One couple’s 1,900-square-foot residence finds harmony with a view.
A single-story, dark bungalow once claimed this corner of land on the edge of Portage Bay in Seattle and always reflected the seasons. If it was cold, the two residents shivered. But if it was warm, the pair was too hot. After living with the pros and cons for 15 years, the couple decided they wanted a modern hideaway that was just right. “They desired a home that was open, light-filled, and private, as well as oriented toward the water and city views,” architect Robert Hutchison says. Privacy was perhaps Hutchison’s biggest concern, since his clients sought to finance their Goldilocks dream with help from an adjoining in-law guest house that would be open to renters. So, he and his eponymous firm found a calm, minimal balance. The second-floor living areas overlook the landscape. And thanks to a custom fireplace and wide sliding glass doors, an uncomfortable temperature is no longer a concern.
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“The house turns its back to the street while opening up to the views to the northeast through a large glazed corner window system,” Hutchison says. One-by-four and one-by-six inch cedar siding, which were pre-stained in Cabot Semi-Transparent Black, were placed vertically and horizontally on the exterior as a subtle detail.
“A series of stepped concrete site walls lead you gradually up to a covered exterior entry, which opens onto a compressed entry foyer,” Hutchison says. A Bertoia bench by Knoll sits in an entryway covered by Mosa’s Greys Collection tiles.
A Bensen Radius dining table and Hudson chairs by Emeco stand between the kitchen and the living room.
“The primary architectural strategy was to connect the exterior entry, primary interior living spaces, and exterior patio as a continuous spatial experience,” Hutchison says. Fleetwood Windows & Doors supplied the sliding pane to the outdoors. A crescent sectional by Camerich sits across from a custom steel-plate fireplace designed by Hutchison.
Broom stacking chairs by Philippe Starck face Caesarstone countertops in the kitchen. A Liebherr refrigerator and Wolf stovetop are on the opposing wall, alongside bleached white oak casework that was custom made by Hutchison and interior designer Carla Allbee.
Custom bleached-white oak flooring covers the floors, including on the staircase to the property’s second floor. Juno five-inch LED recessed wall lighting illuminates the steps at night.
A Risom Lounge Chair by Knoll faces a BoConcept bed. A Tizio desk lamp from Design Within Reach acts as additional lighting. Custom casework by Hutchison and Allbee matches the kitchen’s finished look.
A Hansgrohe Raindance shower head is mounted behind the glass in the master bathroom. A Kohler Ladina undermount sink sits under the vanity mirror.
“Through the thoughtful consideration of how spaces are used, how they obtain natural light, how they obtain natural ventilation, and how they relate to the site, less materials were used in construction, and less energy is needed to live in the house,” Hutchison says.