Clear(ly) Connected Lake House Design

Imagine being one of the first to own property on Clear Lake outside of Graham, Washington. That was the story for one of the original homesteaders on the lake, and the extended family continues to have a deep love of the land and the lake. The homesteader’s grandson, a retired surgeon, sparkles and lights up when sharing his family’s connection to the lake.

The grandson’s Clear Lake home was built by Scott Jamison of Rainier Excavating and Nelson T. Miller, a retired Seattle architect. The contemporary lodgestyle home boasts two-story beamed ceilings with windows open to the lake and Mount Rainier views. It is warmed by a soaring two-story stone fireplace. The homeowner hand made the beams and mantle. The chandeliers next to the massive fireplace are of forged steel.

In 2015 the surgeon and his wife were introduced to Jamison’s childhood friend Juleen Pudists of Northlight Interiors. Northlight Interiors selected finishes, planned space, created the lodge-style fireplace, and provided cabinet and tile design throughout the home. Many of the home’s surfaces were handmade and locally sourced. These include indigenous stone, handmade tile, and local marble from a Pacific Northwest quarry. Wood and trim details were reclaimed from a Seattle mill.

The vision for this home was to seize the connection with Mount Rainier and Clear Lake right outside the windows. The genuine stone fireplace reflects the rocks along the shoreline. The kitchen’s white marble has veins of green and blue mimicking the colors of the lake. Brazilian cherry floors and cherry cabinetry add warmth to the modern architecture.

The homeowner boasts that Northlight Interiors made his kitchen perfect for his beloved wife, finding a space for a large pantry and detailing to fit their needs. The homeowners love to open their home to share with family and friends. It is bustling with lakeside activity throughout the warmer months.


To see more of the design for this house or for more information:
Northlight Interiors

Defining Space in an Open Floor Plan

An open concept living room, dining room, and kitchen by nature blurs the lines between each area or room. The best way to define your space is to determine how you want to use the space.

Consider Traffic Flow

Once you have defined your circulation paths, also consider how you want to use the room. For more definition, incorporate a focal point in each adjacent space. These standout elements capture the eye while improving how the space works.


Creating a furniture layout in an open floor plan can be overwhelming. Arrange your furniture away from the walls. Anchor your furniture and conversation areas with a large statement piece like a coffee table and use a rug to complete the look.


What helps to make these spaces work is to have proper storage and thoughtful planning. These open spaces work best when you have adequate storage and defined smaller areas like an efficient laundry room, home office, home gym or an “amenity room” (also called a “plus room”).

Cohesive Color & Elements

When designing an open concept living room, consider the entire area, because you can see all your elements at the same time. Make sure they relate in some way. By using elements like color, texture and wood tones, you can repeat these to create layers and make your space feel cohesive. Our rule is three colors in a space. This also applies to textures and wood tones. If your style is more sophisticated than whimsical, you will want to add texture to a monochromatic space, with high contrast neutrals and layers of texture. If you are looking to create a high-end custom feel, use different custom wall coverings in different areas for added definition.

Create Intimacy with Lighting

Use a statement chandelier. Consider the light fixture but also how the light illuminates specific areas. If the lighting is versatile and visually interesting, it can help make a bright and spacious interior feel cozier and more intimate with strategic lighting.

For Additional Information
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Artisans Group Designs Habitat Homes

The South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity approached Artisan Group with a wonderful opportunity to work together on the development of a 3-acre parcel for affordable homes.

Working closely with the South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity, Artisan Group developed a staggered duplex townhouse design that will provide affordable and high performance homes for local families. The pragmatic and modern design of these duplex townhouses helps the contractor stretch every dollar in the interest of maximizing performance and efficiency while the staggered entrances and variation in roof lines provide visual interest and a unique neighborhood experience.

With a floor plan that accommodates 3 bedrooms (or a fourth accessible bedroom on the ground floor), 2 bathrooms, a roomy kitchen and an island that serves a large great room, this townhouse is ready to add usability, performance and aesthetic interest to lots, subdivisions and eco-villages.

 An advocate for local resilience, the Sound Puget Sound affiliate of Habitat for Humanity serves Thurston County and is “governed locally, raises funds locally and builds locally.”  Their mission driven approach provides affordable, healthy and sustainable housing and creates a unique opportunity for people to become homeowners of healthy and sustainable new homes. Serving those that  traditional options often leaving them on the outside looking in.  

“In 2005 I had the opportunity through a college internship to build a home with South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity and I’ve been impressed ever since by how forward-thinking the organization truly is in bringing affordable housing to the community.” As a firm known for our early adoption of sustainable and energy-efficient Passive House architecture, everyone at Artisans Group has been thrilled to partner with Habitat.” says  COO Artisans Group, Roussa Cassel

To learn more about the design of the townhomes and the Habitat for Humanity mission visit: by Emily Happy