Mod­ern home has room for ev­ery­one

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Real Estate - By Sandy De­neau Dunham

There’s a space for ev­ery­one in Satish and Anila’s ul­tra­mod­ern home — even for folks who don’t get to live there:

In the gleam­ing great room, Satish can catch up on movies in the liv­ing area while Anila cooks in the kitchen, and they’re still shar­ing wide-open space, even when they trade spa­ces. (“I like to cook,” says Anila. “I like to clean,” says Satish. “It kind of works.”)

The ad­ja­cent two-story atrium is ideal for snug­gling with their 5-year-old son, Ash­win — rain or shine.

Be­fore bed­time, Ash­win works on read­ing and writ­ing in his awe­some up­stairs big-boy bed­room, where he can keep an eye on Mom and Dad — up­stairs or down — through a floor-to­ceil­ing all-glass wall.

When Satish’s par­ents visit from In­dia for a cou­ple months, they en­camp in to­tal com­fort in their own con­nected-but-pri­vate first-floor guest room.

And when dozens of guests alight for a house­warm­ing party, they flit­ter from wel­com­ing space to wel­com­ing space, nat­u­rally spilling out onto the back deck, over­look­ing a lush green­belt and maybe the en­tire hori­zon.

“We use 95 per­cent of the house ev­ery day,” Satish says. “We spend 80 per­cent of our time down­stairs, and use the up­stairs just to sleep.”

It’s an ex­cel­lent use of space — for fam­ily and friends. “Things,” though, might want to find a new place to live.

“I don’t like clut­ter,” Satish says. “Even now, I think we can get rid of 30 per­cent of our things.”

In the kitchen, he says, as a strik­ing and tidy ex­am­ple, “I didn’t want to see any­thing out. An­drew [van Leeuwen, part­ner and lead ar­chi­tect at BUILD LLC] helped us find a nice cabi­net.”

This mod­ern min­i­mal­ist kitchen is no place for hap­haz­ard re­frig­er­a­tor mag­nets, ei­ther. “At school, they say you can go home and put [art] on your fridge,” Satish says. “That’s not hap­pen­ing in this house.” In­stead, he says, Ash­win gets “one wall, a small space” in his room. (Ash­win puts that to adorably art­ful use.)

Even clothes are not im­mune to the clut­ter aver­sion of a true min­i­mal­ist. In the stream­lined mas­ter suite up­stairs, Satish es­ti­mates a 30-per­cent foul line in the closet and de­clares, laugh­ing, “Ev­ery­thing from here should go.”

Satish, per­haps not sur­pris­ingly a “huge fan” of mod­ern-ar­chi­tec­ture pioneer Le Cor­bus­ier, and Anila both have ar­chi­tec­tural back­grounds.

They knew what they wanted — and how to ex­press it.

“We were look­ing for mod­ern homes,” Satish says. “More min­i­mal­ist. We wanted ex­posed con­crete, glass, steel.”

They just weren’t sure where to build it — un­til they found this site (with its pic­turesque green spa­ces and view) in this neigh­bor­hood (with its ar­chi­tec­turally ac­cept­ing point of view).

“The whole idea is that Seat­tle is such a beau­ti­ful place; let’s build a house where we can en­joy that,” Anila says. “We looked in West Seat­tle and Des Moines. And when my son was born, we started to look at school dis­tricts. … The lot brought us here, and the com­mu­nity said each style can be in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic. This one sort of clicked. It en­cour­aged houses to be unique — mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary style.”

And with project de­signer Carey Mo­ran, also of BUILD, the ar­chi­tec­tural click­ing con­tin­ued.

“We could el­e­vate our con­ver­sa­tions and could dive deeper more quickly,” she says. “With the draw­ings, that aided in our ini­tial mass­ing ex­plo­rations — we could spend time hon­ing in on pro­por­tions.”

In the airy great room, Satish says, “The ceil­ing height and room pro­por­tion in here we spent a lot of time on.” (The ceil­ings are 10 feet high down­stairs, and 9 feet up­stairs.)

And in the two-story, light-filled atrium, he says, “The ini­tial con­cept had two sky­lights and a re­tractable roof. The bud­get made it smaller and smaller. For the scale of the house, it would have been too much.”

Now bril­liantly bal­anced, Satish and Anila’s mod­ern, min­i­mal­ist home is a spe­cial space rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a style, and a fam­ily: It is used and ap­pre­ci­ated, daily, but not weighed down, ever, with things.

“You can go sit there and look out,” says Anila — at the grassy park across the street, and at the front yard … land­scaped, beau­ti­fully in tune, very, very gen­tly.

“The whole idea is to keep it as sim­ple as pos­si­ble to keep the house the fo­cus,” she says.

Steve Ring­man/The Seat­tle Times/TNS

Lots of win­dows al­low nat­u­ral light to shine in Satish and Anila’s new home.

Steve Ring­man/The Seat­tle Times/TNS

Satish and Anila’s new home sits be­tween a park and wet­lands.

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