Word Wall - CODAworx

Word Wall

Submitted by John DeForest

Client: Private Client

Location: Seattle, USA

Completion date: 2012

Project Team


Greg Reid

Reid Signs, Inc.


John DeForest

DeForest Architects


This whole-house remodel brought new life and a modern sensibility to a Seattle brick Tudor. Designed for two book lovers, it incorporates over 300 linear feet of bookshelves and cozy seating areas throughout the house. Integral to the remodel was the commission of a “Word Wall” that rises three floors to a pair of skylights and includes favorite writings–ranging from family recipes to quotes from literature to Yogi Berra–that were selected by all seventeen members and 3 generations of the extended family. The words were inscribed on 4×12’ painted wood panels with a computer-controlled laser router.


The primary goal was to incorporate a word-based art installation that would involve the entire family. Each family member had a year to consider what they wanted inscribed. A five-year-old granddaughter went first with the Gettysburg Address and the 2 family dogs last with “Woolf! Woolf!” In between these quotes appear a crepe recipe, Dr. Seuss, Dave Matthews Band, and many others. It was a wonderful way for everyone in this bookish family to feel included in the new home.


DeForest Architects worked closely with the client and Reid Signs to create this personal piece of art that spans the thoughts and readings of an entire family.