For years, Orlin Sorensen kept a photo of the lodge style home he wanted to build propped on his office desk. He and his wife Carrie had already found a great plot of land in Woodinville – the perfect place to bring up their two boys. “At the time we were building Orlin’s business, so we lived in the small 1,200 sq. ft. fixer home that was half-log home, half funky addition, because the lot,” she says, “was perfection.”

They considered remodeling the log portion of the home but knew that would have been settling for something convenient rather than the dream home they were imagining. When the time was right financially, the couple turned to a mortgage broker to find the right combination of builder and architect. He recommended Jeff Ireland of Ireland General Construction in Kirkland, who, in turn, teamed with architect Tim Olson.

“I’ve been building homes since 1992,” says Ireland, “beginning with Northwest Contemporary style and later refined Craftsman, for which I developed a following. For this house, however, I wanted to extricate my opinion and let the Sorensens achieve their dream home. Once they hired Pulp Design Studios, it became a full team effort that made this house truly come together.”

Partners Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry of Pulp Design Studios, who have studios in Seattle, Dallas, and Los Angeles, came late to the project. “Normally, we like to be involved before they break ground, but since the construction was already in progress, we collaborated with Jeff Ireland who was great and super receptive to our ideas, as were the Sorensens,” says Dotolo.

Pulp Design Studios engage their clients using a “Splendid Living Process,” whose detailed questionnaire helps them to articulate their needs artistically and stylistically. “We like to know how they’re going to engage with the space and then work for the end results backwards,” explains Dotolo.

“When we started the process of building, we knew we’d be starting from scratch with a clean slate,” says Carrie. “I had a vision for the lighting fixtures for the great room, but beyond that we didn’t know, since my style is more classic country farmhouse and Orlin’s is more lodgey.”

To design for these diverse styles, Pulp Design Studios created a hybrid style they call “Rustic Refined,” featuring clean-lined furnishings such as the mohair sofa and shagreen table that stand in relief to the rustic beams and rough-cut stone fireplace. In the kitchen, white cabinetry, glass mosaics and Carrie’s desire for a hammered copper apron sink contributed to the hybrid style.

“Hats off to the Sorensens for hiring Pulp Design Studios and team,” says Ireland, who collaborated with them to add a three-quarter bath to serve the bonus room he and Olson had added. Their participation also demanded that Ireland’s team be able to rise to the level of craftsmanship needed to create the line item changes.

Carrie acknowledges the many feats Ireland and his crew achieved during the process. “Even as we kept adding and changing things,” she says, “Jeff was wonderful to work with, as was his team who were so great and so easy to be around.”

Even the building inspector was in awe of what Ireland had achieved, including his “beautiful beam work,” and suggestion for siting the pool to be visibly aligned with the Great Room. “It couldn’t have come together more beautifully, wood trim, wood doors, timbers in great room, all so welcoming, warm and cozy,” says Carrie.

To create the soothing master bedroom Carrie was envisioning, Pulp Design chose an abstract grass cloth wallpaper Beyond-Distant Charcoal on silver metallic paper by Phillip Jeffries and tied it to the neutral blues found in their linen drapery and plush New Zealand wool rug. “We wanted it to feel lush, feminine, and romantic, with layered bedding, and mountain motif wallpaper,” says Dotolo.

“That wallpaper alone is something Orlin and I had never done, and I love it,” says Carrie. “It’s so peaceful. It feels like you’re going over the mountains on a cloudy, stormy day.”

“The house,” says Dotolo, “should be a living, breathing environment that changes as you travel and experience life. Not everything is built in. For example, if you want to change the look a bit, you simply add a different tub-side table to a silver martini or Carrera marble one.”

For Ireland, his joy came upon seeing Orlin the morning after the family had moved in. “How did you enjoy your first night in the place?” he asked. To his surprise, Orlin got choked up as he described how surreal the evening felt as they witnessed their dream finally coming true.

“It felt like a parent watching his kids opening their Christmas presents,” Ireland says.


Ireland General Construction

Tim Olson Architect

Pulp Design Studios