Fall Home Design: Welcome to our not-quite-a-coffee-table-book collection of NW Living highlights

IT’S CROSSED MY MIND a jillion times that it’d be cool to pull together a coffee-table book of NW Living highlights. Or maybe an entire encyclopedic series. (It would take an extra-trenta coffee table to contain all the NW Living stories we’ve published over the decades.)

Just in the time I carried the NW Living mantle — from fall 2015 until we retired the feature in June 2020 — we (and, by extension, all of you) were warmly welcomed into more than 200 distinctly designed local homes. (And wow; did we see some awesome mantels.) Add in all the other writers, all the photographers, all the homes over all the years, and — we’re just gonna round up and say: There’ve been an awful lot of NW Living stories.

Back when NW Living was a weekly feature — and back when it was considerably safer to inhale/exhale our way through our hospitable neighbors’ lovely homes — our concerns over pulling together these continuing Home Design issues (one for fall, one for spring) were much more “aspirational” than “respirational.” Twice a year, we’d pluck a few ultra-extra homes from our crowded tour docket, sometimes bundling a few under one themed roof (like “Getaways” or “Island Homes”), sometimes blowing off that roof completely with a single-OMG-house issue (Heron Hall, The Venice House).

These days, this fall, it’s been nearly 18 months since we retired NW Living — and even longer since that pushy pandemic burst uninvited through our collective front door. We’re facing another dark season of adapting germs and “how-are-we-supposed-to-adapt-now?” uncertainty, and some days all you want is a cozy diversion.

Like, maybe, a steamy mug of soothing warmth and … an inviting coffee-table book. Or at least, for now, a magazine filled to the custom exposed beams with stunning photography and “C’mon in” comfort.

We can’t quite call this a book, of course. For one thing, these are only my NW Living highlights: memorable homes, and memorable elements in those homes, that have stuck with me persistently, in the very best way, over the years. We’ve curated 20 into a supremely safe home tour that’s carried, as always, by our photographers’ awesome work.

(It’s OK. We all know the photos always were the true stars of NW Living. That’s why I’m thinking coffee-table format instead of, say … audiobook.)

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