It was more than fifteen years ago when Jeb and Belinda Thornburg purchased five acres on the western edge of the Historic Lynwood Center neighborhood. The property was sparse and had a few buildings on it, which were rented out. Although they had no solid plans at the time, they had been dreaming of creating a community development that would work cohesively with the existing “village” nearby.
As the owners of Indigo Architecture & Interiors, Jeb and Belinda have designed new and existing residential and commercial interiors for more than 20 years. Over those years they’ve listened and learned from their clients as to what they’d like to see in both design and sustainable living, as well as “quality of life” living. As the years progressed, many conversations amongst themselves and with friends and business associates ensued, helping Belinda and Jeb focus on what their dream community would look like.
Location is key – prior to purchasing the property, the neighborhood had already been growing, albeit slowly. In the early 2000s, Lynwood Commons was built next to Walt’s Market, providing commercial space on the ground level and apartments on the upper floors. Lynwood Center itself would undergo extensive renovations from 2006 through 2009, preserving much of its historical significance. Pleasant Beach Village, which sits directly across from Historic Lynwood Center, was under construction and would feature more shops, restaurants, and accommodations both rental and residential. In addition, the Bainbridge Island Metro Parks & Recreation Department was (and still is) working on linking all the trails throughout the island, making easy access from the property to Schel Chelb Park which also links to the Gazzam Lake Trail System and Gazzam Lake Nature Preserve. And of course, the beach was just across the street. All of which created the perfect “village” atmosphere for Jeb and Belinda’s dream community, and in 2016 construction began on their property to make that dream come true.
Roost is born – Why the name Roost? Initially (and I wasn’t too far off) I assumed it meant a place for resting, sitting or living. Belinda explained it was much more than that. For birds, roosting usually involves a nest—a woven environment that continually evolves as its built and lived in—an aspect Belinda and Jeb hoped to infuse in the new community. They added a bit of playfulness to their Roost logo featuring a goat standing in a nest, which was inspired by the Moroccan goats, who climb high onto the limbs of the Argania trees to feast on the fruit.
Live Village Life – The concept behind Roost was to create a “right-sized” community, which allowed for a variety of living, mixed-use, and work/live spaces. However, it wasn’t just the interiors that were important, creating an environment that invites you outdoors to walk, shop, and get to know your neighbors was essential to becoming part of the greater village community that was already established at Lynwood Center/Pleasant Beach Village.
Wabi Sabi – “Characteristics of wabi-sabi aesthetics and principles include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and the appreciation of both natural objects and the forces of nature” (Wikipedia). In building Roost, Belinda and Jeb drew upon these characteristics in the materials they used in the structures as well as designing the landscape.
Their attractive, yet simplistic “modern farmhouse” structures were built using insulated concrete forms (ICF), which is incredibly efficient at maintaining a comfortable temperature inside, regardless of the weather outside. In addition, they used pre-patinated corrugated metal and weathered cedar to add texture and interest, both of which require little-to-no maintenance. By blending their building designs with indigenous landscaping and garden art created from artfully reimagined found objects, they’ve created an attractive and sustainable environment. In addition, all of the homes are prepped for solar, which can be installed post-purchase.
To date, Phase 1A (900sf to just over 2,000sf single family homes, which are perfect for families, retirees, individuals and couples), and Phase 1B (live/work townhomes, which include the townhomes on the upper floors and work spaces on the ground level) are complete.
Currently the commercial spaces are occupied by the studio/galleries of Patricia Orellana (fine art), Theresa Killgore’s Peaceful Spring Designs (contemporary jewelry and unique art – Theresa’s studio also features works by Denise Stoughton designer of Modern Airhead Wall Décor, colorful masks by Camano Island artist A. Jeff Zigulis, pottery by Dawn McNamara), and the glass maestro Lino Tagliapietra (fine glassworks), as well as a writer’s studio and a law office.
CAMP(site) – CAMP is the next phase of the development and will occupy the southwest corner of the property, surrounded by existing mature cedar and fir trees and nestled amongst sandy dunes sprinkled with beach grasses. Belinda and Jeb plan to build fifteen 200-square foot bunkhouses, which will accommodate up to six occupants. Each “bunkhouse” will feature a queen bed and kitchenette in the main area and two twin beds in the loft as well as a fold out sofa bed.
The idea behind CAMP is to provide a serene camplike environment for visitors to enjoy, meet interesting fellow travelers and locals, and tell tall tales around the campfire pits. CAMP amenities will include bicycle and paddle board rentals. Expected opening is Summer 2022.
Brick House and Greenhouse – the final phase of the project is to convert the existing historic brick house facing Point White Drive into a Community Living Room and café where locals and visitors can enjoy good food, drink, music, board games and each other’s company. In addition to the brick house conversion, Belinda and Jeb have plans to create a large “greenhouse” which will front the Lynwood Center/Pleasant Beach Village. The greenhouse will encompass an indoor/outdoor motif, with tons of live plants and large roll up garage doors to let the light in and allow for a warm place to gather during the winter and an airy open space for those warm summer days.
Although the final projects are still in the planning phase, they are also constantly evolving as Belinda and Jeb consult and work with their neighbors to continue creating an environment for everyone to enjoy.