These Organic Belgian Linens are Bedtime Bliss

We can’t stop thinking about these luxe organic linens
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  • Rocco, the beloved pet of Phinney Ridge interior designer and store owner Renate Ruby, sits atop luxurious layers of Libeco Belgian linens in the Adorn boutique and showroom. Wallpaper from Port Townsend-based artist Susan Harter and Visual Comfort lamps help create a cozy feel. The wheel sculpture is part of Ruby’s private collection
Rocco, the beloved pet of Phinney Ridge interior designer and store owner Renate Ruby, sits atop luxurious layers of Libeco Belgian linens in the Adorn boutique and showroom

“I’m selling products for people who are tired of having things break,” says Renate Ruby of the fine home goods selection at Adorn, her Phinney Ridge boutique and showroom. 

Ruby’s collection of Belgian linen is getting us excited about making the bed. The interior designer sings the praises of linen as a textile for upholstery and drapery, but says that, most importantly, it facilitates the ultimate night’s sleep. “If you haven’t slept in linen, it’s really different,” she says. “Cotton is smooth, but linen is soft.”


Image by: Alex Crook
White linens from Libeco’s ‘Classics’ collection: kids love that it’s softer than cotton


Ruby’s linens (about $600 for a queen sheet set) are sourced from Libeco, the top linen mill in Belgium. The linen starts as flax and grows for more than three months before blooming for a single day. It’s then pulled up by the roots and left in the fields for three to four weeks for a process called retting, which breaks the flax down into soft fibers to be spun into yarn. Belgian mills get first pick of these fibers, which, like produce, vary with each harvest. This means the linens Ruby sells could likely become heirlooms. “People hand their linen sheets down,” she says. “Think of your Levi 501s. You buy them, break them in yourself…and you have them for the rest of your life. With these linens, it’s the same.” Did somebody say bedtime? Phinney Ridge, Adorn, 7003 Third Ave. NW; 206.499.6220; adorn.house 

Clean and Serene, This Point Roberts Home Is One Light House

Clean and Serene, This Point Roberts Home Is One Light House

A Point Roberts family home emphasizes fresh air and natural light
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Facing south towards the Strait of Georgia and the San Juan Islands, the Point Roberts home of Sonya and David Liu is laid out around a long, L-shaped plan to best angle major spaces, like the large trellised terrace, towards the southern sun

When Sonya and David Liu bought an open, south-facing property (just shy of 1.5 acres) in Point Roberts with a water view and a scattering of mature maple trees, they were clear about one requirement for their future house: It would need to capture every scrap of daylight, even in winter. “Light all day long as much as possible really helps the mind and body feel good,” says Sonya. The couple had previously lived in a rental in the woods and were ready to emerge from the gloom. 

They also wanted their home, built in 2010, to fit into the rural community of Point Roberts, population 1,314, where the architecture tends to be agrarian and fairly humble. Located on the peninsula south of Vancouver, British Columbia, Point Roberts falls below the 49th parallel and is an anomaly: part of Washington state, though not connected to it geographically. Living only 40 minutes from Vancouver, where David is an interventional radiologist specializing in cancer therapies, the family can enjoy the rural lifestyle—including horseback riding—while remaining within commuting distance. 



Interiors designed by Rhodes Architecture + Light  create a bright, sophisticated interior featuring wide plank flooring, exposed wooden beams, and well-insulated window-walls to allow an abundunce of natural daylight to combat seasonal depression during the fall-winter seasons 

Seattle architect Tim Rhodes, of Rhodes Architecture + Light, responded to their needs with a long, low design for the 5,253-square-foot house, which features an L-shaped plan he describes as “a series of wings, expanding laterally into the land,” with major spaces situated on an east-west axis, and secondary spaces—a laundry room, mud room and additional storage space—forming a supporting wing. Light pours in through large glass-windowed walls, which also provide David, Sonya, and their 5-year-old twin daughters with views of the Strait of Georgia and the Gulf Islands from most rooms.

A form of metal solar shading built into the home structure, called a brise-soleil, was designed for this latitude, to protect the interior from too much direct sun in summer, while allowing winter sun to warm indoor spaces. Deep trellis overhangs allow the family to keep doors and windows open even in the rain. “The house feels like it’s part of the outdoors, and allows the outdoors to come in,” says Rhodes. Basic forms (think kids’ building blocks) on the upper story reflect simple agrarian themes, a nod to Point Roberts and to the American farmhouse style of Rhodes’ Kansas City childhood. 

While David says, “There’s still a lot to learn about how materials in our homes could be affecting our longevity,” he and Sonya wanted to create a salubrious environment for their family. This included using healthy home finishes in the interior, which was also designed by Rhodes Architecture + Light with abundant client input. Specifications included natural and low-VOC materials, such as prefinished reclaimed oiled oak flooring, porcelain tiles, no-VOC cabinet box construction, natural counters of quartzite and Caesarstone, and water-based paint finishes. 


The Lius’ farmhouse kitchen features open cabinetry and modern appliances combining rustic and contemporary elements


The wine room on the ground floor


A master-bedroom bathtub with a view

 

“We tried to choose materials that were very natural but still clean and modern,” says Sonya. 

The house is heated with an in-floor radiant heating system, fans and fresh air ports, which eliminate areas of differential temperature; reduce air circulation and the resulting distribution of dust, allergens and pollen in the house; and significantly reduce the use of energy to heat the house. 

It’s a bright, clean space for an active family—but with beguiling views to the outside, no one stays indoors for very long. 


A peaceful scene in one of the home’s five bedrooms, painted in healthy water-based paint

Resources

Rhodes Architecture and Light 
Planning, architecture, interiors and landscape architecture
Tim James Rhodes, R.A., AIA, lead architect; Mark Vaughan, associate architect; 206.933.1257 
rhodesarchitecture.com

Swenson Say Fagét 
Ryan Reichman, lead structural engineer; 206.443.6212
ssfengineers.com

LightWire Lighting Design
Susan MT Rhodes, lighting designer; 206.292.8177
ltwire.com

DeBoer Construction
Joey deBoer, general contractor; 360.815.6279