Collection by Kelly Dawson

A Richly Detailed Seattle Home Built Around a Family's Active Lifestyle


A couple builds a five-bedroom lakeside house with their three kids and their athletic pastimes in mind.

Even though their three growing sons were approaching college age, these two parents—who both work in Seattle’s tech industry—wanted a place their family could call home. They found a decent one-story on the banks of Seattle's Lake Washington, where several homes are clustered together between the water, a private road, and the thick woods beyond. When architect Kevin Witt, AIA, of First Lamp met the family, he was impressed by their closeness and set out to create something of equal intimacy. “The owners wanted a home where they could share experiences with friends and family,” Witt says. “I know that gets said a lot, but on this project more than most we discussed the house in terms of the activities that happen there, and how we can create the best possible environment for them.” The original property needed some upgrades, but more importantly, the family wanted a gathering place that better reflected their active pursuits. Witt designed a new building atop the old one's existing footprint but with some changes: part of the new home—4,216 square feet in total—would be closer to the water and in sight of Mount Rainer. “We also included a few peek-a-boo views to the west, mainly looking upwards to the tree canopy looming on the hillside above,” he says.

“The main level’s roof form echoes the previous home, while the upstairs roof is oriented to gather as much light and...
“The roof over the entry is meant to evoke the shape of a rowing oar,” Witt says.
The home’s front door, by Simpson Door Company, fills an eight-foot frame with sapele veneer on solid wood.
Sapele is also prominently displayed in the great room.
Abodian built the cabinetry in the kitchen, which features the same sapele wood used throughout the home.
Witt and his team used the framework of the original home as guidance for the new property, but they decided to change...
A Hy-Lite glass door can be found in the master bathroom, which is wrapped in Q-Stone tiles in Ice by Provenza.
“They are a very active family, with rowing and basketball at the top of the list,” Witt says.