The quintessential beach house; filled with the sounds of laughing children, a slamming screen door, and sandy feet noisily bounding across the big porch down to the shore.
This turn of the century farmhouse on Bainbridge Island is perfectly set on a picturesque flat waterfront site facing south toward Mount Rainier. The young family bought the somewhat tired house because of these inherent charms, in spite of its quirks. The house had suffered a series of hodgepodge remodels and additions over the years, and was further compromised by the road being moved at some point from the waterside to the uphill side of the site. Even still, the insightful and spirited owners felt strongly that there was an heirloom underneath it all.
When the family decided to make it more than a weekend summer home, it became clear that there were several areas of the house needing serious rethinking. Phase one, an entirely new kitchen was conceived, moved from a small dark roadside corner of the house, to the heart of the home on the waterside. Along with the new kitchen came subtle reorganization of the center hall circulation, as well as some judiciously placed openings between rooms; visually and functionally connecting the main living spaces. Phase two included upgrading the porch to root the house more comfortably to its site, and building a “campfire beach” in the backyard, protected from the whims of the seasonal tides.
We love that while the owners have appreciated the conveniences and comforts the renovations have afforded them, they never desired to have an entirely "new" house at the end of day. They appreciate and wanted a home perfect in its inherent imperfection, in which the distinction between old and new is forever blurred.
Wabi Sabi at its finest!