Tag Archives: design

The Modern and the Inane

It’s time for more house porn. First, from the blog of House and Home Design, a modern lake house by Hutchison & Maul Architects.

I love how the perspective of the living room draws you to the horizon:

There are more pictures on the architect’s site.

And some ranting on not-so-beautiful McMansions by architect Jerry Gropp on Rain City Guide. He’s a man of few but scathing words: “Mercer Island and a lot of other nice places are being overrun by “Spec Builders” madly producing these oversize boxes with their wide white trim. Other tell-tale touches of their indifferent computer-driven drafting (don’t call it “design”) are the tapered posts with pasted on faux river rock.”

A study in contrasts.

Ralph Andersen on Mercer Island

We’ve talked Miller-Hull and Steinbruek, now let’s talk about another great Northwestern architect: Ralph Andersen. There are four of Ralph’s homes for sale on the Island– we can use the listing photos to look inside.

Island Crest Way

A small Ralph Andersen home built in 1983. It’s not much to look at on the outside but it’s got a gorgeous interior with great views.


Ralph Andersen loved those big windows. So do I.


Nice open floorplan. Sweet views.

And it’s the least expensive of these homes, at $945k.

Island Point

This home still has the Ralph Andersen bones, but when the agent says it’s been “updated for today’s lifestyle” it’s true. It seems to have lost a bit of character in the remodel, but you can still see classic Andersen touches: the vaulted ceiling, tall windows in the door, and generous windows. And it’s pricey- $2.6 million.


Remodeled, but the door and hanging lamp give it away.

81st Ave

Classic Ralph Andersen exterior. He really knew how to make a house work with its surroundings. Bad photos on this one, so we can’t see much inside, but we can see it’s going for $1.95 million. For that money, I’d take better pictures.


I can almost hear the birds and the window washers singing.


This 1964 mid-Island home by Ralph Andersen sold last year.


Angles, large entryway, garden. Classic Andersen.


Windows & cedar.

Lindley Rd

This one, a 1963 Ralph Andersen on a large lot, is all Northwest.


Geometric, but not harsh.

Not updated too much. It’s like a Ralph Andersen textbook.


Spacious entryways with arches and stone.


High vaulted cielings, open spaces, & cedar.


Dramatic staircase. And that lantern again!

We’re lucky to have some great design on the Island. The McMansions are attacking, but they haven’t won yet.

Sweet Mercer Island Home on the Contemporist

The Contemporist, a beautiful design blog, this week featured a Mercer Island home designed by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects.

It’s a bit industrial– not quite my style. Despite the concrete and steel, it’s still elegant.


Go to the original post for more eye candy.