DeForest Architects: John DeForest, Michael Knowles 
Interior Design: Ore Studios
Contractor: Toth Construction
Photography: Haris Kenjar

Location: near Seattle, Washington
3,900 sf square feet (not incl. garage)
3BR, 2.5Ba

Located in a waterfront neighborhood just south of Seattle, the one-acre wooded site sits atop a bluff overlooking Puget Sound. The property had been part of a much larger estate that was subdivided a few years before the clients purchased it.  

The clients, a graphic designer and fine artist, asked DeForest Architects to design a home for their family of four that was by turns tranquil and surprising, so connected to the trees and the hillside that it would feel like a virtual walk in the woods. Through a series of homework assignments and model workshops, DA developed a modern structure that follows the topography of the site, with some rooms tucked into the land and others floating above it. Spaces were tailored to the needs of the family, with both small and large rooms providing a variety of experiences.

Quiet, timeless finishes provide a serene backdrop that keeps the emphasis on the natural beauty of the site. A high-contrast approach to major elements- white walls and a blackened steel moment frame, bleached hemlock floors with walnut cabinets- provides enough energy to appeal to the clients’ love of strong graphics.

A sense of delight and the unexpected was important to the clients, and was introduced through special elements such as the red metal stair designed by DeForest, fields of graphic tile, and a strong use of color throughout the furnishings. A red stair was an early element they brought to the table. The introduction of blue was inspired by thedisplay of a large collection of cobalt glazed stoneware that has been passed down through family.

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