Family history and natural beauty make up this Friday Harbor retreat
Tolix Marais Counter Stool, $276.25-$425, DWR.com
Vintage Barn Pendant, $171-$529, RestorationHardware.com
Yukon Coffee Table, $799, CrateAndBarrel.com
Rowden Pouf, $189, CrateAndBarrel.com
Willow Modern Slipcovered Chair and a Half, $599, CrateAndBarrel.com
The Jolene Nesting Baskets, $225.48, PaintedFoxHome.com
Last year the family was finally able to fulfill a longtime dream of remodeling the original cabin, which carries tremendous sentimental value.
“I never wanted to tear it down and build something else,” explains Moya. “I just wanted to restore it to the way that it deserved to be.”
Together, Tere and Moya run their own staging company and co-founded one of the area’s newest and top-producing boutique real estate brokerages in the greater Seattle-Bellevue region. Their immense building, construction and interior design knowledge served them well through all the renovations on San Juan Island, culminating in two distinctively unique spaces with plenty of room for everyone.
Due to its rich generational history, escaping to Friday Harbor for the Foster-Skillman family is so much more than just a vacation retreat. Dinner parties, family weddings and holidays make up a lifetime of memories.
“The Fourth of July is a huge holiday for us,” says Don Skillman (Moya’s husband). “We go every year. We get up early to set our chairs out for the parade, we do a big dinner feast, and at night, because of our location, we can see the fireworks from three other islands!”
“Our favorite thing is just sitting on the deck and watching everything that happens on the water,” says Moya. “The boats, the ferries, the sunsets… It’s a really magical place.”
• Bright and beachy, the cabin is the perfect little guest house
• Approximately 1,000 square feet 1 bedroom, plus loft
• A rustic Northwest feel, ideal for entertaining
• Approximately 4,500 square feet, 3 bedrooms, plus bonus room
The main house and cabin sit on 300 feet of waterfront. Sunsets are amazing on this west-facing property. The house is surrounded by 14 acres of dense woods, making the perfect playground for kids and dogs. The 12-foot sliding doors open the main house up to the deck, bringing the outdoors indoors.
The history of this gorgeous San Juan Island beach retreat reads like a novel.
Following the end of World War II, Army veteran Darrell Roberts and his wife, Isabelle, came across a business opportunity in Friday Harbor and decided to relocate to the San Juan Islands.
Once there, the Roberts lived in a small apartment until eventually finding their piece of island paradise — a quaint cabin perched on the waterfront of 22 acres, built in the early 1900s just a couple miles south of Friday Harbor.
In the ‘60s the Roberts built their permanent residence and became deeply involved in the local community and island life, often hosting out-of-town friends and family, including Isabelle’s sister, Melva, and Melva’s daughter, a young Tere Foster, who would spend much of her summers on the island with her aunt and uncle.
Tere’s own daughter, Moya Skillman, also grew up traveling to the island. The two became very close to Darrell and Isabelle, who never had children of their own.
Upon Isabelle’s passing in 2005, the property was left to Tere and Moya with the promise that it would stay in the family forever. Intent on keeping that promise, the main house received a much-needed upgrade, making sure to retain and showcase some of the original architectural features that made it unique, including the wooden rafters and fireplace chimney. Next door to the main house, they’ve built a modern cabin, perfect for family and guests to enjoy.