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  • Writer's pictureTina Witherspoon

Interior Photography: Island Living + Airbnb Getaways

Over the past 11 months of social distancing and general restrictions, I've never been more grateful for my home on Vashon Island. The proximity to nature, separation from the urban hustle-bustle, the slower pace of island living — it's all been ideal for weathering a pandemic. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait to get to the new normal, but since it's still months away, I'm taking time to count my blessings.

Because of the risk and anxiety surrounding travel and gathering during 2020, many people I know canceled vacations, celebrations, weddings, etc., and turned to short term rentals to get some relief from the monotony of groundhog day. My husband and I had no plans to travel when 2020 started, but after hunkering down at home for most of the year, we needed a tiny break from staring at the same four walls, so in October, we drove to rural southern Oregon for a 3-day stay at an airbnb. Like most modern rentals, there was a key-pad entry for no contact check in, so we were pretty comfortable right away. And although the space was very clean, I performed the requisite wiping down of "high-touch" surfaces with disinfectant. We brought most of what we needed with us, so we wouldn't have to venture into public more than once. It was a nice change of perspective, but I'll admit, I was anxious to get home to the island.

Back in March, just before the stay-home orders went into effect, I had the opportunity to photograph a beautiful waterfront home on the south-western side of Vashon known as Paradise Cove. This gorgeous 3-bedroom home is light-filled and spacious with beach access and sweeping views. Recently renovated by Meade Building Company, an island contractor, the house is open and airy and welcoming. The lower living space has folding glass doors that open out to the back yard, for maximum circulation. It's an ideal setting for a mental reset.

As a photographer I'm drawn to lifestyle interior vignettes and this house delivered with several intimate scenes, like this sparse island bar with clean cabinetry and simple light fixtures (above), as well as the light-filled, cozy reading nook (below).

The custom woodwork throughout is beautifully crafted and and the color palette is soothing with muted tones of white, gray and taupe. This vignette (above) is one of my favorite perspectives, with the bench seating, decorative oar on the wall and a peek into the bedroom beyond.

I actually went back to the house a few days later to capture some sunset and night shots, and the exterior really came alive. A wrap-around deck on the main floor provides 180 degree views, and the sunset glow shines in all 3 of the bedrooms. If you're looking for pandemic relief, check out the airbnb listing.

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