Whidbey Dogtrot designed in 2020 by SHED Architecture & Design is a compact house located on a Whidbey Island bluff, in Washington State.


Working in close collaboration with the homeowner, SHED Architecture & Design recently completed Whidbey Dogtrot: a compact house located on a Whidbey Island bluff with sweeping views of the Puget Sound.

Set on a large east-west high bank lot, the home is thoughtfully designed to make the most of its square footage while creating privacy from neighbors and a busy rural road to the west. The result is a modest and functional dwelling strongly anchored to its site.

The design challenge was to create a compact home for the economy of operation, ease of maintenance, and a space that maximized the natural beauty of the site. In addition, the home needed space for guests, visits from adult children, hobbies, music, and a home office. To accommodate the client’s goals, a dogtrot form was utilized —a sheltered breezeway separating 915-square-foot living quarters and the 281-square-foot flex space with a moment of respite from the sun and prevailing winds.

The living quarters incorporate a master suite, living, kitchen, and dining area — a singular, orderly form with a separated reading room bump-out on the side. The homeowner was instrumental in the selection of lighting and the interior finishes and fixtures, in particular the design of a concrete and steel fireplace and bench as well as the reading area’s steel shelving. Utilizing a limited material palette, the Whidbey Dogtrot is a house that seeks to amplify the experience of living on the site through an economy of means.

Interior design by Signe Sterner
Photography by Rafael Soldi

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