have great taste in art and are likely art collectors. The houses also feature tasteful artwork and furnishing supplied by well-known companies.
The Carriage House, for example, is done with all Cost Plus World Market furnishings. Other sponsors with features in the project include Sunbrella, Benjamin Moore, Eukanuba, Andersen Windows and Doors, ASC Building Products and Torani, along with Grays Harbor Tourism, which provided $50,000 for publicity and promotions.
The Idea Town truly is a place where creative imagination and coastal living fit together against the dramatic background of the Pacific Ocean to the west and the stately Seabrook main development on the hill to the east. Interior designer Paquette said he tried to imagine what sort of residents might one day inhabit such a home.
If anything, the imaginary inhabitants have great taste in art.
“I will say, working without clients is a very interesting predicament,” Paquette said of creating furnishings without a specific list of demands. “You adapt. Without having people to connect to or a life history to connect to, I commissioned five different artists within the spaces to do work solely for this project.”
He started with landscape painter Jeremy Miranda and his wife Michelle Morin, a watercolor artist. He imagined them as a creative couple “coming out to the coast and doing this body of work here, constantly changing and constantly being inspired by the coast and everything that has evolved here.”
“And from that, I created this house,” Paquette said, showing off the guest home to the main living quarters.
“This is about being casual, it’s about being comfortable, it’s about entertaining, it’s about having 16 people here for a big Thanksgiving dinner and then spilling out into the outside area. I wanted it full of life and full of color.”
Of course, there are several decks with views and all of the rooms take full advantage of natural light that make the interiors seem bright even on a foggy and stormy day.
“We took the natural color outside and some of the natural color that you see and amplified it — really letting it warm you up while paying homage to what is outside,” the designer said.
Furniture in both of the homes is from CR Laine and all fabrics are Sunbrella indoor/outdoor “so you can do anything on it,” Paquette said.
The concept was for the Idea Town to be a “multi-generational compound,” said Dana Smith of Dadascope Communications, handling publicity for the project. The guest house, for example, was “really envisioned for the younger generation.”
Tied to the launch of the 2013 Idea Town, Sunset is hosting “the ultimate giveaway:” a $10,000 beach vacation to Seabrook. Details can be found at www.sunset.com/ideatown
Gaffney and Hendrick of Sunset said the magazine intends to give much more publicity to the project in advance of the October edition, including adding online features to a site already promoting the Idea Town. It includes video of Roloff talking about Seabrook and how it started.
“We love the Northwest,” Gaffney said, noting that it represents the magazine’s third-biggest markets.
“The Pacific Northwest, I always find, really identifies with Sunset in a big way,” Hendrick added.
The Sunset Idea Houses will be available to tour from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Aug. 2-4; Aug. 9-12; Aug. 15-Sept. 16; Sept. 20-Oct. 2. The cost is $17. For more information visit www.seabrookwa.com or call (360) 276-0099.