Susan Marinello Interiors


Susan Marinello Interiors is a multi-disciplinary interior design firm based in Seattle, Washington. Established in 1996, the award-winning firm provides complete interior design, furniture design and procurement for residential, hospitality and commercial projects. Since its inception, the firm has garnered acclaim for its signature approach to creating interiors as natural backdrops for the people occupying the space.

Susan Marinello Interiors designs on multiple scales ranging from urban and commercial commissions to high-end private residences. Within the firm’s experience and ethic, residential design has always been the heartbeat of the practice. An unequivocal depth of knowledge has been cultivated through projects with individual clients, hotels, luxury apartments and condominiums. Altogether, the firm’s significant residential design experience has enabled a study of living well that is engaged in every detail.

The firm’s success is based on its ability to execute thoughtful solutions tailored to the clients’ vision from both a creative and financial perspective.

Complete interior design, furniture design and procurement for residential, hospitality and commercial projects


Ellentuck Interiors


Karen Ellentuck, ASID, NCIDQ, principal designer of Ellentuck Interiors,  is an award-winning interior designer specializing in residential remodeling and custom furnishings. With 30 years of experience, she is more than qualified to guide you through your design project with great expertise. She prides herself as being client-focused working to assist her clients in creating spaces that they want to live in; hence, her tag line is “rooms with your view.” Ellentuck Interiors is looking for clients who are interested in getting great design for their homes and appreciate the value of good design. My clients may know what they like but do know how to pull it all together and are willing to get where they want to go with this designer as their guide. 


Awards: ASID Annual Design Awards, Bath Under 85 S.F., 2019; ASID Annual Design Awards, Bath Over 85 S.F., 2019;  ASID Annual Design Awards, Kitchen Over 200 S.F., 2018,  NW Design Awards, 2015, Textiles, 2013, 1st Place, Kitchen; 2012, 1st Place Bath; 2008. 


Professional memberships:  

ASID, NKBA and NCIDQ certified since 2002. 


Services: Residential furnishings and remodeling, specializing in kitchen and bathrooms. Design services provided such as space planning, furniture layouts, finish and fixture specifications, lighting design and architectural drawings for spaces being remodeled. Assistance with seniors downsizing into multifamily housing and families upsizing into larger homes.  


AMcCurdy Design Firm


AMcCurdy Design Firm is an award-winning, full-service interior design firm and real-estate staging company founded in 2014. Our focus is curating interiors that are timeless, balanced, and contemporary. 


From whole house renovations to one-room transformations, AMcCurdy Design Firm specializes in residential interior and boutique commercial projects throughout the Seattle, Greater Washington areas, and beyond. 


We put passion into every project so that the client’s vision comes to life. Our team works to design spaces that reflect who you are and inspire you through a thoughtful and collaborative design process for years to come. AMcCurdy Design Firm has provided an extraordinary level of service to its clients since its inception. It is helping founder Ashleigh McCurdy to gain notoriety through her loyal following in Washington and across the country. 

Contact us TODAY and let us help you transform your house into a home and fall in love with the space you’re in! 

Karlee Coble Interiors


Karlee Coble Interiors is an elevated interior design firm that specializes in luxury residential and commercial interiors.  For the past eighteen years they have been celebrating the art of living and experiencing refined interior spaces.  Their projects range from San Francisco to Seattle including, single family residence to urban hospitality. 

They believe a proficient interior designer should understand the, “big picture” of the client’s design needs and guide them through the solutions and design process to construction completion.  Karlee Coble Interiors provides a hands-on, highly experienced designer the entire way through the design to the final install without ever compromising skill and experience for the client. “You get senior level design from start to finish.”  Discovering how the client lives in their space starts with a personal story of the resident and ends with an even better interior design telling their story.   

Some of Karlee Coble Interiors services include, space planning, project management, conceptual design, design development, furniture design and construction management.  Specializing in urban and coastal markets, Karlee herself grew up near the sea and has a deep understanding for coastal life, urban life and the quality and importance of luxury interiors.  

NB Design Group


NB Design Group has been creating refined, meaningful interior design for our discerning clientele for nearly 30 years. As a premier Seattle interior design firm, we embrace a process that incorporates a multitude of elements essential to experiencing a building or space as a complete environment. 
We specialize in full-service interior design, including custom furniture, lighting and art procurement/installation. Our project resumé́ includes both new home construction and renovations of residential interiors of all sizes, small to large. NB Design Group also has design experience in boutique hotels, luxury yachts, private aircraft, and small commercial offices. 
Responsive to our clients’ vision, we are committed to design that expresses the interrelationships between architecture and place, space and form, color and materials, economy and integrity. 

Pulp Design Studios


With studios in Dallas, Seattle and Los Angeles, Pulp Design Studios is a national interior design firm specializing in defining clients’ personal styles and transforming their homes into spaces that feel uniquely personalized. After all, it’s not just about having a beautiful home; it’s how you live in it. The team at Pulp works across the country, designing primary residences, pied-à-terres, and vacation homes for clients near and far. Founders Carolina Gentry and Beth Dotolo ensure Pulp’s insightful Splendid Living approach ensures that finished designs are not just beautiful, but also functional. Pulp is respected for design sensibilities and professionalism by the design industry and by their clients. The Pulp team manages the interior design process from conception to installation and works closely with architects and other professionals to minimize costly mistakes in construction and furnishings. In each project, Pulp’s designers go to work, making smart renovation and furnishings choices that beautifully transform each room, resulting in artful homes that exude livable luxury and delightful surprises at every turn.  

2022 Q2


In this issue, experience the PNW’s Spring with SDC. See some animal and geometric settings we’ve been loving, and hear from some designers about what’s been inspiring them! Also, meet some new faces, showrooms, and lines you’ll be able to find around SDC

2022 Q1


In this issue, experience the PNW’s snow with SDC. See some lighting and neutrals settings we’ve been loving, and hear from some designers about what’s been inspiring them! Also, meet some new faces, showrooms, and lines you’ll be able to find around SDC.

Dwell Development | Romantic Renovation

Dwell Development | Romantic Renovation

In this episode of Inspired Design, we head to Lake Washington overlooking Andrews Bay where we meet Dwell Development founders, Anthony and Abbey Maschmedt for an exclusive sneak peak of their passion project. This Lake Washington home is over 100 years old and the Maschmedts are determined to turn it net zero while preserving as much of the original integrity as possible. Learn what it takes to make an old house new again.

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Explore this Episode

Behind the scenes


Lake Washington overlooking Andrews Bay

Dwell Development


Dwell Development is constantly working towards the advancement and growth of sustainable design practices. Dwell strives towards creating the most energy-efficient homes in the world.


Dwell’s Green Initiative


Speaker 1: The greenest homes that exist are the ones that are already here. Right. You know, we build energy efficient homes, cuz we are really good at it, but the greenest ones are already here. So let’s not tear down anymore houses. <laugh> right. Let’s keep ’em and preserve ’em and make ’em special. Again,  

Speaker 2: I’m Gina Colucci with the Seattle design center every week on inspired design, we sit down with an iconic creator in a space that inspires them.  

Speaker 1: You guys doing good? Anthony Gina, Hey Gina. We met,  

Speaker 2: We met this week on inspired design. We meet with Anthony and Abby mashed at their home on Seattle’s lake Washington. The home was built in 1919, and they’re putting the final touches on its restoration in order to make it net zero energy. The home is still under construction, but their goal is to move in in the coming weeks.  

Speaker 1: The second one step forward, two steps back, we clean it up and then we make it dirty again. And then we dig a hole and we fill a hole. It’s like hole, it’s endless. It’s endless for sure. That’s construction.  

Speaker 2: Anthony is CEO of dwell development. He and his wife make a great team. Anthony is passionate about net zero builds while Abby specializes in design on this project specifically, she’s focusing on preserving and restoring the most unique aspects of this 1919 home. Yeah.  

Speaker 1: So Abby did, Abby’s done all the design and for the house and the finishes and she’s also the historian of, of yeah. The house and, and trying to get all the details to be period appropriate. You know, uh, obviously it’s a huge project and we tried to make an old house new again. Right. It was a big task to make a hundred year old home with zero insulation and you know, not very energy  

Speaker 3: Efficient. We usually recommend facelifts to happen when you’re a little younger. So <laugh> yeah, we waited a little long. So it was a little nipping and tucking late.  

Speaker 1: <laugh> a lot of nip and tucking. So, and it’s a very unique, uh, uh, architectural style as  

Speaker 3: Well, especially for the Northwest. We don’t see a lot of stuccos around here. That’s why I, I spent time trying to figure out why, why do a stucco in Washington in, in 1919? Uh, I think just the, there were a lot of people moving up here and so the transplants came like they do and they bring with them their architectural flares of Mediterranean and stucco and  

Speaker 2: I’m from Southern California. So I know it all  

Speaker 3: Too well. Yeah. This is an eclectic Mediterranean, because it’s not a tutor like most people think, but it does have some of the tutor features in the inside. You’ll see that they, we, we tried to pop out some of the spaces, so they were less constrained. Like tutors can be mm-hmm <affirmative> they can be like dollhouses with little bitty gingerbreads and crannies. Yeah. Yeah. So we tried to make it a little more, um, modernized and comfortable.  

Speaker 2: It’s clear. This project is a labor of love. As I stood outside, admiring the stucco exterior, Anthony told us how he and Abby became aware of the home. It felt like it was almost meant to be,  

Speaker 1: We’ve known this about this property for about four years because we jogged by it every single morning on our morning run from our house in Columbia city, down to Stewart park and back. And so we’ve always been a big fan of it because it’s such a beautiful, interesting home and it was stately like, and,  

Speaker 3: And it’s one of the oldest on the Boulevard. So we had our eye on it a long time. It stands out for sure. It’s not amongst a bunch of other Mediterranean style homes. So it’s kind of iconic. And most people in the neighborhood know it, if we say, oh yeah, it’s that Mediterranean job with the castle down there. And they’re like, oh yeah, I know the shit toe.  

Speaker 1: Yeah. And, and well being a developer and trying to acquire land opportunities to develop and to, and to preserve homes too. So we had an opportunity to buy this and about four years ago and it fell through the owners, weren’t quite ready for it. And then they reached out to me again, uh, two years ago, two and a half years ago and they say, Hey, and we started negotiating with them and we made ’em an offer, uh, before they put it on the market. And they said, no, it’s too low. So we said, okay, well let us know if things change. And then they put on the market for a lot more than we offered and it sat and it sat and they lowered the price. They lowered the price. Well,  

Speaker 3: Of course the convergence zone of COVID they put on the market right before COVID hit. So it wasn’t so lucky  

Speaker 2: You guys, October.  

Speaker 1: Yeah. We October, October right before COVID and then they dropped and then they pulled it off the market. And so I called them, I said, Hey, um, would you be willing to reengage? And I would love to do a survey of the property, cuz we always thought there was two additional lots plus this house. And so we confirmed that there was, which means there’s value there to, for, from a development standpoint. And I liked the house, but it was very limited as far as, you know, um, a floor plan that, that we could see ourself living in. And so Abby came down, we looked at it and we go, well, let, let’s do this. Let’s just put one house in the back and let’s, let’s save this house. Let’s replenish shit. Let’s make it bigger and make it our own. And with the possibility when it’s done, if we really like it, we’ll move into it.  

Speaker 1: And we decided to make it a, a passion project for us. And in that our mission at dwell is to, you know, to always lead, always challenge, always strive to do more. And, and with this particular house we said, can we make it net zero? Cause that’s what we do. Right? We make all our homes, net zero energy and as energy ready, super, can we make an old house new again and make it energy efficient and make it smart and add technology and add all those things that we’ve developed over the years into an old house. We wanna show people these don’t need to go to the, to the landfills. You can actually preserve these old houses and make ’em new again. So we set out on this journey. Yeah. So we started what two years we, we bought it two years ago. It took a year to get planned and permitted. So we broke ground last August,  

Speaker 3: Winding the corner to a year.  

Speaker 2: Wow. Yeah. Before we head in, I noticed this large branch up and over the main entrance way.  

Speaker 1: Yeah. I’ll let Abby take this one. So  

Speaker 3: This is a, so what we’re told is it’s a Virginia creeper and the old photographs that I found of the home back. So they, around the thirties, post depression, they sent people out at for jobs to photograph old homes in Seattle. And so the old photographs that I found in the archives, this is here and it’s so amazing. And at one point, the people from whom we bought the house, cut it back because they painted and they did a restoration paint job, but we, we painstakingly have, have kept it. So it will grow back. Wow. And it should, it should travel all over the front of the stucco and it, it’s pretty, it’s an beautiful red leave, you know, it’s an Ivy and it it’s, it’s, it’s meant to be there. And thus, we, we took great pains to keep it there.  

Speaker 2: So just to give you an idea of what we’re looking at, it’s a really old Ivy branch that’s growing up and over the main entrance and it sticks out against the white stucco. If you wanna see exactly what we’re talking about, head to the Seattle design center website on the inspired design podcast page, and you’ll get behind the scenes images and be able to see all the little details that we cover. Yes.  

Speaker 3: Oh, the roots flow all throughout this whole veranda out here, they’re out here. So we were really careful not to dig too deep when we pulled this, this had a layer of concrete underneath and we pulled that up and we put these pavers on just because they’re, they’re porcelain. They’re a little more than it was  

Speaker 1: Actually brick like there. Okay.  

Speaker 3: And we’re talking perimeter  

Speaker 1: About brick, the whole brick, and then they pour a slab concrete on top of it. And so we dealt take the other. And so it was like, and then, then we got to these root balls. The roots were, this thing were in all of the drainage. So we had to everywhere, gently nip and tuck and get it also and preserve this thing. And so now it’s starting to come back, as you can see, and starting to kind of live again,  

Speaker 3: We’ve been talking to it, you know, come on baby. You can do it. You can do it. We disrupted you. We did a little surgery. What a labor of love. Yeah, it really was. I mean, I was a little heartsick cuz I was worried about it when we had to cut it back to get the pain on. I was like, there’s a chance. And then we had somebody come by, who is a landscape architect. She took she’s really, really knows about plants. And she said, I think it’ll survive. They’re pretty hearty. Yeah. So it’s coming back. What a great staple.  

Speaker 1: But even these little, um, details like these, uh, metal brackets on the, on the down spouse, I mean we mm-hmm <affirmative>, those were all beat it up tin that we actually pulled off painted, scraped them and put ’em back in those cupper boxes as well. So that’s just a architectural detail that we kept, but really the gutters are new and the downspouts new and it goes into the drained system and out like it’s supposed to, but we wanted to keep the, you know, the integrity of what it looked like before. So those are just cosmetic, but I think they really make a difference.  

Speaker 3: Well, originally it had wood gutters and you can imagine that wood is not an appropriate material for gutters. Yeah. Because that’s water wood, not such good. And we did pull those off thinking. We would put those back, but they were so beat up by the time and they were rotten and we even saved them for about six months because we it’s really hard to part with all the old stuff we had, ’em all stacked up. And we were like, oh, we’re gonna Bondo these. And then we’re gonna do this. And, and our superintendent was like, are you guys crazy? Yeah. There’s some stuff that just doesn’t need to go back. Wood gutters yeah. Are not appropriate.  

Speaker 1: And I think the stucco is another big element while we’re out here, we can touch on this. So obviously it’s rare to see stucco back from that timeframe in, in the state of Washington. But when we had to remove the back of the house to do the addition, mm-hmm <affirmative> we had to get into it and pull it off. And this is actually is two inch thick Portland cement with a two inch rain gap behind it. So it’s called the rain screen. So there’s free flowing air and water allowed drain behind that wall if, if ever gets behind it. So what it did is it almost made this, this house, like with this iron clad, like shell on the outside of it, because it was zero insulation in these walls zero, it was originally built like that. This was originally built like this. And so we were trying to figure out with our energy modeling, how this affects the sustainability and the energy efficiency of the home.  

Speaker 1: And we’re finding out that it absorbs all the heat during the day. And so it doesn’t get to the building envelope itself. So all the heat in the summer doesn’t penetrate these walls. So you don’t feel it naturally naturally just somehow. And same with the cold, the bitter cold. It, it, that concrete absorbed it all and then releases it during the day or, or it releases the heat at night. So, so the fact that we stripped everything out, put insulation in we’re the energy model in this house is gonna be phenomenal. I mean, it had zero insulation, it was comfortable. And now we packed it with insulation, made it airtight. This is only gonna be this next layer of efficiency that we have never experienced before.  

Speaker 3: It was so naturally like that because we were through the heat dome, we would come down because we didn’t have our permits yet. So we would check in and do it last summer yeah. Of last summer. And we would be like, wow, it’s pretty comfortable in here. It’s not O as oppressive as it is outside. Yeah. So we knew going into this, that the stucco was so valuable and that we would have to emulate that in our addition. And we had to find somebody who could do the same, because this is a different texture than a lot of stucco that you see, right. It’s a much thicker, heavier texture. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And he did that all hand tr so it was all by hand, but  

Speaker 1: The wood behind it was pristine, looked like it was brand new. You saw the writing on it, where they did their measurements. The house paper was a hundred years old. This was beautiful. And it was like, no leaks, no water issues. You think around a window or a door, there’d be some failure at some point nothing. The house would just, the bones were perfect. And then the last thing on the front of the house is this Portico here  

Speaker 2: With reference a Portico is the section of your front porch that hangs over the front door. So you don’t get rained on.  

Speaker 1: As you can see here, it’s quite thick and you can see the seam here. It came in pieces and they set this down and put this top cap on it. Now we still gotta paint it and detail it out because we trying to figure out how to paint all these details and not make it look weird. But this wall is like this thick. And when we stripped it out the in, so you can see the inside at the backside, this thing is this huge concrete kind of piece they just set here. So I’ve never seen anything quite like this before. It’s kind of  

Speaker 3: Special. It’s pretty elaborate. Yeah. I mean, it’s definitely was a feature when they built this house. This whole front area was I think, supposed to look like a, you know, a Mediterranean Villa. And that’s what it feels like facing the lake. And obviously at the time it was built lake Washington was a street, but it was much quieter. So you can imagine that this was just an amazing pro out. And you feel like you’re, you’re in Italy,  

Speaker 2: Standing on the front porch, overlooking lake Washington on the sunny morning. It really did feel like the lake Como of  

Speaker 4: Seattle design center is the premier marketplace for fine home furnishings, designer, textiles, bespoke lighting, curated art and custom kitchen and bath solutions. We are located in the heart of Georgetown, open to the public Monday through Friday with complimentary parking. Our showroom associates are industry experts known for their customer service. We’re celebrating new showrooms and added onsite amenities, visit Seattle design center.com for more information about our showrooms and our find a designer program  

Speaker 2: We’re walking in. You can obviously still hear the construction going on. Yeah. But now you’re at the point where you’re just putting the fine details.  

Speaker 3: Absolutely. This is all the fun stuff. This is where the magic happens. Yeah,  

Speaker 1: For sure.  

Speaker 3: This originally was a second floor room. Oh wow. And so one of the things that we knew when we came in this house, it was quite constrained. So you have this magical entryway, but when you walked in, it felt very compressed. And so we, one of the things that I said before, I would live here and think about this house is that this floor needed to go and we needed to have this be a double height entry.  

Speaker 1: You see where that belly down was the bedroom justice, the bedroom do that, that wall dove right into. So these banisters cut off about halfway up and shorten down. And so this was the floor. And so we had to find someone to tool these exact pickets like this, and this was all custom done to match exactly what was here before. So we  

Speaker 3: Can, so if the original ended about three quarters of the way up and the last quarter all had to be made to match,  

Speaker 2: I love the Karen attention. Both Abby and Anthony took during this project. They honored the old, but enhanced it for a modern lifestyle. So now we’re entering  

Speaker 3: The  

Speaker 1: Dining room, the dining room, the formal dining room. Yeah. Front of the house. We tried to keep as original as, as possible. This is the original millwork that was on original windows, the original crown moldings that we pulled off, saved them, labeled them and put ’em all back. So it was really a, uh, fun challenge. We  

Speaker 3: Took, took them apart, taped them together, labeled them. We had a giant container out front. That’s no longer here that housed all of our millwork. The windows were taken out retooled, everything was fixed or all the hardware was fixed. And so one of the things that we had to decide in balancing this whole project is do we just replace all of the windows? Because naturally you think, well, there’s single pain, but it was important to me to maintain the original facade. And so we decided that we would put new windows in our addition and keep the old windows in the front. And though that will take some balancing with our en energy modeling. Right. It’s not necessarily the most efficient, there was some level of decision making that also had to do with the house. How do we maintain the house?  

Speaker 5: Yeah. And do you think you would be able be comfortable with it if the house wasn’t built with that stucco like cement layer?  

Speaker 1: I, I think it has a huge impact on, on the comfort level of the home for sure. But what we do is we guarantee the comfort level by all the things that we do and have been doing for the last 15, 20 years in building sustainable homes that framing on this home, which is rare for this age of a home is a two by six wall, which is really rare. Yeah. In an old house like this. So we knew we had plenty of opportunity to pack this with cellulose insulation to make it airtight. So, so we do all the things that we always do. But now once you get it down to the bones, now we know how to put it back together in the most efficient way possible, making it airtight and super insulated. And, and then the heating and cooling system came into play. And this is where her and I probably really only butted heads on one topic. Anthony  

Speaker 2: And Abby were able to agree on a balance between preservation and modern energy efficiency when it came to the windows and the front facade. But the radiators, that’s a different story.  

Speaker 1: This house had old radiators in it, which are great. It, one of those radiant heat, right? It’s comfortable. It’s neat. Had these big radi. You can see the holes on the floor where they used to sit. They take up wall space, but we were really trying to make this house, um, no gas on it. We didn’t wanna have gas heating and cooling in this house or hot water. And we partnered with Mitsubishi and Panasonic who worked with us. And I wanna give a shout out to those guys cause they actually donated all the heating and cooling systems and the, uh, fresh air, energy recovery ventilator for this house to make it really sustainable, uncomfortable. So they saw the value of what we were doing, cuz if we can pull this off and show other people how to make an old house new again, there’s a lot of value in that, right? So Abby wanted to preserve the heating, which is which I think is great. And I love it too, but we’re like, we’re gonna put state of the art controlled by us and our cell phones. We can control the heating and cooling this house. We don’t wanna have a heat dome. So we wanted cooling. We knew that. So we put a state of the art heating and cooling air handler heat pump system in this house. We did two of ’em actually one for each four.  

Speaker 3: Oh, when we set out, we thought for me, because I’m more of the preservationist, I was really, really committed to saving the radiators. I was like, that was like a deal breaker for me, that those radiators and they’re not even great for space planning. They were big, they were giant. Yeah. But I just had this feeling that they needed to be here. So we continued to have lots of conversations. So we decided, okay, we’re gonna keep them. And they’ll just be this backups backup system. And so then we started down the path of keeping all of these radiators with this backup system. And then we found that also we have to find the balance of co it was cost prohibitive to have a whole secondary system for a house. The funny thing about construction is once it’s gone, you sort of forget it was ever there. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so I just had to sort of go, okay, so once they get moved out, I will no longer remember them. <laugh>  

Speaker 5: Even outside outta my,  

Speaker 3: Even though I felt like I was gonna strap myself to one and chain outside. I mean, I, so, and hopefully they’ll live another day in some other place a woman had come by to a church. She took them and she, she took them for the church because they already have radiators. And she was super excited because she had a lot of variety to choose from.  

Speaker 1: Yeah. It’s kinda like we wanted cooling. We wanted cooling in the house and this system does both. So like, okay, does the heating, it does the cooling really efficiently. One of these things ever gonna go on? Why would we have a gas boiler backup system? It’s just like, you know, I love our, we have a little convertible bug that we drive a few weeks a year, but you don’t drive it all the time. Cause it does make sense there to Northwest it, it is not efficient. We finally got to a place where it made sense for us just to move on from that  

Speaker 2: We headed into the kitchen, which Abby and Anthony have hugely expanded from the original galley style kitchen. They managed to preserve the historic feel of the house while installing the creature comforts and personalized touches for their family needs in 2022.  

Speaker 5: So the old house, this is a massive island. I know  

Speaker 3: It is  

Speaker 5: The biggest  

Speaker 3: 15 feet lot.  

Speaker 2: <laugh> yeah. Like most other families, they spend a lot of time in the kitchen. So they added a giant 15 foot island and the rest of the kitchen will have updated modern appliances. Yeah.  

Speaker 1: The old house ended right here. So this was the kitchen you’re in the old kitchen right now.  

Speaker 5: And how much space. Okay. So you have a 15  

Speaker 3: Foot island in, there was kitchen. So the kitchen was about, is that right here to there? Yeah. 10 feet. It was a little galley style, small kitchen. So the rest, the 14 feet this way are all new.  

Speaker 5: Yeah. Wow. And you put in these beautiful beams.  

Speaker 3: These are, these are, yeah. These are structure to hold up the addition and we wrapped them and this is hundred year old Barnwood.  

Speaker 1: So this was, that’s actually a skin on the old beam that we made it and they did an incredible job cement it. So you could barely tell that’s an old beam. So that wood on the floor was brought in from Montana and our, our mill guys put that on that old glue lamb there to support the same one over there. So we wanted to kind of keep with the old kind of rustic kind of feel of a house like this, for  

Speaker 5: Sure. Wow. Yeah. There is a, you can, you, it feels like it is seamless, but it has the updated amenities that we all  

Speaker 3: Absolutely. It was a creature comfort. Yeah. Yeah. The creature comforts. I mean it, you, it, it had, it probably had an eighties remodel on a very modest kitchen. Kitchens were not big centers of the family. Like they are now. I mean, we spend a lot of time in our kitchen all together. That’s where we, we hang out and when we have parties, that’s where everybody converges is in the kitchen. Yeah. Those are the most popular and in our new development, that’s what I, I build the houses around the kitchen. I just feel like those are centers of people’s universes now. And especially with COVID too. I mean, that’s even reinforced that more. Yeah. So for this, for us, this was though it is massive. And a lot of people come over here and walk through and go, are you kidding me? <laugh> love it. It’s  

Speaker 1: Huge. Hey, we’re timing is perfect because you know, our daughters in New York going to school at NYU and our son is gonna be a senior. So in a matter we’re, it’s gonna be us. So  

Speaker 3: <laugh>, we’re sitting at this massively long island. That’s like, if you put in a  

Speaker 1: Fight that day, depending on how far away from you sit for another. Exactly. Yeah. So from this point forward it’s, it’s, it’s new construction. And we did a, uh, a slab foundation on, um, pin piles, cuz we didn’t wanna disrupt the soil around the back of the house. So we, so it’s all new going that way. A new, um, uh, dad, which replaced the old carriage house and then a new house behind it as well. So the, it goes street to street. So  

Speaker 2: We continue to walk through the house and Anthony and Abby point out different elements. They’ve preserved the old traditional doors. Now we,  

Speaker 1: We actually preserved the front and back door that were on this house. And there was a third door, which we moved over to the dad. So we kept these old traditional  

Speaker 2: SCOs.  

Speaker 1: This was the original crown molding that was in here  

Speaker 3: As well. All original millwork in this room, original doors, the original everything’s original in  

Speaker 2: Here, tiling on the floors,  

Speaker 3: Which all are tile from the 19, you know, turn cent, turn teens early teens.  

Speaker 1: That’s gonna be Marvel in the other fireplace, but this one we decided we’re gonna present.  

Speaker 3: Oh yeah, this is, these tiles are beautiful  

Speaker 2: Light SCS.  

Speaker 3: A lot of the lighting is old. I love lighting. In my spare time, I spend a lot of time looking at lighting,  

Speaker 2: Old growth fur  

Speaker 1: The floors in this house were mahogany for the, the  

Speaker 3: Combination of mahogany in fur old growth fur. Oh.  

Speaker 1: Which is, which was really weird. And so we didn’t know, there was a combination of, we thought there was fur in like hallways and, you know, auxiliary closets so forth, but it was all stain the match. And there was all inlaid in certain ways where it was all pattern. I was like really cool. And then we sanded these floors and we realized that there was fur inlaid with the Maha that was stain to match. So it was like, whoa. So it kind of threw us for a loop. So all this is old girl fur that Abby procured that matches the fur that was in the original house. So when this is all sanded and done and stained, it’s gonna look like,  

Speaker 3: It’ll look the same. It’ll look. Exactly, exactly. And that was really important because we started looking for mahogany, which is difficult to find. And it’s mainly from rainforest and it’s not there, there there’s nothing that you can find that’s sustainable. So we really wanted to find something that was still sustainable  

Speaker 2: All while balancing each of their two top priorities, a net zero home and preserving as much of the original integrity of the home is possible.  

Speaker 1: Um, but, but behind the walls, you mean, you’ll see lots of little wires poking out and mm-hmm <affirmative> so we’re gonna have speakers. And the whole house is wired for a complete home management system to run the entire heating, cooling, you know, security, you know, the doorbell cameras everything’s run on one app. So this, and we’ll have a key pad in the kitchen, you know, so you can control and see everything. So this house is gonna be able to, uh, you can control the solar, you can see how much solar’s gonna be coming into this property cause we’re putting solar panels on. So that was really important for me to have a house that is is efficient, but also can, can live into the future as well. And, and the clean energy that this house is gonna produce, hopefully will offset the energy it takes to kind of keep it going.  

Speaker 1: Yeah. So we’re really close the energy. Model’s gonna be real close to making it net zero, if not, it’s gonna be darn close. So, but, but really to be able to manage a home today is important. And having the ability to manage it, you know, uh, is, is crucial because you can, if, if it’s not being efficient, then you can make adjustments to the heating and cooling to make it more efficient. Right? You can balance it. You can make, have fresh air coming in at certain times and, and really make the home really, really comfortable. That’s the important thing is the home needs to be comfortable. The fresh air needs to be filtered all the time and, and, and breathing. We don’t want there’s no toxins, no VOCs added to this house. No, no, no off gassing of anything. Cause that’s part of what we do. We don’t want to breathe that’s those are bad. Yeah. So all the stuff that we do is, is what we’re doing here too.  

Speaker 2: So even standing within the house and looking out of the windows, you were struck by how gorgeous the flowers were. It was almost like you were surrounded by an old English garden.  

Speaker 1: Those roses were all in the backyard, up, down the side. And they were,  

Speaker 3: They had a pretty immense rose garden because they of course had a street to street lot with an amazing yard of flowers and established. So  

Speaker 1: We saved them all. We, we did, we transplant ’em and put ’em right there,  

Speaker 3: Much to our guys. They were like, are you crazy? Yeah, we’re saving all these. They had the most amazing height ranges out there and we’ve saved as many as we could possibly find spots for.  

Speaker 1: So those are temporary. We’re gonna put ’em somewhere so they can live on longer. So this yard originally sloped down from, from that patio about, at, at six feet down to the street. So it wasn’t like a steep slope, but it was a gentle roll down and it made the house feel very like when you walked out the street, you kind of, your eye went to that beautiful lawn and it went up to this house and it was very grand feeling. And what my goal was is that I wanted to have this nice level to get this feeling of not being so connected to the street, get above it a little bit. So we’re in the middle of adding this two tiered, um, kind of like stack rock wall out there. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, that’s gonna create some layers and it’s gonna bring up that, that total yard about five feet. So it’s gonna be completely level out to the end. And then it’s gonna have these two step stack stone walls, which are very English kind of looking, it might look appropriate for this architecture and then we’re gonna landscape around it. So we’re gonna have a flat yard. It is gonna cut off the street, but it’s gonna still enhance the lake  

Speaker 3: Well. And, and when this home was built in 1919, that street wasn’t as busy. So being mindful of how things have evolved, mm-hmm <affirmative> we needed more buffer. This is a, a major it’s busy street. Now it’s, you know, there’s a lot more cars on the road than there were in 1919. So of course having a little more buffer when it flowed to the lake, the, our yard just flowed right down to the street. It just felt like now to give us that little bit of noise buffer, as well  

Speaker 2: As our tour was winding down, Anthony explained how this project has energized him to take on more traditional home restorations and make them energy efficient.  

Speaker 1: I wanna do a net zero energy Victorian. I wanna do a net zero energy. Mid-century modern. So let’s flip the script now and let’s go back to traditional architecture, but do it the way we do it. Right. Which is efficient and not make it, not everything has to be modern to be energy efficient. We have this symbol of green is modern. It’s like, yeah, that’s the story we’ve been telling, but it doesn’t have to be the story that continues. Right? So, so that’s what we’re trying to do. This is just step one. And uh, we design our next new single family home. So you’re gonna see a Victorian an Italian night who knows, right. Craftsman. My goal is, is that we can show all these builders out there and people who own old, beautiful homes that, you know what don’t turn ’em down. You know, we can show you how to make ’em net zero energy and bring back the details and the comfort that that you’ve been missing because these houses are very special.  

Speaker 2: Thank you to Anthony and Abby meshk for taking us through their beautiful restoration and opening our eyes to the possibilities and promise of net zero energy homes. Inspired design is brought to you by the Seattle design center. The show is produced by large media. You can find them@larjmedia.com special, thanks to meet Jesus Suzuki, Lisa Willis, and Kimmy design for bringing this podcast to life for more head to Seattle design center.com, where you can subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media. On the next episode of inspired design, we head to the water to meet Michelle Linden architect and interior designer who takes us through an iconic floating home.  

Speaker 6: There’s so much activity that you can see just sitting in this living room. You can see right now, look at the pirate ship that’s coming by, um, for Seafair. So in the summertime, it is very active out here. All the fun things that are happening on the lake are happening essentially in your front yard. 


Jim Olson | Harmonious Habitat

Jim Olson | Harmonious Habitat

In this episode of Inspired Design, we head 60 miles southwest of the Seattle Design Center to Longbranch, WA where we meet Jim Olson, the Seattle AIA Medal of Honor recipient and founding partner of renowned architectural firm Olson Kundig. He takes us on a private tour of his cabin on Puget Sound, where we learn how his accidental and purposeful design choices seamlessly blend the surrounding forest with the structure of the home to create the ultimate peaceful retreat.

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Behind the scenes


Cabin at Longbranch, Wa


As the founding partner of Olson Kundig, Jim Olson has explored the aesthetic interplay of art, nature and architecture, and the relationship between light and space, for over fifty years. Olson has received numerous honors including the Seattle AIA Medal of Honor and many national and international design awards. His work is the focus of four monographs and has been published more than one thousand times in venues worldwide, including the New York Times, Dwell, the Wall Street Journal, and Architectural Digest. Olson’s work was the subject of a traveling career retrospective that originated in 2011 at the Museum of Art at Washington State University, as well as a solo exhibition at the University of Washington in 2015. Under his leadership, Olson Kundig has received a National Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects, has been included in the AD100 list 13 times, and for four years has been named one of the Top Ten Most Innovative Companies in Architecture by Fast Company.


The firm is led by 14 principal/owners who are supported by a team of over 250 in both Seattle and New York. Olson Kundig’s in-house Interiors Studio, founded in 2000, and Master Planning & Landscape Design Studio are integral parts of the firm’s practice, resulting in designs that foster a cohesive experience of the entire built environment.

Olson Kundig


Speaker 1:        For me, architecture is about making other things stand out and not so much. The architecture itself nature is the teacher.

Speaker 2:        I’m Gina Colucci with the Seattle design center every week on inspired design, we sit down with an iconic creator in a space that inspires them this week on inspired design. We meet up with Jim Olson of Olson. Kundig architects at his cabin in long branch, Washington, about an hour and a half Southwest of Seattle.

Speaker 1:        And my grandparents got this property in 1912. And the only way to get here was by boat. They’d come on little passenger ferries out to the long branch dock and then row in their rowboats over to their property. But it’s just such a perfect view. Mount Rainier is right across their framed perfectly, uh, between those two islands

Speaker 2:        With over a century of family history. Jim spent summers here as a child and when the original cabin burnt down in the 1960s, his father gave him a unique opportunity, the perfect project for a kid with a budding interest in architecture.

Speaker 1:        And then my parents, uh, later on built a house next door. And when they built their house, they had to tear down what was the bunk house. It was a place to send the teenagers out into the woods to get rid of them. And so I was 18 years old and uh, first year in architecture school and my dad gave me $500 and said, go build a new bunkhouse. So the first part of our cabin was the bunkhouse that I built when I was 18. Honestly, I think it was probably the best opportunity I ever had in my life to think about things as one thing, but actually to make it real. That’s what architecture is all about. And that was my first experience. And, uh, it just meant so much just little things that happened to you, you know, early on, you know, he always said, uh, if you can, uh, make your a career out of what you’d like to do as a hobby, you’ll always be happy. And I liked art and I liked building things. Architecture was kind of the perfect balance of all that for me. And so he did encourage that. It really, it really meant a lot

Speaker 2:        From the beach we turned toward long branch cabin, comfortably nestled amongst the trees with a perfect view of the water in the mountains.

Speaker 1:        If you know about fro the idea, the best location is on a hill overlooking water facing south. And this does that cuz south is, is that way. And it’s just sort of the most favored orientation and situation. I didn’t realize that at the time, but it was a lucky coincidence that, uh, that we did, we did end up facing that way, you know, new year’s and Christmas, the setting sun comes directly into the living room and goes all the way through the house to the very end and sort of like stone hands or something <laugh> that wasn’t planned either, but it’s just such a wonderful coincidence. We, you know, architects plan all the time to make this happen and that happen. And then there are these things that just happen by coincidence. And sometimes they’re the best ones

Speaker 2:        For a home of a very well known architect. Long branch cabin is very unassuming. Like it perfectly blends in with its surroundings and you have to stop and notice the angles and the wood and the glass. Otherwise you might just miss it. As we walked up to the house, Jim talked about how there are rooms outside and inside the house

Speaker 1:        In a, in a lot of ways, this field is the living room of the house. There are other little rooms around, there’s a, a, there’s a meadow up in the woods up there and that’s like a little room. And then I’m gonna take you to another room here. These trails have been here forever. I mean, they might have been here for like a thousand years as far as I know, but I know, you know, at least early 19 hundreds and I just love ’em. And so I, I always have people park down below and walk up the trails because it’s so much nicer. Yeah. You get the, sort of the mood of the place. These are all huckleberry, uh, bushes and they’re, you know, they’re really good. They’re, they’re ripened the end of summer. So there’s a little place up here are where, uh, you can, you know, viewing Mount Rainier and we, we have a little garden that’s, we’re just getting going, but, um, it’s nice to have these little outdoor rooms mm-hmm <affirmative> so this is like a room in the house.

Speaker 1:        Yeah. And from here you can kind of see, um, the, the original cabin has Moss on it and that’s intentional. I mean, I, I, I could scrape it off or I could replace the beams and all that, but I like the fact that it looks old and weathered because it is mm-hmm <affirmative> and then it makes the, you know, the layers of history can be read more easily by, um, you know, just letting it, letting it decay a little bit. And I, to, when it gets to the point where it has to be replaced, I’ll just replace it and we’ll start over. But

Speaker 2:        <laugh>, as we stand in front of the cabin, Jim built in the sixties, it’s clear the structure embodies Jims, enduring philosophy as an architect.

Speaker 1:        You know, I kind of grew, I grew up up in Enumclaw in the woods and then here in the woods and I’ve just loved just being out in nature and listening to the birds and, you know, it’s just, it’s just a wonderful thing. And so this little house was, um, just intended to be just a little place to just sit and just be part of the natural world. Um, and it still is that way really. So that’s how it started. And, and I think in a sense, you know, my whole philosophy of an architect is, is integrating, you know, life with nature as much as possible. And that was really what that house was all about. And it’s sort of continued, uh, you know, I haven’t really changed my mind on that <laugh> and especially in today’s world, I’m just more and more, uh, adamant about, um, you know, working with nature as much as we can. The wood is just wood that’s weathered. And it’s the, essentially the color of, you know, some of the weathered wood on the trees and the driftwood on the beach and, and all that. So, you know, it’s just like, it grew here

Speaker 2:        Over the years, Jim has expanded the cabin building wings of the house as his family grew with major renovations in the 1980s and early two thousands

Speaker 1:        In the early 1980s. Uh, we out kind of outgrew this one little house. And so we added and we wanted a bathroom. So we made a little outhouse that actually had real plumbing. And that’s this little building is that, and we put it up the stairs, it’s like a little template, had a bathtub, a sink, and a toilet in it. And it had all glass ceiling <laugh> and, uh, it was wonderful little spa kind of thing. Yeah. <laugh> yeah. And then we had a bedroom that was another little building and it had a, a glass dome over the bed. So when you woke up in the morning, you could look up and see the trees and you’d see birds go over and things like that. And then at night you saw the stars. So it’s really, uh, you know, three little, little build, separate buildings out in nature.

Speaker 1:        The first was teenagers getting away from everybody. And the second was, uh, expanding to, you know, accommodate a more mature life and, you know, kids and friends and all that. Then as we got older, getting up in the middle of the night, in the little house, over there, walking across a deck in the rain and up these stairs to the go to the bathroom seemed a little much. So we added another wing and that was the new, uh, living room, which you can see right there. So that was done about, uh, about 2000. And I’d been dreaming about having this room, like a real living room in the house for maybe five or 10 years before we actually did it. Oh, wow. And so I’d be sketching and thinking, and wouldn’t it be great to be up in the trees? So we did that and then we did an indoor bathroom here, so that, uh, and then it connected the bedroom to the rest of this.

Speaker 1:        So we had a bedroom living room, kitchen, and bathroom all in, under one roof. So that was nice. <laugh> and then this became like a little Playhouse for my granddaughters. And then it’s the original kind of now it’s now it’s my, uh, I have my, the elliptical up there. And so it’s, it’s the, the gym essentially. So now we’ll go inside and this is the everything’s original, the stain, hasn’t it. We stained at once in 1958, never stained it again. And I just, you know, I love the way it looks. Yeah. It gets, it changes color, you know, over the years,

Speaker 2:        Just before going inside, we’re standing on a staircase heading into the main house and I’m stopped in my tracks by this giant furry,

Speaker 1:        There is a tree growing in the middle of the stairway, going up to the fitness center, we call it <laugh>. And, uh, the tree keeps growing and the, uh, stairway buckles and things as the tree grows. And so we have to keep widening the circle, uh, around the tree. You know, it’s kind of the attitude here. Nature wins when there’s an argument, nature wins, we accommodate nature as opposed to the other way around, but look at the, see the color of the bark, you know, there’s this kind of brown, but then see how it’s, uh, it’s where it’s weathered. It’s kind of a silvery, uh, color. And then there’s the green Moss on that. I was gonna say like, yeah, light, but you know, there’s a lot of, uh, yeah. Color. And then the SAP is kind of a, you know, shiny, but a lot of times as the bark weathers, it gets silver and it actually is almost metallic or something.

Speaker 1:        Wow. And so, you know, the house, uh, when we did the 2003 edition, we, uh, started using metal with it. And so the, uh, galvanized metal columns are silver, like the, uh, bark on the trees, you know, it’s, uh, very much the same color and it kind of sparkles. Yes. And so you get that sparkle and then you get the sparkle off the water too, but it’s just, you know, NA I guess nature is the teacher here. You know, I spend more time, I think looking at nature than I do looking at other peop other architecture, couple of things that I think are really important here are the verticality of the fur trees. And they’re, you know, they’re very simple, they’re straight. And then how the organic plays off of that and the, the straight lines help the organic shapes to be appreciated more, I think.

Speaker 1:        And then, uh, looking across the bay, how the islands are defined by the straight line of the water in the beach, and especially Mount Rainier, you know, there’s this very simple, straight line that the water defines, and then you have the, the big mountain coming up from that. And so the straight line underlines and is a point of reference that, uh, is compliments the shape of the mountain. Like for me, architecture is about making other things stand out and not so much the architecture itself, even though, you know, of course you want it to be beautiful and that works with nature. And when we go inside, you’ll see how trees and things are framed by the rec to linear, uh, windows on the inside. And it, the same thing works with art. So in a lot of the art houses that I’ve done, you know, the columns and beams and things, you know, help, uh, frame the art pieces, which are quite often very, uh, organic in, you know, what’s going on in them.

Speaker 3:        Seattle design center is the premier marketplace for fine home furnishings, designer, textiles, bespoke lighting, curated art, and custom kitchen and bath solutions. We are located in the heart of Georgetown, open to the public Monday through Friday with complimentary parking. Our showroom associates are industry experts known for their customer service. We’re celebrating new showrooms and added onsite amenities, visit Seattle design center.com for more information about our showrooms and our find a designer program.

Speaker 1:        I mean, to me, everything is it’s like the landscape, the building, uh, you know, the furniture, the art, it, you know, it’s all one thing to me it’s best when it’s really, uh, connected together and they sort of inform each other. So everything affects everything else. So, uh, this used to be the deck right here. So where we’re standing, uh, was the deck of the original cabin. And it ended here, you can see the outside of it.

Speaker 4:        And this was, yeah. This one isn’t so weathered the, no, we stained that. We restain that.

Speaker 1:        Yeah. We stain that. And, uh, then, so you step down to the living room, which kind of helps you kind of, you know, look down into the, into the beach, but notice the window at the end there. How, um, you, it feels like there’s no glass in the window.

Speaker 2:        Well, you’re standing there and it, you notice something is different, but you can’t put your finger on it and you almost have to stand there for a minute to really let your eye realize that it doesn’t look like your windows in your house. It’s almost like a secret.

Speaker 1:        There is no glass in the

Speaker 4:        Window. So you step down into like,

Speaker 1:        No, there really

Speaker 4:        Are we gonna fall out? No,

Speaker 2:        I know there’s no frame to these windows. The window goes all the way past where the floor begins. So it feels like you could be inside or outside almost like a covered patio.

Speaker 1:        Sometimes people come in and they think there’s no glass in the window because

Speaker 4:        You can’t see the bottom.

Speaker 1:        Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. Uh, the bottom, uh, is the, the glass is held down below the floor and then this column on the side and the beam going across there hide the edges of the glass. So when you first look at it really, uh, it looks like there’s no glass in the window. Yeah. And it’s, it’s just a way of connecting the inside with the outside where you just subliminally feel like you’re outside when you’re here. And some people do come in and they say, oh, I thought this was indoors it’s outdoors.

Speaker 4:        And when you were dreaming about making this space, is that

Speaker 2:        Something that was in your original concept

Speaker 1:        Joins? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s really important to me to try to, and then see the framing, like the trees help frame the view of the beach mm-hmm <affirmative> and then the architecture works right with the trees to frame the beach. Then the beach is going at an angle rather than just straight across. Right. Another thing I’m really into is proportions getting these sort of vertical proportions. And I think it, you know, comes from like classical Greece and Egypt and all, but also just the woods here, because what, you know, we’re, we’re in this situation where the, these vertical, uh, trees, I think they inspired the, you know, the early, uh, civilizations, uh, trees obviously. Yeah. And, uh, you know, they do give a sense of elegance that mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, I think is really important. So that’s that, and we can walk down here.

Speaker 2:        We took a few steps down into the main living room and Jim showed us a chair. He had designed,

Speaker 1:        We call it the long branch chair and a

Speaker 2:        Quick description of the long branch chair. It’s very simple, actually only three pieces. You have one piece of wood that makes the back, that’s tilted at a angle, and then you have the seat that tilts up a little bit. And then another piece that comes out of the back for support Jim designed it so that it was comfortable when you sat in it. But also very simple. If you wanna see what it looks like, head to the Seattle design center website and click on the podcast page, there’s all types of behind the scenes photos.

Speaker 1:        It’s, uh, just a chair to sort of sit out on the decks and then have one in the living room. And, uh, again, the ADOC chair, uh, experience informed the angle where you sit and I just wanted it to be, you know, really simple. So just with like one slab of wood and then, uh, you know, one thing to hold up the seat and the seat kind of candle levers on both sides. And there’s a little, uh, extension of that, of that vertical that holds up the seat in the back that keeps the chair from tipping over backwards. And that’s, that’s it. So it’s the least amount of pieces. See, there’s just that little thing.

Speaker 4:        So it’s, it’s four pieces of wood Uhhuh, the, the main slab, that’s the backrest, right? The, the second

Speaker 2:        Slab that says the seat, and then you’ve got the triangle underneath the seat Uhhuh or the slab. So I’m triangle and then the piece in the

Speaker 1:        Back that, yeah, that’s it. Yeah. My wife is a reader. And so she’s always sat in this chair and reads and you know, when you sit in that chair, you’re just, you’re like right there with the squirrels and the birds and it floated. Yeah. And then it’s good light. Paul ki home is the designer. It’s a, it’s one of my favorite chairs. So simple, you know, it just has the, you know, that the, the leather piece and then the legs. And that’s it. I just love that chair. And it’s beautiful in silhouette

Speaker 2:        Chairs are an important part of long branch. The ability to comfortably sit and read and write and design and relax are important to Jim’s overall vision for the cabin. Most of the chairs Jim has designed himself. However, there are a few that he has picked up along the way in between the kitchen and the living room. There was another table. And around that table were these two chairs. They looked like chairs. You might see in a 19th century schoolhouse,

Speaker 1:        I just got these. And it says Boeing company. I just discovered that after I brought it home. Oh yeah. It says Boeing company. And so, but aren’t, they beautiful for me? Like I know it when I see it, my granddaughter and I were down going through these antique places and way in the back in a, you know, just a sea of, of chairs. It wasn’t, they weren’t like on display or anything. I saw one of these and I just said, there that’s the chair right there. And there were two of them, which was just perfect.

Speaker 2:        It’s like, almost like a physical reaction.

Speaker 1:        It is, you know, it, I mean, you kind of know, know it when it’s, when it’s the right thing. Yeah. So now we’ll go back to, um,

Speaker 2:        As we head to the next room, I’m struck by how calming the energy of the houses.

Speaker 1:        So this used to be the bedroom and it was a standalone room. The bed was here and your head of the bed was there. And so if you lie down in the bed, you can look up and see, yeah. And then we could look at the stars from the, from bed <laugh> it was great.

Speaker 2:        And are these the original,

Speaker 5:        You know, you kind of, it’s like, you can tell that that was

Speaker 1:        Outside. That was original. That was outside. Yeah. Yeah. Light fixture. So this is kind of interesting here, cuz you have, uh, 2000, these columns are 2003. These columns are 9 19 58 and this is 1980. You have these layers of history, you know, you can look around the place, the advantage of adding on rather than tearing things down and building new is that you get these sort of layers of, of time that you can read when you’re in a place like old European buildings, when they’ve been added on all these times, you kind of can tell the that. I think it’s great.

Speaker 2:        This cabin is like a beautiful patchwork of time. As we head into the hallway. It’s almost as if time stands still one side looks out into the forest and the other looks out onto the clearing and the bay.

Speaker 1:        So this was all just outdoors. Oh wow. And so now we’re seeing the outdoors of our former bedroom. And so you can, you can walk by and look into the old bedroom and there are blinds if somebody’s sleeping there and that makes into a bed too,

Speaker 2:        We walk further into the hallway and get a real grasp of what Jim is talking about. We you’re in a hallway and you have a window to your right. Yeah. That looks in, out into the forest. But then as you turn and look through the window into the bedroom, there’s another matching window and you can still see the beach,

Speaker 1:        See the beach, the beach, right? Yeah. So, yeah. And so there’s a courtyard back here that gives you privacy. But you know, like I’ve sort of developed this thing about long hallways and most of my houses have these long hallways and quite often something natural is at the end or, or maybe an art piece. But while you’re walking, it’s sort of like it’s sort of ceremonial or something. But uh, as you walk along, you’re focusing on a beautiful composition. That nature has supplied. We can go out here first. So there’s a little courtyard and we did the courtyard because when you’re out in the woods at night, it’s awfully dark mm-hmm <affirmative>. And uh, you always wonder if somebody’s gonna walk up and look in the windows. And so we made this courtyard, it’s like a little private room that has a gate and everything. So it’s, it’s really secured.

Speaker 2:        The courtyard that we’re in is fenced off, but you can’t see the fence because of the passage of time and the greenery that’s grown. And two other walls of it are the home. So you feel like you’re enclosed and, and safe in this space

Speaker 1:        Here. We were in the woods essentially. And uh, you can look through the house and see the water, but if it’s summer and there are jet skis and noise out there, you don’t really hear it back here. Or if it’s windy, this is not windy back here. So it’s really nice protective. Yeah. It’s a kind of quiet, nice little place to retreat to

Speaker 2:        Looking back to the long hallway, you have these beautiful other chairs sitting with a little, uh, center table and, and lamp and they compliment their backdrop of the outside. Yeah. And that could be

Speaker 1:        A picture. I know. Yeah, exactly. And they’re, you know, again for reading they’re they have the they’re back to the window, but when you’re reading, that’s the perfect thing to have the light coming over your shoulder and then you see the water in reflection in the other window. So that’s, that’s something that I have to say. I didn’t really plan it, but it’s one of those things that we were talking about. Some wonderful things just happen without you realizing you’re doing it. And especially if it’s really sunny out and it’s a lot of bright light on that side, then you get reflections on those windows and it it’s just like, it’s like a watching a, a movie or something behind that’s actually what’s going on behind you. Yeah. But this is a great place to have lunch or, you know, have a drink or something. Yeah. Or just come and read

Speaker 2:        On it. As we come back into the hallway of the house, Jim dives, deeper into his philosophy of bringing the outside inside and blending those two worlds

Speaker 1:        Moving back in into out now we’re, it’s like, we’re going through the woods and this is the woods here, cuz it’s all dark. Yeah. And it’s, and then you’re you come out of the woods, just like you would, if you were on a hike somewhere and you come to what I would call the clearing and then it’s lighter and higher and more open. And so, so this is the, the bedroom, ah, and the, you know, it’s funny because the old bedroom, uh, had windows on both sides and then the skylight above and it was great, but you always had this funny feeling that is someone out there. And so then I realized that, you know, there’s this whole theory about prospect refuge. People are most comfortable and animals, cats do this too. They always pick a corner where they have their backup against the wall, but they can see everything.

Speaker 1:        And so we, we put the bed in an alcove, that’s surrounded by, uh, you know, wood. And then the view is, is out this way. And you feel perfectly private and perfectly safe here, but you can, you know, you get this w this one big wall of glass that focuses on the view bedroom should be cozy and you should feel kind of protected when you’re in bed asleep. And then it’s nice to wake up and see something beautiful. The thing about architecture is it just takes your whole life to learn how, you know, all these different things that, um, you know, human nature and how, um, instinct and all those mm-hmm <affirmative> you just start realizing a lot of things over time. This is another magic window because mm-hmm, <affirmative> notice there’s no glass in that window. Oh my gosh. Or it looks like there’s you can just, yeah, it looks like there’s no glass and you get a big smudge.

Speaker 1:        It drops off and then it kind of disappears up there. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and then this is the, the other one. See the floor, uh, yeah, just disappears into the trees. And if you stand, uh, stand right here, if you stand right there, okay. And look out, you, you can’t see where the glass is attached anywhere. Not at all. And the, I, this is just an old plumbing pipe, but I put it here to hide. I’m just experimenting. I’m I’ll get a bronze one someday. But, um, the idea is to have the, this pipe is hiding the actual corner where the glass comes together, cuz that would give away the, the secret of, of what’s connecting the glass.

Speaker 2:        Jim has been experimenting on this property since he was 18 years old. It’s really a full display of his playful creativity. If he hadn’t told me it was a plumbing pipe, I would’ve never noticed,

Speaker 1:        You know, someday I’d like to have a room where you can you walk in and literally you can’t tell that there’s any division between you and outdoors. And this is kind of a next step of this one particular thing. A three dimensional goes around a corner as opposed to just a flat plane since no one’s ever noticed that that’s what it was. Who cares? And plus I like the idea anyway. Yeah. So maybe I’ll never change it.

Speaker 2:        Yeah. As I’m marveling at the magic windows, Jim draws my attention to another one of the cabins intentionally placed comfy chairs.

Speaker 1:        Just sit in that chair for a second and okay. And just so you know, so it’s just a place to sit.

Speaker 4:        It’s very quiet too. Cause,

Speaker 1:        And this is a nice place to, to read or sketch or do something. And then you just start to, you know, once you just sit somewhere and look out into a view or something, it starts to, it takes a while, but you just really get into it. Yeah. You start noticing things you’d never noticed before. And then these ferns have just grown here by themselves. <laugh>

Speaker 4:        Ferns are amazing. I love ’em. I just clipped my own ferns back for the first time and got to watch them like yeah. Grow within like two weeks. They were the

Speaker 1:        Little ones come up the alien like little. Oh, they’re so cute. Yeah. And it’s a little curly top <laugh> yeah.

Speaker 4:        Yeah. There is something special and calming

Speaker 1:        Uhhuh about that. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 4:        It’s almost like watching a live painting because Uhhuh, you can see the wind brussel leaves, but you can’t hear it.

Speaker 1:        No. Yeah.

Speaker 4:        And so

Speaker 1:        I did set up a, I have a listening thing with a microphone in the tree. Oh <laugh>. And so cuz I wanted to, I was thinking the only thing missing is the acoustics. It didn’t work the way it was supposed to and I’m not a technical person. So I thought, you know, I’ll just do it someday, but

Speaker 4:        Um, well, and I’m sitting here longer and you said, okay, these ferns grew by themselves. And then you see kind of the younger growth then

Speaker 1:        It’s coming by itself

Speaker 4:        As your eye works through the forest. There’s this giant trunk. Yeah. That is, I, you know, doesn’t, it’s obviously a, a, a dead tree at this point. Right. And

Speaker 1:        It’s an old growth tree. Yeah. That was struck by lightning maybe about mm, 25 years ago. And uh, it was one of the few, you know, really old growth trees on the property. So there’s a great big log, giant log out in the woods there. And it goes all the way from there all the way up to the road that you drove in on. And, and it’s being, it’s being a, a home for little bugs and mice and new life, all kinds of things. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 4:        How was anyone here when that happened?

Speaker 1:        No, uh, no, we weren’t here <laugh> I just remember coming out and thinking, my God, the tree fell down, you know, the tree and it split way up high. So, but it’s sort of like a cathedral when you look out there and that’s sort of the centerpiece, you know, and then you have the ones on the side.

Speaker 1:        So now we can go back and look at the BA the old bathtub and all that. So back here, uh, basically, um, when we added the living room on, we, we did just a simple structure that went out on one on the water side to the living room. And on that side, you’re up with the birds and the treetops mm-hmm <affirmative>. And then because the, of the slope at the other end of this long, uh, building you’re burying into the hillside. So we had to carve out the hillside in order to make this part. So there you’re, you know, you’re, it’s like, uh, dirt and Moss and, and ground, you know, uh, little creatures that live in the ground and all. And uh, so you get kind of a, the two opposites of what the wood woods has to offer. This is a complete magic window here. If you stand back here except the reflection’s giving it away. In this case, we hid every, every corner. See, they’re held back about a foot all the way around. One of my granddaughters gave me that, but I hung it there because it defies of where you, you think the window’s here or where do you think the window is? And it, it isn’t here. There’s nothing here. And then at night there are lights shining out into the trees in all these windows. So you, you get that, uh, Vista at night, which is really nice.

Speaker 1:        You’re, you know, again, it’s just one of those situations where you, like, when you’re standing here brushing your teeth, you’re looking out into a little thing and you know, a little bird will, you know, come by and, you know, looking for seeds or something. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, and you’re just standing here brushing your teeth. And you’re kind of, uh, part of that, which is,

Speaker 4:        Well, it’s, what’s interesting too, is that you have more of these little beams are columns outside, right. Where that kind of connects with the ones that it, it lines up with on the inside.

Speaker 1:        Right? Yeah.

Speaker 4:        And so it, it gives you that other feeling too, everything is

Speaker 1:        Continued like connected. Yeah. You just don’t think about whether it’s inside or outside, but you’re, you do feel more connected to what’s out there. Mm-hmm <affirmative> but I’ve been in here when a, a Fox, you taking a bath and a little Fox walks right by, and, and you’re just right on the, your eye level, just a few feet away from it, right. At eye level. And they they’re totally unaware. And, uh, you know, we have all kinds of critters out here, bears and cougars and oh, wow. I have fortunately a Cougar hasn’t walked by.

Speaker 4:        That

Speaker 1:        Would be a little I’ve, you know, everybody said, oh, you’re just looking at a, you know, a, a dirt bank. And, and then I said, just, just wait. And so now the Moss has come in and the vines have grown on it. And, you know, I think it’s, I think, uh, uh, just hillsides, you know, dirt hillsides are beautiful.

Speaker 4:        This is so enjoyable and

Speaker 2:        Calming mm-hmm

Speaker 4:        <affirmative> I kept it just like keeps coming up, you know?

Speaker 1:        Yeah. When I get out, just get out of the car, when you arrive here, you just take a deep breath and it’s like, and then everything, I think your metabolism changes and everything just being, you know, and just looking, I think they, they say in, in hospital rooms, if, uh, even if it’s, uh, just a photograph of a view into nature, it people, uh, heal faster. They’re in the hospital less days and things like that. So nature really does have a, uh, you know, a, uh, beneficial, uh, you know, uh, holistic kind of health thing going

Speaker 6:        For sure.

Speaker 2:        Thank you to Jim Olson for taking us through his beautiful cabin escape in long branch. It was a dream inspired design is brought to you by the Seattle design center. The show is produced by large media. You can find them@larjmedia.com special, thanks to mechi Suzuki, Lisa Willis and Kimmy design for bringing this podcast to life for more head to Seattle design center.com, where you can subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media. Next time on inspired design, Anthony mashed of dwell designs takes us through his sustainable renovation of a 1918 Spanish style home.

Speaker 7:        Can we make an old house new again and make it energy efficient and make it smart and add technology and add all those things that we’ve developed over the years into an old house. We wanna show people these don’t need to go to the, to the landfills. You can actually preserve these old houses and make ’em new again. So we set out on this journey.

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