A Seattle-Area Family Breaks Free From Suburbia and Ventures Deep Into Nature

A decade-plus journey took this Washington State family from a planned subdivision to a sylvan valley.

The story of Kim and Lou Maxon’s house starts with a book. More specifically, an architecture monograph about Seattle–based firm Olson Kundig that Kim gave Lou for Christmas, Tom Kundig: Houses. "Which is now known around here as the most expensive book ever," Lou says, with a laugh. It was 2007 and the family had recently added a third child to the mix, and their modest suburban home outside Seattle, with its vinyl siding and planned-community setting, didn’t suit them anymore. The timing was right, and Lou fell in love with Olson Kundig’s style of landscape-integrated modernism.

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Amara Holstein
A former editor at Dwell, Amara recently left the glamorous life of a magazine staffer to pursue her freelance writing dream. She has written for Sunset, Wallpaper*, the Architect’s Newspaper, VIA, and Apartment Therapy.


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