NW Design Guild Blog

Baker’s Bay; the Ultimate Resort

post #2 beach

Just 190 miles off the southern coast of Florida lies the privately owned Bahamian Golf and Ocean Club known as Baker’s Bay. Surrounded by turquoise waters, Bakers bay is located atop the northern 600 acres of Great Guana Cay in the Abaco Islands.

past #2 house
Baker’s Bay Ocean Club offers luxurious spa treatments, beach lounging, and evening beach parties. It is also a place where discerning travelers and sports enthusiasts drop anchor, the island’s beautiful homes beckoning them back to the Bahamas for a lengthy stay.


The beautiful marina is set against a backdrop of a Bahamian Settlement inspired Village and can accommodate yachts of up to 250 feet in length and has exceptional docking facilities which include “boat-butler” service and extra-wide piers for docking MEGA-YACHTS.


Because of our custom design work in a client’s yacht, we were invited to design sectionals, sofas and chairs for the Great Room, Man-cave for our clients’ home in Baker’s Bay. This custom master-bench resides in a beautiful great room in their traditional plantation style home.

collage of furniture

“We just had our furniture installed yesterday. EVERYTHING looks FANTASTIC! We love it! Thanks so much!”

– Our Client


Legacies – Designing the Future

When recently researching on the internet, we came across the Gene Machine, a Westport Yacht we built custom furniture for. We were pleasantly surprised to see that William Garden (from our previous blog entry) was the naval architect for these Westport 40M yachts.


When William began working with Maritime Shipyards in Ballard, he set up shop, producing several boats, including fishing boats and YACHTS.  Today, thousands of boat designs are credited to William’s name. His work is well known in the Seattle Design Community, and he is a legend in the world of boat design.


William Garden’s naval architectural legacy continues to thrive and grow, both in the Great Northwest and the world over with Westport Yachts continuing to stun and amaze the world with the beauty and precision of his designs. One of his eye-catching, head-turning works is the Gene Machine; a 40m Super yacht designed for low maintenance, an enduring lifespan, and of course for the good life!


With luxury this beautiful, you might question the name. What do genetics and Sailing have to do with one another? It does seem like an unlikely pairing. Enter Jonathan Rothberg, engineer and entrepreneur, inventor of the Personal Genome Machine, and owner of the yacht the Gene Machine. Rothberg has changed the face of science, genetics and medicine forever with the introduction of his ‘DNA Decoder’.


With the Personal Genome Machine, scientists can identify genetic structure, abnormalities and defects. In identifying these genomes and being able to break through the barriers of DNA, scientists are able to see genetic reasons why some people have cancers, autism or other diseases, and how to specifically and accurately treat them. This will also give scientists insight for future generations about how to prevent these genes from activating! And, there are other areas this technology can be harnessed. Farmers can use it to breed fast-growing super crops that resist pesticides and drought, and it can even carry over into areas of our day to day life, like laundry detergent, clothing, furniture, and so many others.


Given all the implications of his technology, it is no wonder Mr. Rothberg had the symbols for the chemical bases the body uses to form DNA (guanine, cytosine, adenine and thymine) installed under the boat’s name, Gene Machine. QUITE a legacy!03MyGenomef2-1360852774852

Interior Cushions for Restoration Sailboat

Recently, NW Design Guild had the pleasure of designing and handcrafting the V-berth, master berth, main salon and pilot house cushions for a 50 ft. sailboat designed by William Garden. Docked at the Shilshole Bay Marina in Ballard, the vessel is entirely crafted from teak wood and recently underwent a five-year renovation process in order to provide for smooth-sailing, restore its original character, and update the interior with a retro-feel per the owners’ liking.

master cushion b-4 and after

The master berth gets a new latex cushion with a tufted chenille cover.

salon b-4 and afterThe main salon across from the master berth has the same chenille covers. The complex angles in the boat’s construction are hardly noticeable when the cushions are cut correctly.

v berth

Like the main salon, the V berth required custom cut cushions due to the complex angles typically found on a sailboat. The firm foam cushions were covered in a kiwi green chenille.

What made the project particularly unique, however, is the history behind the design and construction of the sailboat itself. Although constructed in Hong Kong at Cheoy Lee Shipyard Ltd. in 1963, it was designed by local, Seattle-favorite William Garden whose detailed biography and design history can be found on the Mystic Seaport website: www.mysticseaport.org.

william garden

To provide a brief background, William Garden moved from Canada to Seattle with his family at the age of ten and spent his summers boating with friends on Lake Union and the Port Madison waterfront. After graduating from high school, he attended the Edison Boatbuilding School of Seattle and began building sail boats and power vessels with Andrew’s Boat Company on Portage Bay. By the age of 24 Garden had already designed 51 work boats, tugs, trawlers and sardine boats.

blueprints of tb

Garden later formed his own company in the 1940’s in Ballard. Soon after he was drafted into the US Army during World War II and sent to the Adak Ship Repair Base in the Aleutians.  When later asked about the experience, he was quoted saying, “I was the only man in the Army employed in what I liked doing.”After being discharged from the army as a Master Sergeant, he quickly became a licensed naval architect and returned to Seattle to design fishing boats, work boats, pile drivers and yachts– his largest measuring 236 feet in length.


Today, hundreds of Gardens’ boats can still be seen sailing all over the world and in Seattle, where the designer began his career.



“Design is just not what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs


There is a reason classic structures reach 100 years old – they focus both on the aesthetics as well as the function. Golf is just a game and a country club may just be a gathering place, but, if there is true function in its design, a golf club such as Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle will survive well past its 100th birthday in 2024.


We recently had the pleasure of completing a project of recovering and refinishing 52 chairs for the Broadmoor Golf Club. The 91-year-old club is originally a tribute to A. Vernon “Mac” Macan, a truly talented golf course designer of the 1920s. It’s green and country club rooms have seen the likes of golf greats such as Arnold Palmer, Bing Crosby, Byron Nelson (winner and record-setting golfer at the 1945 $10,000 Seattle Open), Billy Casper, Doug Sanders, 22-year-old rookie and 1962 winner Jack Nicklaus and many more.


Broadmoor is known for its traditional and classic environment. Playing host to other events such as the Pac-10 championships of 1989 and 1999, Broadmoor prides itself on their excellent attention to detail. We were honored to be part of their ongoing vision. We’ve had many positive comments!




How often do you get the chance to reconnect with the past? Being able to touch something that was designed almost 100 years ago, yet still relevant and appealing today, can skyrocket inspiration in a designer, builder, manufacturer and consumer.

This morning when we stumbled across a Knoll Brno chair, we knew we had to tell everyone about it. As Becky Harris would say, “Oh, I shouldn’t play favorites but… What modern lover doesn’t want a piece of Mies van de Rohe around?”

For those without a designer or architectural eye, the Brno chair may seem like simply that, a chair. But once you take in the chrome finish, exquisite leather, keen detail and mind-boggling physics, what was once a chair becomes a centerpiece in a place we call work or home.



Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, often known simply as Mies, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture, alongside Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. DWR.com calls his designs “architecture in miniature [and] exercises in structure and materials that achieve an extraordinary visual harmony as autonomous pieces and in relation to the interiors for which they were designed.



Adopting the name of its roots in Brno, Czechoslovakia, van der Rohe’s Brno chair was designed specifically for the Tugendhat House in 1930. The design was adopted shortly after van der Rohe’s creation of the Barcelona chair for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona as a modern throne for the king and queen of Spain.

The chair itself is exclusively manufactured by Knoll and, according to The Human Solution, is a “progressive design [which] features a single steel tube that acts as the armrest, frame and chair legs. The comfortable seat and chair back are available in high quality leather or fabric.”


Hive Modern states that the “Brno chair mirrors the ground breaking simplicity of its original environment. A simple profile, clean lines and meticulous attention to detail have elevated the Brno chair to an icon of twentieth century furniture design.”

And this is why we at NW Design Guild absolutely love what we do. By connecting with the past and exploring the ideas and methods of designers, we are able to learn how something was originally built. We can excel in recovery of furniture and pieces that mean the world to someone based on a piece’s history and construction. We have a young team here at NW Design Guild; what an honor to be able to pass on what we have learned from past teachers so that this art may never go extinct.