There are vacation houses, and then there are houses with the appeal of a never-ending getaway. A couple in Bellevue wake up every day to the latter, thanks to a luminous design that makes the most of its setting and delivers everything they wanted—a warm and inviting family home that’s bright and airy even on the cloudiest days. It didn’t start out that way. Though it was beautifully sited, the existing home, which had been remodeled several times during the past two decades, did little to take advantage of the panorama before it. Raising the ceilings was high atop the couple’s to-do list. “The only way to bring the outside in was to have larger windows on the lake side and higher ceilings,” says the husband. “We wanted the house to flow from one room to another.” But when architects Stanford Hanson and Henry H. Lo and builder Reg Willing began opening up the interiors, they discovered conditions that suggested a ground-up rebuild would be the best solution.
With the rebuild came a stunning architectural aspect: “Throughout the day, the sun shines light on the wall,” says Lo, who finished the project after Hanson passed away during construction. “It’s the focal point of the house.” The wall’s warm-hued cladding strikes just the right note of rusticity. “It’s a really thin stone veneer,” says Willing. “Every piece had to be hand-chiseled and scraped to fit into place. It was like a big Tetris game for the mason.”
For designer Marinello, the home is the perfect blend of classic sophistication and contemporary warmth. “Our goal was to create a home that’s light and comfortable and fresh, a place that feels very welcoming to the couple’s friends and family,” she says. “It’s a relaxed lake house that honors where it is.”
—Kelly Vencill Sanchez