Everyone's a happy camper at this summer-fun retreat — complete with tents, campfires and a mess hall — on Washington's Puget Sound.
For clients with a weekend home on Whidbey Island — a 90-minute car-and-ferry ride from Seattle — architect Steve Hoedemaker and designer Tim Pfeiffer of built custom sleeping tents as alfresco bedrooms.
Swiss wool military blankets and a vintage Moroccan rug add touches of warmth to the canvas tent. The Victorian bentwood chair was once used in a pub.
Canopied by vine maple trees, the tents face a fire pit and Adirondack chairs. Pfeiffer drew on a lifelong familiarity with outdoor dwellings — as head of store design for Ralph Lauren for more than 12 years, he was part of a team that worked on the tepees at Lauren's Double RL Ranch in Colorado — when he added two important details to the tents: overhanging flaps of all-weather fabric to protect against sun and rain, and zippered and screened windows for cross ventilation.
At 14 feet by 16 feet, the main tent is large enough for a queen-size bed, which is dressed with a circa-1950 Hudson's Bay wool blanket and pillows sewn from vintage fabrics, including Indian silk and Moroccan wool. Both the wicker library table and rattan-seat chair, purchased at a Seattle antiques mall, "are lightweight, so they're easy to carry and store away during the off-season," Pfeiffer says.
An old cottage was converted into a mess hall and furnished with half-log pine benches from Joss & Main and 250-year-old Welsh oak chairs.
To echo the simplicity of rural architecture, the renovated cottage has a standing-seam metal roof. The cedar shingles were artificially aged to achieve a weathered gray color.
A five-foot-long trough sink from Kohler "encourages elbow-to-elbow cleanup for a communal camp experience," says Pfeiffer. The sconce is from Restoration Hardware.
On the deck, the Chinese elm table, which was custom built on-site and has a charred-cedar base, affords views across the water to the Olympic Mountains. The bench and pillows are from Crate & Barrel.
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This story originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of CQ.