A new home rep­re­sents a process of give-and-take— and a huge win for com­pro­mise

The Tribune (SLO) - - Real Estate Weekly - BY SANDY DENEAU DUNHAM The Seat­tle Times

There is har­mony here: in align­ment and scale, in col­ors and ma­te­ri­als, in the happy ban­ter of an ar­chi­tect and a home­owner singing each other’s praises — es­pe­cially af­ter a com­plex project in­volv­ing se­ri­ous site chal­lenges; highly in­formed par­tic­i­pants; and, ul­ti­mately, cre­atively agree­able trade-offs.

Ac­tu­ally, there were two ar­chi­tects be­hind Eric and Kim’s gleam­ing new home on Lake Sam­mamish, in the state of Wash­ing­ton.

One is An­drew Finch, of Finch De­sign & Pro­duc­tion. The other is Kim her­self.

“I have done only health care

and al­ways wanted to do a house,” she says. “We had a larger home in the En­tiat area on Lake Wash­ing­ton.

Our last house was a builder house, built in 2000. So many things weren’t what I wanted.”

The 1940s cabin that pre­vi­ously lived on this idyl­lic slice of wa­ter­front didn’t ex­actly cut it, ei­ther. For one thing, says Finch, “The cabin’s wa­ter came out of the lake.”

The fact that any new house arose here at all should be con­sid­ered the first crit­i­cal, mu­tual vic­tory. “Be­fore con­struc­tion could be­gin, the home un­der­went an ex­ten­sive reg­u­la­tory re­view be­cause of its lo­ca­tion along the shores of Lake Sam­mamish, and the site hav­ing two ar­eas des­ig­nated as steep slope,” says Finch. “[The] soil was so bad that work­ers stood on sheets of ply­wood while form­ing the foundations.”

You no­tice the slope as you stut­ter-step down the drive­way shared by Eric and Kim and their fel­low empty-nesters next door. Then, re­bal­anced at the bot­tom, you no­tice noth­ing but this home: It’s tex­tured and smooth, metal­lic and glass­ily re­flec­tive, nes­tled and bold, with a shed roof over the on­estory garage; a ma­jes­tic but­ter­fly roof alit on the two-story liv­ing area; and an en­try hall con­nect­ing, and sep­a­rat­ing, them.

The fact that Eric and Kim’s home is this har­mo­niously stun

ning should be con­sid­ered the ul­ti­mate win: It’s a thought­ful com­po­si­tion of in­put, in­sight and ex­pe­ri­ence. Plus a whole lot of give-and-take.

“We had a very clear idea of how we live — how we want to live,” says Eric.

“There were days that were col­lab­o­ra­tive, and some we wanted to kill each other,” Kim says of Finch, hap­pily ban­ter­ing. “Part of the di­a­logue was that An­drew got used to get­ting hand-drawn sketches from me — no CAD. Hour by hour, there def­i­nitely were some things we dis­agreed on, but I did value so much An­drew’s de­sign ex­per­tise. And in some cases, I knew I was right. We each had cer­tain bat­tles we won and ones we lost. The end re­sult is very sat­is­fac­tory.”

To­day’s tour of gen­tle give-and-take be­gins, as tours should, in that wel­com­ing en­try hall, reached via an im­pres­sive 900-pound, one-piece, 5-by-9-foot pivot door.

“This was a dis­agree­ment,” says Kim. “Back in the be­gin­ning, I didn’t know I wanted a pivot door, or whether the struc­ture could sup­port it. ... It’s an ex­tremely heavy door; it needs a steel frame for size and move­ment.”

It’s amaz­ing.

“You were right about the pivot door,” she says to Finch — adding that she found this par­tic­u­lar,

more-af­ford­able cus­tom ver­sion through a ven­dor in Tuc­son.

Of the sid­ing, Finch says, “Kim wanted a no-main­te­nance ex­te­rior. It gives the house more depth.” Adds Kim: “That was a win for me.”

Down­stairs, past a cus­tom stair­way that in­te­grates a vir­tual wall of cab­i­netry through both lev­els, “You com­pro­mised a lit­tle on the bed­room size,” Finch says. Adds Kim: “On this level, to get two be­d­rooms and two bath­rooms, ev­ery­thing is a lit­tle un­der­sized. The up­stairs is big. It’s a trade-off.”

In the master bath­room, glass doors open to the toi­let and to the shower. “An­drew won this one,” Kim says. “I wanted translu­cent all the way to the top, but the light comes in so much bet­ter through the clear. It makes the room feel so much big­ger. Great call.”

In the kitchen, part of the light­filled, lofty-ceilinged, glass-walled great room, Kim says, “I wanted a sec­ondary ta­ble, to stand up.” A pre­cisely cen­tered is­land fits the bill per­fectly. “With this is­land, it’s much more pleas­ant to face each other,” Finch says. “She was right.”

Off the great room, Eric’s of­fice looks through glass pocket doors to more than 20 win­dows fram­ing the lake. “One of my goals was to get Eric’s of­fice on the wa­ter,” says Kim. “We couldn’t do it, but this isn’t too bad.”

And, also on the pe­riph­ery of the great room, Kim’s desk claims a sweet al­cove, highly vis­i­ble and highly func­tional.

“There’s no sense hid­ing the fact you spend a lot of time on the com­puter,” she says.

“Eric gets a whole room. I wanted a niche. I got the big­gest closet; it was part of the trade­off. That’s the joy of a cus­tom house.”

Steve Ringman/The Seat­tle Times/TNS

The draw­ers in the master bath­room, with par­tially translu­cent glass doors to the shower and to the toi­let, are “deep, to get the Soni­care in,” An­drew Finch says.

Steve Ringman/The Seat­tle Times/TNS

“We read or watch TV down here,” says Kim of the lower-level me­dia room, lo­cated be­tween the master bed­room at right and a guest room to the left. “I had al­ways wanted con­crete floors. They told me I couldn’t have them up­stairs, so I’m pleased to have them down here.”

Steve Ringman/The Seat­tle Times/TNS

The black stone sculp­ture on the kitchen is­land is by Mer­lin Co­hen.

Steve Ringman/The Seat­tle Times/TNS

Kim de­signed the ta­ble in the liv­ing area in the dis­tance.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.