Unique Seattle Architecture: A Storybook Cottage

A long, long time ago in a far away land, visionary artists crafted charming homes that captured the imagination and inspired whimsy.

That time was the 1920s, and that far away land is Los Angeles, California. And those captivating, whimsical homes are dubbed storybook houses.

Unique Seattle architecture presented in a Storybook house.
A charming showcase of unique Seattle architecture in a storybook cottage.

As Hollywood’s influence flourished, audiences leaped at the opportunity to live life in idyllic homes like those on the movie sets. This imaginative architectural style–known as “provincial realism” or, storybook houses–features all things fairytale: turrets, rolled eaves, steep roofs, detailed stonework, unique doors, and decorative chimneys. Each custom storybook house boasts enough character to earn top billing in a movie.

While most storybook houses are confined to Southern California, a few managed to take up residence elsewhere–including Seattle.

Unique Seattle architecture presented in a Storybook house.

Fifteen years ago, two visionary homeowners purchased a historic Seattle home sorely in need of care. The owners invited architect Eric Drivdahl to work with them to remodel and restore whimsy to their storybook home.

Eric revived the Seattle storybook home’s enchanting rolled eaves with a custom cedar-shingled roof and an expanded master bedroom complete with an inviting balcony. The Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl team worked with the residents to contract with artisan roofers to steam and conform each shingle to the curve of the roof.

Unique Seattle architecture presented in a Storybook house and its unique roof design.
The storybook home’s roofline makes it iconic among examples of unique Seattle architecture.

They also transformed a closed, dark attic space into an open, airy master bedroom with both a Juliet balcony and an inviting full balcony–perfect for a cup of coffee on a warm summer morning!

A modern interior of a Seattle storybook house.

Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture relished the opportunity to work with these homeowners to restore this unique, historic Seattle home to an enchanting state of whimsy.

Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture approaches every home design with an eye to the client’s unique needs and tastes. From contemporary residences to a traditional homes, we create spaces that work in harmony and provide beauty for daily life. Contact us to learn more about building your custom home.