This exceptional 3.24-acre estate property offers a classic Colonial Revival home and breathtaking views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. It also provides a rare opportunity to own some of the most beautiful privately held, Olmsted-designed gardens in the nation. Only three families have owned this home during its 85-year history.
The gardens, designed in 1928 and completed in 1929, actually preceded construction of the house. When the current owners purchased the property in 1994, the gardens required restoration. And within a few years they were returned to their full glory. The grounds include a series of intricately connected water features in addition to original plantings.
The two-story home was built in 1931. Its original architect is unknown, but in the early 1960’s, Elizabeth Ayer gave the structure embellishments that created the refined character it has today. Ayer, the first registered female architect in the State of Washington, shaped many of the residential neighborhoods in the Seattle area during her long and distinguished career.
The exterior of the house features white clapboard walls, a cedar shake roof and lovely mullioned windows framed with shutters. The structure is evocative of the stately summer homes along the Eastern Seaboard, but this house enjoys vistas unique to the Pacific Northwest – a wide expanse of water with a snow-capped mountain backdrop. Main floor dayrooms are all large in scale and endowed with west-facing windows that bring in lots of natural light and stunning views, giving them a light, airy feel. The scale and floor plan of the home also create an ideal setting for elegant entertaining.
Neat boxwood hedges and high banks of rhododendron and azalea border a circular driveway; a ring of towering evergreens provides privacy from the road. The main entry has a brick porch and portico supported by square columns. The portico’s curved roofline was added by the current owners to replicate a fanlight in the entry hall.
Double paneled doors flanked by crystal sconces open to a spacious entry hall where a glass door with sidelights and a fanlight frames water and mountain views. Intricate millwork here and throughout the house includes crown molding and wainscot walls. Floors are hardwood in a herringbone pattern. A split staircase with turned balusters leads to the upper level. A wide proscenium arch signals the steps which lead down to the adjacent living room, an expansive space that once easily accommodated a seated wedding dinner for 70. The room has a large wood-burning fireplace with a verde marble surround and hand-carved mantel with an ornate fruit motif and egg-and-dart detailing. Windows on the south wall face a side garden with views of one of the garden’s nine ponds. West-facing windows capture views of the lawn, water and mountains. French doors open to a 50-foot wide porch with a canvas awning and Chippendale-style railing that looks down on the gardens, rolling lawn and a stunning view of Puget Sound.
On the opposite side of the entry hall, French doors open to a generous formal dining room with wainscot walls, hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper and a pair of built-in corner cabinets with leaded glass doors. A beautiful crystal chandelier and wall sconces grace the room. The dining room enjoys western vistas as well. Just off the entry hall, there is a receiving area for guests equipped with an elegant powder room, built-in vanity and two coat closets.
In 2004, the kitchen wing of the house was remodeled with the objectives of providing desired contemporary amenities fully in keeping with the original character of the house and affording views to each part of the space. The work of designer Paula Raso and Schultz Miller Construction, completed with exceptional attention to detail, blends seamlessly with other areas of the house. Herringbone-laid hardwood floors replicate those in formal rooms. The kitchen has traditional cabinetry with a wealth of custom storage features. Counters and backsplash are granite. Top-notch appliances include a stainless refrigerator/freezer, two ranges – one electric for baking, the other a gas oven with 6-burners topped by a Ventahood with warming lights, and a warming drawer, all by Viking. The dishwasher is by Miele; all faucets are Franke. A Dutch door affords easy access to the entry driveway. An adjacent butler’s pantry connects the kitchen with the dining room. It offers abundant cabinets, some affixed with stained and leaded glass doors. Special features include a felt-lined drawer for silver flatware and pull-out drawers for alcohol and wine storage. The room has a view window, deep stainless steel sink and a concealed KitchenAid microwave.
Pocket doors separate the kitchen from a sunny breakfast room with a big bay window that frames western vistas. A wall of built-in cabinetry includes space for media equipment. A utility area is located in a back hall off the kitchen. It includes a pantry with more storage options and stacking laundry facilities by Asko as well as a second half bath. A door at the end of the hall opens to an attached 2-car garage, the smaller of two garages, with built-in cabinetry and a door to a side porch that wraps around the house. The porch looks down on a charming structure, historically named “The Tea House,” which holds garden equipment, the irrigation pump and a work bench. Stairs from the porch also provide easy access to the kitchen garden and dog kennel.
The home has five bedrooms, all located on the second level and accessed by two sets of stairs. The privately situated master suite occupies the south side of the second floor. The suite has a unique circular floor plan that connects a sitting room with a built-in office, a large corner bedroom and two marble-appointed baths. The bedroom has three walls of windows with wrap-around views and cabinetry for entertainment equipment. One bath has a shower while the other offers a platform tub, vanity with dressing table and water closet. The master suite is abundantly fitted with closets.
Two other ample-sized bedrooms, one with water views, share a connecting three-quarter bath with a marble-topped double vanity and water closet. A second set of smaller bedrooms, one with western views and the other with built-in cabinetry, share a sitting area and full tile bath. These bedrooms are positioned next to the back stairs that lead to the kitchen. A big linen closet with a view window is located near the master suite, as is a set of pull-down stairs in the ceiling that provide access to a huge unfinished attic.
Double doors off the entry hall open to a full-width staircase leading to the lower level where an expansive space surrounded by garden views was once used a ballroom. It now serves as the ultimate family room. Walls are lined with cabinetry and shelving; the ceiling is trimmed with crown molding with dentil detailing. The room has a wood-burning fireplace with a marble surround and a black-and-white checkerboard floor. French doors provide access to the south side garden. Steps lead down to an adjoining sunroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors that look out on the grand lawn and the Sound beyond. A secured full kitchen, half bath and gardener’s shed with outdoor access are positioned next to the sunroom.
The lower level also offers abundant storage options – multiple closets, including one lined in cedar – and a project room with cabinets and extensive counter space. The utility room holds a second set of laundry facilities, while a big mechanical room houses water and heating equipment. The lower level affords access to a second garage capable of holding six vehicles.
The restoration of the gardens that began in 1994 garnered attention in Pacific Northwest, The Seattle Times Magazine, in October 2000. A set of old Olmsted planting plans found in the house supplemented by other historical documents outlined the bones of the garden and also revealed that many original plantings remain. A string of three formal ponds line the hillside on the north side of the house. The circular cistern at the top of the hill provides enough water to irrigate the entire property. A serene woodland garden on the south side of the property features a series of little waterfalls bordered by moss-covered rocks which connect six ponds. Structural features include an old stone bridge, a wishing well in the orchard and a round lily pond 18 feet in diameter with a jet of water located in the center of perennial beds. The garden provides endless delights – ferns, dogwoods, peonies and hellebores, to name a few. The kitchen garden yields a seasonal bounty of vegetables, tomatoes, herbs and blueberries.
This idyllic setting is shared by wildlife and two-legged creatures alike. The grand lawn is perfect for sledding in the winter and Easter egg rolls in the spring. Resident eagles, osprey and herons that circle above make the property a birdwatcher’s paradise. The numerous watercourses are home to salamanders, newts and other water dwellers. The owners have respected the delicate natural habitat by refraining from the use of pesticides or herbicides.
SYSTEMS & SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Big fully insulated attic with abundant storage space
- Updated hot water heating system fired by two high efficiency Burnham gas furnaces
- Updated dual high capacity Bradford White hot water heaters
- Re-circulating pump to ensure hot water throughout the house
- Sanitary and storm water sewer systems recently refurbished and separated
- Irrigation system supplied by ground water
- Out building for irrigation pump and garden equipment
- Dog kennel with brick floor and dog run
- Security system
- WiFi and cable hook-up