Shoreline: An Architect’s Perspective

Architecture by Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl
Our architects provide custom home design services for the Shoreline region.

Welcome to Shoreline

Tightly nestled on an inlet of the Puget Sound, just a few miles north of Seattle, the City of Shoreline is a growing coastal city. The smattering of natural beauty, sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains, and the vibrant community that inhabit its borders make Shoreline one of Washington’s most desirable places to live. Shoreline’s reputation is well earned, and we are honored to serve as Shoreline architects.

Shoreline Highlights

  • Top tier school system: Shoreline is part of the Shoreline School District, which consistently ranks as one of the best in the state. It includes 10 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and 2 high schools throughout the Shoreline, North Seattle, and Lake Forest Park areas.
  • A dynamic collective: As of 2019, Shoreline’s population was estimated to be 57,000 making it the 19th largest city in the state of Washington. Shoreline is comprised of 14 neighborhoods, each with its own distinct feel and unique character.
  • An ideal environment: Shoreline is renowned as a perfect place for Seattle professionals to set down roots and call home. It is also a vibrant tourist destination for both locals and out-of-town visitors alike. Shoreline has its fair share of both young families and older residents, creating a wonderfully dynamic community. It is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live and visit in Washington State.
  • Ample recreation: Shoreline is home to dozens of parks, beaches, and recreation areas. The encounters with the Puget Sound are unavoidable and, with a plethora of activities, views, and scenes to choose from, there is no shortage of places to explore. From Richmond Beach to The Highlands, anyone who loves being by the water will find Shoreline to be the perfect place to build a home.

Life in Downtown Shoreline

Architecture by Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl
As architects, we draw inspiration from the natural beauty that dominates the Shoreline area.

Living in Downtown Shoreline offers residents an urban/suburban mix. There are numerous restaurants, coffee shops, and parks, as well as access to main roadways for easy travel. With public tennis courts, nature trails, beach access, and skateboarding, Shoreline’s more than 400 acres of park land and open space offer a variety of enriching experiences – one of the many reasons that shoreline architects recommend building your custom home here. The city recently invested $18.5 million to improve its parks, which include the Botanical Garden, the Interurban Trail, and newly improved athletic fields, courts, and playgrounds. And all of this is just minutes away from the many beaches, lookouts, and walking paths along the water.

Surrounding Area

Shoreline is just across the channel from the many islands and peninsulas that dot the horizon. The Edmonds-Kingston ferry makes day trips to explore the Olympic Peninsula a common weekend activity. For those looking for more urban fun, Seattle is located just a few miles to the south via I-5. Shoreline is also conveniently located just 10 miles south of another major population center, the City of Everett.

Shoreline interior design by Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl
Ornate cabinetry, granite surfaces and natural light abound in this custom Shoreline home.


Much of the Shoreline’s attraction lies in its various neighborhoods. Bookended by Richmond Beach to the north and The Highlands to the south, the livability scores of all eleven neighborhoods are exceptional. Richmond Beach is a small and secluded community great for empty nesters and retirees. It is known as one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Western Washington and boasts some of the highest property values in the state.

Beautiful homes abound in the Highlands neighborhood, a 400-acre gated community of palatial estates.

The Greenwood neighborhood contains a perfect blend of Shoreline’s suburbs with Seattle’s urban vibes. With easy access to dining, shopping, schools, and community parks, it is an ideal place for anyone looking for the best of all worlds. Each neighborhood presents opportunities to work with a Shoreline custom home designer to create your perfect home.

Shoreline Architects Provide Home Design Suited to Your Tastes

Shoreline architecture is just as diverse and dynamic as the city itself. Early Shoreline architects were the English settlers who saw the purpose of their homes primarily in terms of the function that they served. The homes were simple and were designed to satisfy the inhabitants’ need for leisure and family connection after a long day’s work.

As Shoreline grew, developed, and annexed many of the surrounding neighborhoods, home designers were free to adapt their designs to suit the desires of the diverse clients they were designing for. Residential architects in surrounding neighborhoods leaned into contemporary modern design aesthetics, tasteful and chic. They also found demand for traditional designs that draw inspiration from the surrounding environment.

Custom home designers are always in high demand from residents seeking to establish a sense of home in these desirable neighborhoods. Shoreline luxury architects have made their mark with spectacular homes from Richmond Beach to Greenwood.

Featured Project: Woodway Restoration

Outdoor living space designed by Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl
Woodway Restoration, where European style meets Shoreline views

At Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture, one of our favorite Shoreline custom home projects is Woodway Restoration. A European style manor, Woodway Restoration exemplifies the seamless merging of old and new.

Originally constructed in the 1920s, Woodway Restoration bears the work of Elizabeth Ayers, Washington State’s first female architect. In undertaking this restoration, our architects carefully restored the historic home as they added additional rooms and a separate entertaining pavilion.

The home’s modern kitchen retains its old-world charm with imported Tuscan tiles, retrofitted antique plumbing fixtures, and honed marble slabs. Verdant landscaping and climbing vines lend an air of whimsical historicity and longevity to the manor’s striking exterior. Today, it serves as a quintessential picture of Edmonds residential architecture.

Architecture by Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl
From the main living areas to the study, every room is meticulously designed.

Shoreline Architects for Your Home

As local Shoreline architects, we constantly pursue the art of architecture as the calling for our work.  The constantly evolving community of Shoreline provides us with an endless opportunity to answer this calling in original and dynamic ways. We delight in the process of merging the preferences and imaginations of our clients with the distinct character of the Shoreline location that they select to build their dream home.

Every project presents a new opportunity to consider more deeply how we merge form with function, and to paint a portrait in architecture of our clients’ unique lifestyles.  Serving that purpose is our life’s work and greatest honor.

To learn more about designing your custom home, contact us.