Windermere Family House
Architect: CONARD ROMANO ARCHITECTS
Designer: SUSAN MARINELLO INTERIORS
Photos: BENJAMIN BENSCHNEIDER (EXTERIORS), AARON LEITZ (INTERIORS)
We teamed up with Conard Romano Architects and Susan Marinello Interiors to create a new home for a couple and their young children on a Lake Washington waterfront property that had been in the family for decades.
The house sits comfortably beneath a canopy of tall trees, at some remove from the waterfront, affording the family a large yard for outdoor activities. We went to great lengths to preserve the trees that stand close to the daylight basement on the northeast side of the house. The trees were cabled to the ground during construction and tested often by applying tension on them to ensure that they had not weakened over time.
The house feels traditional on the outside (if you don’t count the rooftop array of solar panels) and more contemporary on the inside. The main interior living spaces flow naturally out to an expansive waterfront terrace that steps down to the yard. Extending from the kitchen at one end of the house is a covered porch with an outdoor cooktop and grill. Extending from the living room and study on the other end is a covered sitting porch with a Rumford-style stone fireplace.
Thoughtful details and well-chosen materials are found throughout: wide-plank, European oak flooring; granite stonework; an elegant, three-story staircase with wine storage tucked under the stairs in the basement level. At every level the house evidences the work of many collaborators, from subcontractors and suppliers to consultants and craftspeople. A special mention is in order for our longtime superintendent, the late John Kindblade, who was not able to see the project to completion but whose heart and soul is in it.
On a terrace near the waterfront stand three totems carved by local artist Steven Jensen, reflecting the timelessness of wood-carving traditions while also looking forward.