The homeowner of this lakefront Washington home came to DeForest Architects after having dreamt about a remodel with his wife for many years. When she passed away after a long illness, he hired the company to help realize their shared vision for the house.

Built around a series of wood utility poles with roof planes stretched high above, the home had many additions over the years. The volume created by the structure and the relationship to the lake were compelling reasons for the Deforest team to work with the existing 3.900-square-foot structure. But the interior felt visually heavy and the details and finishes were dated. Plus, interior spaces needed to be more functional.

Minimalism by Subtraction

A focus on ‘minimalism by subtraction’ was the guiding principle that the team revisited throughout the design process. The goal was to open it up; simplify the details and material palette; create a free flow of space from the entry to lake; and surround the owner with his love of music and photography. 

At the entry, a dark porch with a glass-covered steel arbor was replaced with a a two-story glass door.

A heavy staircase and landing were removed.  A new open-riser steel stair and floating bridge took its place, creating a light-filled, open entry. 

The kitchen was opened up to the living room and lake views. A huge island serves double duty for cooking and entertaining.

A new set of carefully composed, spalted maple stair treads lead down to a “music room” overlooking the lake. The team opened up the wood walls on both sides, which allowed for a wider staircase.

Overall, Deforest Architects retained the utility poles and warm wood ceiling, but opted for lighter walls and floors to bounce light.

An amateur photographer, the homeowner also now has a place for his photographs as well as others he’s collected. New track lighting was installed to showcase the owner’s photography.

Before photo of dated bathroom. 

After photo of the bathroom.

Photo of the dining room with lake views. 

Dining room in top right corner.

 DeForest Architects PLLC: John DeForest, Meredith Kelly 

Contractor: Lockhart Suver

Interior Design [furnishings]: NB Design Group

Structural Engineer: Swenson Say Faget

Lighting Design: Light Plan NW

Photography: John Granen

Project completed: 2022

Location: Kirkland, Washington

3,900 sf square feet (not incl. garage) / 362 square meters

3BR, 3 Bath