A Clean, Concrete Bellevue Home is a Contemporary Dream


Inside Out in Bellevue

Open to its wooded surroundings, a Bellevue home stands as a work of sculpture.

Public Wing Steel Glass and Concrete Home with Mini Pool and Landscape

A Bellevue home’s public wing, composed of the main living areas, boasts wide expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass from Quantum Windows & Doors. The reflecting pool at the top of the stairs is a soothing element. Throughout, architect David Coleman chose materials and details that minimize visual noise and strengthen the calming feel of the site.

Concrete Stairs Entrance with Water Feature and Steel Railing and Large Tree Background

For the home’s entrance, Coleman employed a concrete staircase, walls, columns collared by custom light fixtures and an undulating roof form. Landscape architect Bruce D. Hinckley outfitted the area with a reflecting pool and a waterfall that helps to diffuse street noise.

Red Chair Living Room with Contained Fireplace with Photographs

In the living area, designer Elizabeth Stretch arranged sofas and armchairs by B&B Italia around a Camerich ottoman from Alchemy Collections. Hovering above the grouping is a Moooi light. The residents purchased the hand-knotted silk rug in the Kashmir region of India.

Suspended Wood Ceiling Kitchen with Outdoor View and Concrete Column

Porcelain tile from Pental Surfaces creates a feeling of quiet elegance throughout the residence. Builder Mark Schilperoort managed the installation of the sapele-wood ceiling over the kitchen, which adds warmth and texture to the area. The cabinetry, accented by Linnea hardware from Seattle Interiors, is also crafted with sapele wood, and the counters are topped by Caesarstone. Camerich chairs pull up to the dining table designed by Coleman.

Contemporary Courtyard View with Tree Landscaping and Interior View

A custom pivot door clad with Resysta siding provides access to the home. One of the homeowners’ primary requests was that the residence connect to its wooded surroundings. From a small seating area inside, four Bensen tub chairs from Inform Interiors offer a cozy spot to take in the adjacent courtyard.

Contemporary Roofline Exterior with Lounge Chairs and In-Ground Firepit

At the rear, the roofline extends beyond the glass walls and creates a shading mechanism for the terrace, where Stretch placed a table, chairs and chaise lounges from Design Within Reach. Coleman designed the light fixtures attached to the concrete columns.

Window Surround Master Bedroom with Gray Feature Wall and Window Bench

The master suite showcases a custom cantilevered window seat crafted from sapele wood. Stretch selected a bed by B&B Italia and a lounge chair and ottoman by Ligne Roset for the space. The bedside tables and the cabinet are by Camerich from Alchemy Collections.

Red Chair Set Outdoor Patio with Green Grass and Shrubs

The intersection of the residence’s low-slung private wing and its expansive public wing creates an inviting outdoor space marked by a stretch of grass. The grounds were installed by Ohashi Landscape Services. The courtyard’s café table and chairs are by Fermob.

It feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere and in the middle of everywhere,” the owner of a home by architect David Coleman and designer Elizabeth Stretch says of its Bellevue locale. Situated on an acre lot, “the site offers complete privacy and has southern exposure,” the husband says. “It also has slopes and areas that are good for kids to explore.” As secluded as the surroundings seem, though, the spot is within easy commuting distance of downtown Bellevue, Kirkland and Seattle, adding to its appeal. 

After living in the existing home on the property for several years, the family called on Coleman and Stretch to create a new abode that fulfilled their desire for a house with abundant natural light and a strong connection to the land. They were drawn to Coleman’s modernist vision that embraces indoor-outdoor fluidity and is as comfortable as it is artful. “There are large glass walls, water features and exterior rooms or courtyards that terrace up the site alongside the structure as part of the residence,” the architect says. 

Coleman kept nothing from the existing dwelling, save one thing. “The previous house didn’t have much going for it other than its L-shape plan and the way it was sited,” he says, so the new structure occupies the same spot. “It worked well with our strategy of pushing the house back on the site to maximize the spaciousness of the lot.” The architect then divided the public spaces from the private areas. “There are two wings,” he says. “With its glass walls, the living wing is like a pavilion. It has tall ceilings and a roof form that resembles origami, and it is supported by large concrete columns in the front and the rear.” The exterior walls in those spaces are made of lightly colored fiber cement. As a counterpoint to the public wing’s soaring volume, the private wing has a low-slung at roof and is wrapped in a composite material stained to look like burnt cedar. 

Despite their soaring feel, the communal spaces were invested with elements that bring the scale down. For example, a suspended ceiling made of sapele wood hangs in the kitchen, where it adds intimacy and warmth. “It floats beneath the more expansive ceiling of the public wing,” the architect says. And according to builder Mark Schilperoort, installing that kitchen ceiling was no easy feat. “It contains all of the lighting and audio for that space,” says Schilperoort, who worked with superintendent Brian Keller on the project. “The logistics of installing that kitchen element required a lot of planning and structural considerations.”

The crisp geometric lines of the architecture inspired a spare and deliberate selection of furnishings. “I always feel lucky to work with a clean, modern project,” Stretch says. “It means the furniture pieces are important objects that define areas and how they’re used within one big open-plan living-and-dining space.” Adjacent to the dining area, the designer arranged four pale blue tub chairs and a rug, which the homeowners found on their travels in the Kashmir region of India. “The clients had these rugs they wanted us to incorporate. They drove the palette in an interesting way,” says Stretch, who incorporated red, gray, blue and cream tones throughout. Another rug in similar hues makes a statement in the living room. There, Stretch placed sofas upholstered in charcoal gray and a pair of armchairs covered in a red fabric. “It’s a very tight palette,” the designer says. “The furniture shouldn’t dilute the purity of the architecture; it should add scale and warmth and define spaces without making too much visual noise.” 

With the project’s landscape architect Bruce D. Hinckley, Coleman not only tied the home to its surroundings, but he also designed a structure that works in tandem with nature to create a dynamic experience. “We created a waterfall at the top of the entry stairs,” Hinckley says. “David agreed to let us expose and glaze what had previously been proposed as a subterranean wall. This allowed us to create a plunge pool between the house and the entry stairs. The water reflects ambient light onto the garden wall, a building wall and the ceiling.” 

But however connected to the land this house is, it also suggests opposition to it. “I’m a contrarian,” Coleman says, noting that the abundance of timber in the Northwest often leads to construction featuring the material. “I look at that and think it’s a little too heavy and dark,” Coleman says. “My reaction to the Northwest is different. I want to create structures with lightness.” 

Laura Mauk