Moving to Mercer Island or Lopez Island or anywhere else in the NorthWest.
Jerry Gropp AIA PS Residential Architect
Often located in well-established neighborhoods, these ‘50s/‘60s/'70s/80s/'90s homes have lots of glass and often relate well to their mature gardens. Many of these seem to have a inherent simplicity and sincerity lacking in the ubiquitous steep-roofed, ostentatious Chateaus now on offer. While most of these are well cared-for, sometimes dated or ill-considered renovations have to be undone.
About half of my residential design practice for these many years has been helping clients reshape their present or incipient house (that they're considering buying) into a better, more organic part of their life and lifestyle. This I've done by making carefully conceived changes to said structures.
On a personal note, I have done a lot of this for my own family- first while raising our three children and then as an empty-nester, in the process coming to really know the varied ins-and-outs of the remodeling process- (from the client's side as well as the contractor's).
It's very important that any updating/redoing work be done under the direction of an sympathetic architect, trained and experienced in this type of design and the many Building and other Codes that are in effect. Custom design/residential architecture is a distinct specialty- different from the usual architect's downtown commercial and/or high-rise practice.
A lead pencil and T-square in the hands of a sensitive designer are far better design tools than the computer. And most importantly, the clients, architect and builder have to work together closely to achieve a good result that increases livability- as well as value.
Above is the first of six projects for a Mercer Island Doctor's family.
Below is a home I designed a number of years ago for clients on a very challenging West Mercer ravine. When they later moved back to Texas, a retired architectural publishing executive and his wife moved out from Connecticut, bought it and have lived there happily ever since. The Fall colors are beautiful as is the rest of the garden, mostly natural property.