August 18, 2022

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Home living innovation

A revamped lake house beautifully connects with nature on Mercer Island

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This modern lakefront house was reimagined by Graham Baba Architects, located on Mercer Island, an island community situated in Lake Washington, east of the City of Seattle, Washington. Originally constructed in the 1960s as a modest beachfront cabin, this home had undergone several renovations that degraded its design integrity.

When the current owners purchased the property, they were attracted to the heavily forested site and wished to reimagine a quiet refuge with a strong connection to nature. “The movement from street to house is conceived as a journey, where work and public life gives way to nature and private reflection,” states the architects. The 60-foot drop from the entry drive to the water’s edge presented several challenges.

DESIGN DETAILS: ARCHITECT Graham Baba Architects INTERIOR DESIGN Terry Hunziker Design CONTRACTOR Lockhart Suver LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE Rich Haag Associates, Anne James Landscape Architect LIGHTING DESIGN Brian Hood

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The upper driveway becomes a winding forest drive, while the final steps to the house pass through a series of intimate landscapes. Planted roofs help to connect the house with its surroundings.

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On the interior, the dwelling was taken down to the studs and was completely overhauled. It previously lacked a visual connection to the lake, therefore all of the main interior spaces were reoriented to take in the views. The main floor and formal entry, the middle of the house’s three floors—serve as the public zone.

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Spaces including the galley kitchen and breakfast room, and dining and living, flow one to the other. A second floor was added for private spaces, including the primary suite and bedrooms. The basement supports family-oriented spaces.

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Materially rich finishes (polished concrete and stone, cerused and fumed oak, and blackened steel) balance the otherwise crisp and spare detailing found throughout the house.

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What We Love: This Mercer Island lake house is nestled on a descending wooded property with intricate details throughout. Peaceful lake and woodland views are captured and framed on all levels of the structure thanks to the extensive renovation. The expansive walls of glazing help to flood this home with natural light, making the interiors feel comfortable and inviting throughout the seasons.

Tell Us: What are your overall thoughts on the design of this home? Let us know in the Comments, we enjoy reading your feedback!

Note: Check out a couple of other fantastic home tours that we have showcased here on One Kindesign in the state of Washington: An absolutely exquisite Scandinavian inspired lake house in Washington and Net-zero cabin provides an urban refuge that communes with nature.

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Cerused casework and doors, custom metalwork with a plated finish, Venetian plaster, leather paneling, and complex wood joinery throughout lend richness and warmth to the interiors.

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On the exterior, variously-sized, dark-stained cedar siding and Cor-Ten steel provide subtle dimension and shadow effects. Integrated sun shades and artfully designed steel fins on west-facing windows help to shield from the summer sun.

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PHOTOGRAPHER Kevin Scott

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