Blower Door Testing

We are now offering certified blower door testing for all residential and small commercial construction projects in the Methow Valley.

Intrinsic Design is dedicated to providing clients with high quality blower door testing to ensure Energy Code Compliance and to help you meet your high efficiency goals.

Give us a call or contact us through or contact page for more information.

Rates: $400 for first test $250 for second test

Gardner View House

The Gardner View House sits on a bench above the Methow River and was designed with a nod to traditional valley aesthetics while keeping to the clean lines of a long low modern shed roof form. Thus, posts and beams of dark brown wood and the use of single hung windows reflects the old agricultural tradition in the neighborhood.

The house has passive solar design built in to capture the heat of the low southern sun through the winter months. The big 5′ overhang on the south side blocks the sun during the heat of the summer. During the winter the low angle of the sun sneaks under that overhang and pours warmth into the living space. Deep porches on the West side of the house block the hot afternoon sun.

The Breezeway doubles as the Front Porch

A post and beam breeze way leading from the garage doubles as the front porch entry for the house providing shelter for the entrance and safe passage to the outbuilding. A distinctly mid century modern front door welcomes visitors and leads them into a small foyer and quick access to the mudroom. From the foyer, one can see straight through the house to the magnificent view of Mt Gardner.

Soft blue tile adds a beautiful splash of color to the Kitchen

Sunlight bathes the open kitchen through big south facing windows providing winter warmth and a wonderful space to sit. The dining space is surrounded by views to the south and west and is capped by a stylish modern chandelier.

A custom designed two sided gas fire place separates the kitchen from the living space. Book shelves with storage cabinets below line an entire wall of the living space. The richness of the wood adds a warmth to the room that is irreplaceable. Natural light and long views towards the mountains are provided by a bank of west facing windows.

A light and bright living space


  • Passive solar design captures winter heat and blocks summer sun
  • High R value walls and ceiling provide high energy efficiencies
  • Pole mounted Solar Panels help offset the energy use
  • Radiant infloor heat in concrete slab on grade
  • Propane Stove for backup heat
  • Low pitch shed roof holds snow
  • Western porches shade from summer sun
  • Two bedrooms plus a small office in 1500 sqft
  • Master suite with walk in closet and master bath
  • A beautiful mix of regional wood siding
  • Truly a Methow Modern home

Red Dog Guest House

Red Dog Guest House, Winthrop

The Red Dog Guest House is a project that seeks to bridge modern and traditional design while bringing beauty and added utility to a property in the Methow Valley. The RDGH sits prominently in an open field and as such takes in huge views in three directions. The combination of shed and gable roof lines looks to fit with the character of the buildings in the surrounding landscape while making a strong sculptural statement of its own. A roof system of wood beams covered in Douglas Fir decking makes for a rich earthy feel and ensures that this space is built for the long term.

Visitors to the Red Dog Guest House are greeted by a large porch roof and entry deck with a custom storage bench to give quick respite from summers heat or winters snow. Deep greys and muted browns color the exterior of the building and help mask its presence in a wide-open field. The natural wood tone of the roof beams helps to soften and warm the exterior at close range.

A second story guest space focuses banks of windows toward the beautiful up-valley views giving a sense of being perched on the land. A north-facing porch gives the visitor an area from which to take in the vista and watch the hawks ride breezes rising off the nearby bluff. Long banks of joined windows allow one to take in sweeping views of the landscape from virtually anywhere in the main living space..

The interior makes use of efficient living and sleeping spaces. Bedrooms are purposefully kept small to leave more space for kitchen, living, and dining. The kitchen features a beautiful custom designed cherry and maple built-in dining area tucked into a windowed corner. Graphite grey cabinetry and white quartz countertops add a cohesive beauty through out.

Intrinsic Design Red Dog Guest House
Intrinsic Design Red Dog Guest House

Project Construction

Construction of the Red Dog Guest House started with the removal of an old RV Barn and reuse of the existing foundation and infrastructure. To reuse and improve upon was a guiding principal from the start. Working with Blackcap Builders Collective ensured that the old building was recycled into the community or back into the new structure. The building is sided with Hardie Board to protect it from fire and provide a highly durable low maintenance finish. Insulation values were ramped up to provide a comfortable low energy living space. Higher insulation values were added to south and west walls to block summers heat. High insulation values in the roof help conserve heat in the winter.

One can’t miss the strong presence of the roof’s beams and decking. Natural wood tones and the inherent strength of the beams give one a sense of safety amid such a powerful landscape. The repetitive pattern of beam and decking create a rich interior and enhance the connection from outside to inside on the second floor.

Outdoor living spaces abound to foster a comfortable time spent outside. A large shaded south-facing entry deck welcomes visitors and provides a place to watch the days’ events change over the long-distance valley view. A north-facing porch on the first floor provides a place to gather with groups and enjoy the shaded side of the house. Above, a second-floor north-facing porch gives an intimate place to sit with the view.


  • Roof – Douglas Fir Beams and Deck
  • Extra high insulation values in roof and south and west-facing walls
  • House systems prepared for future solar installation
  • Reuse of an existing foundation
  • Hardie Board siding for fire resistance
  • Metal roofing for long term durability
  • Custom metal posts and brackets
  • Custom built in dining nook
  • Sauna!

Pine Forest Shadow House

The Pine Forest Shadow House is a modern, shed-roof cabin and the owners consider it an architectural sculpture in the Methow Valley. From sun up to down, light moves around the property, casting shadows. The intent is to create another shadow in the forest. The building hides in the pines to not take away from the beauty that stood there for millennia before its existence.

Architecturally, the structure steps away from you in 5 planes: entryway, foyer, mud room, bedroom, and towards the forest lanai. The material choices and colors blend in with the shrub-steppe hillside.  Functionally, the Shadow House is meant to be a true getaway cabin for an active couple and their family and friends. The living space is open but retains a human scale to emphasize a feeling of comfort.

The Pine Forest Shadow House is tucked away into a hillside.

Carefully placed windows open the main room to the beauty of the forest around the house allowing a sense of immersion in nature from the comfort of the cabin. Sleeping quarters are intentionally kept small to encourage use of the main space. The entry layout is specifically designed around an active lifestyle with quick access to a mudroom and laundry space. The bathroom features a soaking tub for relaxation and recovery after the days long adventures in the mountains of the Methow.

Pine Forest Shadow House Construction

Constructed with a 4-ft foundation, Hardipanel, and metal roof it will house the owners comfortably through 4 seasons and protect them in the event of a wildfire. The lanai is a defensible space and in the summer, the soffit extends the living area to the outside with shade. 

The Shadow House was designed and is being built by Black Cap Builders Collective. It’s constructed with green materials and modern techniques. Black Cap brings attention to detail, craftsmanship, and ability to realize the vision the clients had for a home in the Methow. 

On a budget.


  • 5 Red Pine Ct, Winthrop Wa, 98862
  • 4-acre lot in Pine Forest at 3300 Ft
  • 1100 SQ FT
  • 2 bedroom
  • 1 and ½ bath
  • Cement foundation
  • Hardipanel exterior with a wood-wrapped entryway on 3 walls
  • Metal shed roof
  • Metal south facing, the snow wall.