This big, open home of clean lines and clear connections includes a tastefully unobtrusive outdoor batting cage for the kids.

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The light-filled reading loft at the top of the stairs was inspired by a reading room that looks at the ocean from the Oregon coast, Chris says.  (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
The light-filled reading loft at the top of the stairs was inspired by a reading room that looks at the ocean from the Oregon coast, Chris says. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

LIKE ANY FAIRNESS-focused sibling, Trevor quickly detected a glaring inequity in his family’s beautiful new Woodway home: His sister’s suite had substantially more glass than his.

“He said, ‘Taylor has five windows, and I only have two. You owe me!’ ” says mom Kim.

Consider the score settled, in strikingly evenhanded fashion.

Peer from one of Trevor’s top-level windows (or from all of Taylor’s), toward the texturally tiered backyard and sprawling Puget Sound beyond, and there nestles the unobtrusive equalizer: a full-size regulation batting cage.

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“We wanted something special for them,” says Kim. “Both of our kids play baseball or softball, and there was no special area for them. This is like one on a college campus.”

Architect Allison Hogue and her team at Floisand Studio were game.

“When they said, ‘batting cage,’ it was so much fun,” she says. “It makes the house, and it’s nice to use the lot. It’s situated low and out of view, very tasteful.”

At one point, the statement fireplace was headed for limestone or marble, Kim says, but they ultimately decided on more texture via porcelain tile. “In the middle of construction, the tile was discontinued,” architect Allison Hogue says. “Chris found it on the internet in California.” Adds Chris: “I liked it so much, I wasn’t going to give up.”  (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
At one point, the statement fireplace was headed for limestone or marble, Kim says, but they ultimately decided on more texture via porcelain tile. “In the middle of construction, the tile was discontinued,” architect Allison Hogue says. “Chris found it on the internet in California.” Adds Chris: “I liked it so much, I wasn’t going to give up.” (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

“Tasteful” extends way beyond the backyard. Chris and Kim’s big, open home radiates a peaceful serenity of clean lines, and a clear connection between the home, the view and its spectacular site. Or, in other words, just exactly what they were going for.

“Our first two homes were in planned developments,” Chris says. “We were very much ready for ‘our’ house, where we’ll retire.”

“We wanted the house to be an expression of us — something unique after a couple of tract homes,” adds Kim. “Our style changed throughout the process as we got exposed to different types of design. It was an evolution.”

Right off the bat, everyone agreed that extensive all-over windows would draw in nature and the spectacular shipping-lane views (Kim says 100 or so vessels pass through “on a good day,” along with, the landscapers report, occasional whales). And then, at some point during the evolutionary process, Hogue concedes, it’s possible she “might have nudged” Chris and Kim toward the midcentury-modern aesthetic.

Kim says one of her favorite things is the “whole wall of marble” that extends into the master bathroom’s toilet room — and then there’s that super-soothing soaking tub. “I don’t take a bath often, but I did when I wasn’t feeling well, and I fell asleep in there,” Chris says. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
Kim says one of her favorite things is the “whole wall of marble” that extends into the master bathroom’s toilet room — and then there’s that super-soothing soaking tub. “I don’t take a bath often, but I did when I wasn’t feeling well, and I fell asleep in there,” Chris says. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

The result, expertly executed by Ainslie-Davis Construction, is a quietly dramatic, three-level collaboration of transparency and connection, in three parts: a big, roomy garage; an enclosed breezeway that connects it to the home; and the home itself, which cranks off-axis to align with the site slope and shoreline, Hogue says.

This special site is part of what used to be one 5-acre parcel, Kim says: “There was only grass here, with a small one-stall barn, crab pots and a surfboard. It was a jungle; there’d been at least 10 years of growth.”

“We worked really hard on the kitchen,” says Kim (that’s Seahawks fan Chris passing by). “We wanted it big enough for 10-15 people — everyone goes to the kitchen.” Chris says the clean, sleek, functional space has turned into “a nice hub for the family. We see the kids more in this house. They do homework here.” The casework is by Woodway Woodworks & Cabinets. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
“We worked really hard on the kitchen,” says Kim (that’s Seahawks fan Chris passing by). “We wanted it big enough for 10-15 people — everyone goes to the kitchen.” Chris says the clean, sleek, functional space has turned into “a nice hub for the family. We see the kids more in this house. They do homework here.” The casework is by Woodway Woodworks & Cabinets. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

And then, a discovery: They could hear water, even closer than the Sound.

“We uncovered a man-made stream and waterfall that’d been here since the late 1960s,” Kim says.

Off the sleekly minimalist kitchen, where everything is hidden amid Caesarstone countertops, a ceiling-high marble backsplash and walnut cabinets (“Literally not a nail hole,” says Kim), Chris plops with his laptop at the live-edged table in the breakfast nook and takes in the now-openly gurgling stream. From the corner-windowed, sloped-ceiling master suite right above, he and Kim can hear the waterfall at night.

“This is a space to gather,” Kim says of the sunken dining area, under a 10-foot, 3-inch ceiling. “Our other house had a formal dining room, but we never used it. This space off the kitchen felt natural. We used this table more in one year than we ever used our other one.”  (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
“This is a space to gather,” Kim says of the sunken dining area, under a 10-foot, 3-inch ceiling. “Our other house had a formal dining room, but we never used it. This space off the kitchen felt natural. We used this table more in one year than we ever used our other one.” (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

It’s a special place on this special site — with the couple’s customization evolution exhibited throughout.

“For us, it’s making a dream come true,” Kim says. “We wanted something in the end that expressed our personalities and we had a part of. A lot is invested for us with the details.”

They are dreamy details:

• A “floating” sink from Australia inspired the powder room’s one-of-a-kind backsplash/vanity/sink, crafted from a single slab of Calacatta marble whose veining flows between the surfaces, Hogue says.

• Chris and Kim’s careers (they are both in the aerospace industry) steered them toward the entertainment room’s ultra-reclining flight chair, inspired by British Airways’ first-class seats, Kim says.

• And a visit to the Oregon coast triggered the vision of the upper-level, cantilevered reading loft, defined by two rods hanging from the ceiling, with plush purple chairs, a piano and a “get-up-close-and-personal-with-the-ships” telescope. From here, there are windows and glass everywhere, from the detailed staircase’s see-through railing to a luminescent wall of top windows. Lots and lots of windows.

The living room “captures the style of the whole house,” says Chris. The original plan didn’t include the wood screen to the right, architect Allison Hogue says, but in the end it beautifully created layers, depth and privacy while adding detail. The glass and steel staircase has open, chunky, stained wood treads.  (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
The living room “captures the style of the whole house,” says Chris. The original plan didn’t include the wood screen to the right, architect Allison Hogue says, but in the end it beautifully created layers, depth and privacy while adding detail. The glass and steel staircase has open, chunky, stained wood treads. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

But really — who’s counting?