Anne Fleming and her brother, Don Fleming Jr., grew up in, and now own, this classic Bellevue home, which was designed by their famous uncle. They rent it to art dealers who relocated from the East Coast.

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THIS PARTICULAR MATCH made in heaven owes Cupid nothing. There were no flapping wings, no flaming arrows — just one divine convergence that created a truly picture-perfect pairing.

OK — maybe not a typical “pairing,” in a cooing, Valentine-y kind of way. But the connection here is indisputably heartfelt, and heartwarming.

Steve and Carol Schulte, founders of Schulte Fine Art, are private art dealers from the East Coast. One of their three children, a daughter in Medina, discovered an awesome rental home for them in Bellevue: an authentic, award-winning classic with its own name — The Fleming Residence — designed in 1951 by super-influential local architect Paul Hayden Kirk.

Anne Fleming and her brother, Don Fleming Jr., grew up here with their family and now own the home with two other siblings. To them, Kirk was not merely a super-influential local architect. He was Mom’s brother. Uncle Paul.

The Schultes are the Flemings’ first tenants. They moved in with their entire 40-year collection — substantial piece after substantial piece of postwar and contemporary art, “Much of which is work by artists on view at Seattle Art Museum’s ‘Big Picture: Art After 1945’ exhibition,” Steve says.

Anne Fleming says her mother bought this dining light in the 1970s; “Bitches Brew” by Dan Christensen, on the wall, is from 1983.  (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
Anne Fleming says her mother bought this dining light in the 1970s; “Bitches Brew” by Dan Christensen, on the wall, is from 1983. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

They have so much art, three of the home’s five bedrooms now serve as storage. Dozens of other pieces hang on the walls, perch on the Schultes’ furniture or stand in the landscape — meaning The Fleming Residence itself now serves as a masterfully curated gallery of timeless art and timeless architecture.

“When we walked in after they moved in, it was like the house was celebrating the opportunity to have the art in the home,” says Anne. “It was like destiny.”

“It was a magical feeling,” says Don, who even installed track lighting for artful emphasis.

“We couldn’t imagine a better fit,” Carol says. “It fell into place so fast. They were all hung in three days. These things are big; you have to know where you’re going to put it. You can have great art, but if it’s not in the right spot, it doesn’t have the magic.”

This is the spot where magic happens. Has been for 66 years.

Shoji-style screens delineate the den; they originally served as the sole separation between the living room, bedrooms and kitchen, Anne Fleming says. The paintings are from the ’70s and the ’90s, says Carol Schulte; “They could have been done at the same time, or they could have been yesterday.” “Cut Bank” by Larry Zox (1996) hangs on the far wall, with an untitled acrylic on canvas by Kikuo Saito to the right. “The colors of the art are phenomenal in this room,” Anne says. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
Shoji-style screens delineate the den; they originally served as the sole separation between the living room, bedrooms and kitchen, Anne Fleming says. The paintings are from the ’70s and the ’90s, says Carol Schulte; “They could have been done at the same time, or they could have been yesterday.” “Cut Bank” by Larry Zox (1996) hangs on the far wall, with an untitled acrylic on canvas by Kikuo Saito to the right. “The colors of the art are phenomenal in this room,” Anne says. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

The original Fleming Residence, built by Paul’s brother, Blair Kirk, was 1,000 square feet, says Anne. (Literally. It was a square.) The home grew with the family (parents Donald and Marjorie Fleming, plus Anne, Don, and sisters Lee and Mary): In 1955, two more bedrooms were added, changing the square into an L. In 1965, two more bedrooms and a playroom created a U around the original courtyard. The kitchen was remodeled in 1975, and in 1985, the playroom was converted into the master bedroom.

“Paul designed it all,” Anne says. “All the lines look like they were originally designed that way. You can’t tell. It flows completely in line.”

This hallway, which turned the original home into an L shape in 1955, serves as entry to “the world of many additions,” Anne Fleming says (they all were designed by her uncle, Paul H. Kirk). Untitled acrylics hang on the right wall, by Darryl Hughto, foreground, and Scott Bennett; the atrium sculpture by Ron Mehlman is of onyx and glass. “Sunlight makes the whole piece glow,” Carol Schulte says. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
This hallway, which turned the original home into an L shape in 1955, serves as entry to “the world of many additions,” Anne Fleming says (they all were designed by her uncle, Paul H. Kirk). Untitled acrylics hang on the right wall, by Darryl Hughto, foreground, and Scott Bennett; the atrium sculpture by Ron Mehlman is of onyx and glass. “Sunlight makes the whole piece glow,” Carol Schulte says. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

A 1953 newspaper story (a toddling Anne is in one of the photos with her mother) gushed over Kirk’s “space-emphasizing modern lines,” along with his “generous use of natural wood surfaces and large glassed areas,” movable shoji-style screens, the gabled roof with an off-center ridge line, and tongue-and-groove fir siding.

It’s all still there. It’s all still Kirk.

“All the fir and cedar walls, the fireplace, the hearth, post and beams, the structure are original,” says Anne. “All the woodwork is original.”

And now, newly enhanced by similarly distinctive art.

In the living area, anchored by the sandstone-framed fireplace, two paintings by Darryl Hughto share space with glass Seafoam bowls by Dale Chihuly; a giant mitt painting by Jules Olitski; and sculptures by Michael Steiner, Alexander Calder and Reuben Nakian. In the guest room (formerly Anne’s room), a white marble sculpture by Andrea Grassi balances the striking blues and oranges of a seascape by Scott Bennett and a mixed-media piece by Jeffrey Collins.

Inside and outside, colors, textures, lines and proportions harmonize, as one. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime relationship both families endorse.

The dining room flows into the living room, with original walls, fireplace, hearth, post and beams, and structure, says Anne Fleming (the cabinets were added in a 1975 remodel). An untitled Alexander Calder standing mobile is at left, with Darryl Hughto’s “Heaven to Me” over the fireplace. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)
The dining room flows into the living room, with original walls, fireplace, hearth, post and beams, and structure, says Anne Fleming (the cabinets were added in a 1975 remodel). An untitled Alexander Calder standing mobile is at left, with Darryl Hughto’s “Heaven to Me” over the fireplace. (Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

“It’s very nice when you find people who love your things as much as you do,” says Carol. “It’s almost magic how we found each other. We love the house, and our art looks phenomenal in it.”

“We grew up exposed to beautiful art,” says Anne. “We’re happy, too.”