Simple forms, natural materials and sunlit spaces establish a mood of simplicity as this home hovers calmly on pilings at the edge of San Francisco Bay. Material selections, appropriate to the coastal setting, are simple and durable: copper roofing, cementitious siding, and ipe wood decking which provide connection to both land and surrounding water.
Once inside, light bamboo flooring balances bright plaster walls illuminated by the shimmering bay. Interior spaces are skewed for orientation to specific distant views or allow surprising glimpses of water just below edges of the pier. The living room fireplace opening is surrounded by patinaed sea-dipped steel plate above a honed granite hearth. Cherry wood casework completes an understated and warm contemporary elegance, an atmosphere that supports the notion of home as a living reliquary for the resident artists' conscious way of living.
Concunully Ranch House
Sited on a gentle slope below an aspen grove and rolling hills, this home completes a community of ranch outbuildings and riding ring surrounded by pastures and a vast wildlife preserve. The owners wanted the architectural style of the house to derive from the old barn, echoing its corrugated metal roof and weathered wood siding. As a result, the building style that evolved alludes to the vernacular construction found in the Australian Outback, with clean, pronounced roof pitches and deep, wrapped porches -- a style that greatly appealed to the owners.
The reflective roof mitigates summer heat while also effectively shedding heavy snow accumulation during prolonged harsh winters. The porch, with hand-peeled log posts and decking that allude to the sound of a western boardwalk, provides shaded outdoor seating and a peaceful transition from interior to the surrounds.
The interior living spaces are organized in specific response to the owner's pattern of living. The kitchen, sun porch and living room are mindfully situated to overlook the barn, corrals and arenas, while the formal dining room for sixteen and bedrooms face outward to more pastoral views. The living room focus is upon the weathered granite fireplace, quarried from the neighboring Cascade Mountains, with a monolithic hearth to provide extra seating.
Throughout the house, cork flooring compliments the natural wood and provides easy maintenance, and radiant floor heat becomes a winter luxury. Douglas fir was used for post and beam framing, cabinets, and stairs. Cedar plank doors with hand wrought iron hardware from a local blacksmith evoke the rustic aesthetic of the adjacent ranch buildings.
The design character of this home recalls the historic “Classic Box” style of the early 1900’s construction typical of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Exterior details were carefully designed to reflect this historic character, with consideration for implementing current technologies for tower maintenance. High ceilings provide for an expanded interior space within a small floor area footprint. Large areas of glass connect the kitchen to the outdoor of the rear deck, while still respecting the design character of the era’s window and door detailing.
The resulting home aligns perfectly with the owner’s design and living objectives, and includes a large porch with outdoor living area to accommodate their large family.
Mercer Island Residence
Mercer Island, WA
Carefully sited into a steep forested slope above the west shore of Mercer Island, this home is organized to impart an experience of both horizontal and vertical movement through the property. Its simple forms, varied levels and use of materials fitting to its northwest setting present a home integrated into its environment. Views of the Seattle skyline and Lake Washington are carefully framed within the surrounding forest canopy.
Different experiences are created at transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces as access to the hillside is available. The entry approach descends alongside a small stream bed water feature utilizing hillside runoff as its intermittent water source. It also serves to focus the approach on the entry porch while allowing efficient access beyond to the garage. The entry interior, with craftsman style detailing in the stairway and casework, looks across the descending spaces of the living room. The adjacent kitchen and breakfast areas open to a private south facing shaded patio, while the dining and living room connect to a large west facing outdoor gathering area.
Prominent exterior features of this three story home in Windermere include a formal entry adjacent to a semi-formal semicircular porch with office bay window, below a second story corner turret. Its shingle style references traditional homes built for summer use on the Atlantic coast, with sweeping corbels and an oval window below a roof dormer.
Upon entry, the main stair intersects the joins the main floor circulation spine to a second floor family gallery hall providing access to a family room and bedrooms. The open main living areas are connected to provide relaxed informality and easy conversation between family members and guests. The central dining area, with French doors to a central ‘outdoor room’, which overlooks rear yard activities and brings light deep into the living spaces. The dining space is open to the kitchen, breakfast room, and the living room, with a window seat within an arched nook. A stone fireplace wall and rift oak casework, paneling, and box beams create an intimate and warm atmosphere.
A large lower level family recreation room opens onto an extended porch bordering the back yard, ideal for outdoor entertaining.
With sweeping southerly views of Lake Washington, Mount Rainier, and the Cascade Mountains, this traditional two-story home is nestled comfortably within trees preserved along a hillside overlooking the communal horse pasture and neighborhood.
The result of careful review of site opportunities, program, and value with the owners, this technologically 'smart' home is reflective of their lifestyle. It is organized along a linear circulation spine paralleling the slope, with children's bedrooms and master suite at opposite ends of the lower level. This spine allows for an expansive view on the south facing downhill side for the brightly lit main level great room, breaking out onto a spacious deck, as well as the home office and recreation room.
On the north side, nestled into the hillside, the smaller spaces of the entry and stair, formal dining room with butler's pantry, the home theater, and wine cellar evoke more intimate, private character. The somewhat rural character of the home is achieved with a deliberate combination of simple craftsman details, executed with warm materials and finishes, with more elaborate traditional accent elements.
Capitol Hill Residence
The design for the complete update of this Capitol Hill home involved adding a third floor providing sweeping views of Lake Union and downtown, and lowering the basement to provide elegant high ceilings. The client favored combining new modern elements into the existing traditional Federal style influences of the home, including extensive use of intensely saturated colors of venetian plaster, Chechen wood flooring, and custom designed light fixtures.
The basement level includes bleached English sycamore stair and casework, an Alaskan yellow cedar sauna, guest bath with fused glass and polished nickel vanity, and a media room. The main floor kitchen has reflective blue crystal embedded granite slabs with Santos mahogany casework, and blown glass cabinet door panels. The second floor includes a library with Primavera casework and guest room and bath with Bianco onyx and venetian plaster. The upper floor’s Santos mahogany paneling and casework and new limestone fireplace create a warm atmosphere. The clear spanning upper stair reconciles modern and traditional elements, with a wood, metal, and blown glass balustrade, fused glass treads, and patinaed steel stringers.