"By using local and natural materials wisely, a sense of place emerges"

Please bear with us as we remodel our site!

Philosophy & Approach

Our firm’s name is a nod to the many ways in which shelter intersects with life. Shelter provides us with comfort and refuge, and supports our daily needs. Shelter itself is not static- it evolves over time in appearance and function as our needs and preferences change. Shelter can incorporate natural resources and materials into our everyday environment and enhance health and well-being.


Our design signature is expressing your personal character in relationship with the natural gifts of the site. That being said, our homes and community buildings tend to be traditional in form with modern finishing touches. Take a look at some examples of our work here – perhaps you’ll see something that echoes your own style.


Our Design Process

We approach design not as a product but as a collaborative process. It takes thought, research, coordination, and time to create the right place for you, your budget, and your site. This process is completed in phases, giving many opportunities to discuss and adjust the project direction from the big picture at the beginning through the small details at the end.

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Homeowners Share Their Thoughts on Integrated Design

If you’re curious about what it is like to be a part of an integrated design...

People, Place, and Passion (Video)

Enjoy this presentation of our Yakima Net Positive home, filmed at the 2014 Seattle Green Building Slam. Our principal architect Terry Phelan shares a wonderful story of a custom home that helped strengthen a community!

Natural Instincts: One Client’s Journey (Video)

Elona Raven and Ralph Davis had a dream of building their own home on land they share with her brother. It was important for their new home to improve their health, and be economical both to construct and to live in for the rest of their lives. We were honored to help them on this journey, and pleased to share their story here with you.