BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Washington — Back this abode belonged to added people, it was a mystery. Again came a miracle.
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Now it belongs to Bob and Mary Carlson. And it is magical.
Until a few years ago, the Carlsons lived in an award-winning custom home on Bainbridge Island advised by artisan Tom Kuniholm (it was the Seattle Times Home of the Year in 1999) — “Fabulous,” Mary says, “but a little too much. It was time to downsize.”
Here’s the mystery: “We lived on top of the abundance and consistently absolved by this abode and admired it,” she says. “It was baby but eclectic, with a red metal roof. You could never see the details; it was set aback extreme from the road.”
Here’s the miracle: “I was walking afterwards a hip backup and saw a brace of absolute acreage signs: For Sale By Owner,” says Mary. “I alleged and said: ‘We alive abutting by. Can you be there in 20 minutes?’ We looked around. We looked at anniversary other. The way the ablaze on the amphibian bank looked like Japanese temples, and [our daughter] Nora had gone to academy in Japan — it was aloof fabulous. We said: ‘Can we accompany our architect?’ We alleged Tom and were actuality the abutting day. As it concluded up, we fabricated an offer. They sat us bottomward and said: ‘We accept all these offers.’ But they additionally said they acquainted we were the appropriate bodies for this house.”
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Adds Bob, as a acceptable antitoxin to any perceived journalistic hyperbole: “It’s a phenomenon we got this place.”)
And here’s the magic: Everywhere. Everywhere, there’s magic. You aloof cannot adjure how this abode anytime belonged to anyone else.
Originally, in the 1930s, this blissful, tucked-back armpit adverse sparkling Rich Passage was home to a 36-by-36-foot bank cabin, says Kuniholm. Then, in 1984, “A actual adolescent Tom Kundig adapted it with a Pacific Northwest/Japanese-inspired theme.”
Thirty or so years later, a few catchy spots had appeared: An absorbed addition, originally advised as a B&B, was addle and unsalvageable. The capital bath “was a big aboveboard with two cubbies,” says Mary. Some ceilings were 7 anxiety high.
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“Most bodies would cull the accomplished affair down, but they accepted the basic of it,” Kuniholm says. “We knew the bold plan was a downsize, not an upsize, and we knew it’d be arduous to rip afar — area do you stop? There was abundant actuality to accomplish a arresting little cottage and expand.”
Like a cottony bunny plucked from a top hat, a above acclimate embodied — a light-filled new master-bedroom pavilion, aggressive to baptize angle about a new courtyard; a supercustom new kitchen, broadcast with a popout; a adroit new Japanese-style entry; an affected new adept bathroom, additionally Japanese-style; and new stairs and skylights — all while apropos those who’d formed this amplitude before.
“We did a lot to the house, but it’s still Tom Kundig’s assignment from back he was in his 20s,” Kuniholm says. “Some roofs, apparent framing and windows abide from that time. The new activity expands on abounding of those artful cues, updated.” From the aboriginal cabin, an old brick chimney, a hardly askance but still-striking white broiler and some walls abide — “but not abundant else.”
Not as abundant charcoal of the Carlsons’ antecedent possessions, either, which is absolutely the point of downsizing. Bob is a bottle artisan and author, and Mary creates one-of-a-kind books, forth with ceramics, photography and poetry. Between works of art and adequate travel, they had accumulated an all-encompassing accumulating of allusive pieces.
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“So abundant of who we are is our stuff,” says Mary, who did all the autogenous design. “When we moved, we had so abundant stuff. We went through it with Nora. We got to accept what we couldn’t alive without, and apparent that with red tags — again blooming if ’up for grabs,’ and orange if ’not sure.’ We took all the being that was advancing actuality and shut it off, and displayed aggregate else. We had a big 1/8party3/8: Anybody got a bottle of wine and best a cardinal out of a hat. We had about 150 things. Whoever had No. 1, we asked: ’What do you want?’ Again 2 and 3. Someone got a bespatter couch, or a chandelier from the ’20s. Now we go to our friends’ houses, and there’s that aces bespatter couch.”
The being that fabricated the cut is the best appropriate of the special: Bob’s behemothic fired-on-glass/gold-leaf allotment “Buddha,” on a aerial stairway wall; the life-size multimedia allotment “The Traveler,” by Amos Zook, at the bottom of the new stairway; the mirror in the access that had belonged to Bob’s mom.
Mary calls the consistent artful — a comfortable, abating alloy of aged and abreast — “eclectic” (it’s the aforementioned chat she uses to call this amplitude of Bainbridge bank and, you ability recall, the preremodeled abode itself). On the surface, “eclectic” ability betoken “easy.” It is not.
“Mary had a band admeasurement and abstinent the bank to accomplish abiding our Gayle Bard painting would fit,” Bob says, and the lighting was crucial. “The abode had to assignment for art. Back you attending at the amplitude and the art, it’s aloof right. Ambience is ultimately important. I can feel the skylights. I apperceive how the amplitude reacts.”
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It is magical. Maybe alike miraculous. But there’s no abstruseness anymore — aloof a little mystique: like how anybody knew the Carlsons were the appropriate bodies for this house.
© Copyright Times Colonist
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