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Pacific Northwest Home Design


Pacific Northwest Home Design

The Pacific Northwest (PNW) is a breathtaking place. From the California Redwoods to the towering seaside mountain forests of the Washington Peninsula (and all of Oregon in between) you will find incredible views, fresh air, and some uniquely beautiful dream homes with wrap around porches and outdoor kitchens meant to take in the beautiful scenery. Take a drive into the PNW mountains and you will spot a few of these hidden gems nestled beside mountain lakes and some built directly into the stone. There are even a few luxury tree houses in the Pacific Northwest Style.

Whether you live on the northern Pacific coast or you just love its eclectic natural look, anyone can create a remodel or create a house plan using the Pacific Northwest style. At Urban Ambiance, we love seeing home designs come to life, and PNW is a hot choice for home plans with a cool aesthetic this year. Let's dive into the signature decorative styles of Seattle, Portland and beyond.

"...Whether you live on the northern Pacific coast or you just love its eclectic natural look, anyone can create a remodel or create a house plan using the Pacific Northwest style"

Start with a Rustic Lodge Style

Most PNW styles start with a rustic base . This is because many PNW homes were built as log cabins - or to resemble log cabins in honor of traditional local architecture. Large sq ft homes are built like vaulted lodges with exposed beams in living rooms and fieldstone fireplaces to incorporate natural materials. Rustic is a great baseline for PNW because it naturally adheres to several of the signature details like black light fixtures over the kitchen island and a theme of wood throughout the home design.

There are also hints of industrial style , craftsman style, and an undercurrent of bohemian sensibilities mixed into Pacific Northwest homes. If you are have an apartment or modern home, industrial and bohemian architectural styles may be a more accessible starting point.

Choose the Colors of the PNW Landscape

What is the Pacific Northwest interior design color scheme? Just look outside any PNW window to see it. Pacific Northwest design favors soft ocean blues and pastel forest greens mixed with rich vibrant browns and oranges.

The entire palette is often set against a backdrop of natural stone, wood, and living green plants indoors and outdoors. Sometimes, this color palette is accented or muted by tones of moody, stormy gray. This palette works in any part of the living space, including the dining room, breakfast nook, master suite, bonus room or living room - especially if the home design has an open floor plan where the interior design is visible from adjoining rooms.

Accent with PNW Native American Patterns

One of the unique signatures of the PNW style is honoring the Native American tribes that founded the region. There are 29 recognized tribes throughout Washington and each provides a special blend of colors and geometric patterns that are all highly favored as handmade goods throughout the Pacific Northwest region. These goods include Wool blankets and bedspreads that can also be used as art on living room walls or draped over a chair in the master bedroom . Pillow covers, curtains, and painted artwork may all carry traditional designs from the local tribes whose customs are still locally respected and make a beautiful addition to the living space.

Furnish with Wood of Every Finish and Origin

PNW décor favors an eclectic approach. Most PNW residents collect their furniture over time - like most families - putting together a mix of armchairs, couches, rocking chairs, and dining sets that favor natural wood. If there were a theme, we would suggest seeking rustic or uniquely artistic furniture, but in the PNW, the only rule is that furniture be made of natural wood. Knotty wood is a local favorite, but any stained or treated wood furniture can fit right into your Pacific Northwest decoration plans. In fact, the less your furniture matches, the better.

Add a Dash of Scandinavian Style

When creating a northwest house plan , Scandinavian design which focuses on simple, clean lines and shapes, is a great choice and often lends itself to sustainable design and tiny houses. Due to the highly accessible location on the Pacific Ocean, the PNW is also quite diverse when it comes to cultural signatures. For example, many PNW homeowners favor the Scandinavian style which seeks to simplify an otherwise eclectic and nature-focused theme of décor. Scandinavian-style furniture, lights, and floorplans allow for these cozy winter-ready homes to maintain free and easy movement and fun angles that give any space a little more character without clutter no matter the sq ft involved.

Use Industrial and Artistic Lighting Choices

What kind of lighting is best for Pacific Northwest design? The PNW style splits the difference between industrial and creative lighting choices. Many PNW light fixtures are black or silver in finish, favoring rustic-style cast iron lanterns and industrial-style overhead efficiency. At the same time, PNW homeowners often favor unique light fixtures, especially those that reflect shapes in nature.

Artful pendant lights are a recent hit, especially combined with renovated kitchen islands, breakfast nooks, and dining rooms. For a PNW statement light fixture piece, consider a fixture that blends both stained wood and black-finished metal for an elegant final illuminating effect. Bohemian basket light covers are also seeing a rise in PNW popularity.

Come Back to Nature with Natural Shapes and Living Plant Life

Another signature of the Pacific Northwest style is nature. Natural shapes, living plants, and art based on natural beauty are key. You might see a pressed fern on the wall, a vibrant elephant-ear in the corner, or a light fixture shaped like a tree branch. The love of natural shapes also extends to furniture. It's not unusual to see a PNW kitchen island or countertop with a "natural edge" or - even better - a reclaimed coffee table made from slices of a tree stump.

Let In the Natural Light

In Portland and Seattle, the sky is often a little gray, even when clear, and the light up north is thin enough that even a dash of sunlight is valuable any time of year. For this reason, PNW floor plans almost always feature large windows, or a sunroom, positioned to catch the best sunbeams that the house has to offer.

Flooding a living room with light is the PNW classic way to overcome seasonal affective disorder and create an uplifting space. Of course, when the light does not come in due to clouds, people who live in the Pacific Northwest have also turned to large light fixtures with bulbs that glow a warm yellow.

Decorate with Local Artists

Your final touch for PNW style is to decorate with local artists. Pacific Northwest homes often have eclectic gallery style art walls with multiple frames on a single wall or a mix of plants and sculptures. One of the best ways to embrace PNW style no matter where you are, is to support local artists. The PNW communities hold constant art fairs, and to get beautiful art for a great deal, buy from up-and-coming local artists.

Whether you live in the Pacific Northwest or are incorporating the interior design style somewhere else in the world, decorating with local artists celebrates the PNW spirit in your living space. You get one-of-a-kind artwork, you get to support a local artist, and you keep you expand your decorating budget to use in other areas of the home.

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At Urban Ambiance, we love sharing the latest trends, design styles and lighting techniques to make you a better designer!

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Embracing the Pacific Northwest Style with Urban Ambiance

If you are redesigning your dream home in the PNW style, Urban Ambiance can help. Whether you favor the rustic, craftsman, industrial, Scandinavian, or bohemian roots of the Pacific Northwest style for your house plan, we have a great selection of indoor and outdoor light fixtures to meet all your PNW decorating needs. Contact us today to learn more about lights for your whole home design - from the carport, the front porch, the main floor to the media room and beyond, we’ve got you covered.

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