A Serene House For Artists Appears to Float in the Woods of Puget Sound
Armed with an intimate knowledge of their one-acre property atop a bluff in Washington's Puget Sound, a pair of artists tapped Seattle–based DeForest Architects for a custom residence that's far more than just a place to call home.
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"The clients asked us to design a home for their family of four that was by turns tranquil and surprising, [and] so connected to the trees and the hillside that it would feel like a virtual walk in the woods," explain the architects. They worked closely with the clients to tease out a contemporary design aimed at deepening the family’s relationship with the landscape.
Conceived as a "vehicle for experiencing the site in different ways," the 3,886-square-foot house winds along the steeply sloped terrain and culminates in a dramatic cantilever on the west side. The resulting spaces range from intimate bedrooms nestled into the hillside to a dramatic glass-enclosed great room cantilevered into the canopy for a treehouse-like feel.
The two-story home's entrance faces east, and the primary living areas lie on the main floor. The master bedroom and two additional bedrooms are located on the upper floor. The layout follows an open-plan concept to achieve the client’s desire for "good flow" and to preserve sight lines with the outdoors.
The home's owners are a graphic designer and a fine artist, and they sought a dwelling conducive to artistic work that would inspire creativity through the playful use of color and graphic prints.
"Primary color is introduced through the use of red panels in the kitchen cabinets, a red lacquered metal staircase, and red and blue textiles throughout the house," note the architects, who worked with local interior design practice Ore Studios. "The furniture selections include contemporary classics, a few modern pieces, and enough vintage to provide a feeling that matches the custom nature of the house."
The pops of color and varied textures knit together with a natural materials palette, creating an elegant yet welcoming home.
The architects continue: "For the interior, the owners wanted finish selections for their house that felt timeless and serene while also hewing to their very specific and artistic point of view."
"Large fields of end-grain hemlock with a whitewash finish, white painted trim, and ebonized fir windows are graphic but calm repeating elements. Elsewhere, walnut cabinets, concrete tiles, and porcelain tile set into special layouts appear in smaller quantities."
Builder/General Contractor: Toth Construction
Structural Engineer: Evergreen Design Company
Civil Engineer: Davido Consulting Group
Landscape Design Company: Richard Pulkrabek
Lighting Design: Brian Hood Lighting Design
Interior Design: Ore Studios
Cabinetry Design/ Installation: Kerf (kitchen), DeForest Architects, Ore Studios