A major remodel takes its cues from the faceted, crystalline structures of one of the owner’s professions.
REBECCA BRIDGE is not your personal jeweler, but her great-grandfather, Ben Bridge, is indeed the man behind the company behind the jingle you’ll now be singing for a week. It is a catchy jingle.
Rebecca is a gemologist and certified appraiser, though, so the modern, multifaceted Magnolia home she shares with her husband, musician Evan Lundgren (and their cats, Oscar and Willow), takes its sparkling cues from the family business.
Rebecca grew up in this neighborhood, only a mile away from this same site, so she drove by its original home a million times. Give or take. She was not exactly bedazzled by it.
“It was a horrific home built in 1942,” she says. “Nice-looking, but it was a piece of junk. Godawful mustard yellow. I’m sure it was nice when it was built.”
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Still, she and Evan took a peek inside when it came up for sale. Rebecca knows a diamond in the rough when she sees it — and in this case, spectacular views of Seattle, Mount Rainier, even Mount Baker provided perfect clarity.
“Evan came up to the rickety deck and was yelling, ‘You’ve got to come up and see this!’ ” Rebecca says. “It’s like, ‘We have to buy this house.’ He talked me into it, knowing we had to do some revisions. We thought we’d knock a wall down here and there.”
Architect Amy Janof (Janof Architecture), who lives only four blocks away herself (“Most convenient project ever,” she says), took in that vista; recognized golden opportunity; and, Evan says, “ran with that.”
“We basically saved the foundation and rebuilt from underneath; it’s essentially a brand-new house,” Janof says. “The view’s diagonal; we oriented the roofs diagonally and created extremely large window assemblies to do it justice.”
It’s an unusual geometry, she says, “inspired by the faceted and crystalline structures found in (Rebecca’s) work. It made sense to abstract the idea of gemstones.”
Some inspired elements are a little more abstract: “The roof overhangs are tapered,” Janof says. “If you look upside-down, it looks like emerald-cut diamonds.”
Some take a little more inspection: That giant whole-wall, custom hand-painted mural in the dining area obviously pops with gorgeous shades of green — but it’s also a close-up of the lustrous mineral fluorite.
And some are perfectly crystal-clear right from the get-go: the gem-cut mirror, and basket of gemstone-shaped soaps, in the first-level powder room; the color-shifting glass tile in the master bathroom that shimmers like gold in the early-morning light; the literal mother-of-pearl in the bathroom countertop.
And then there’s all that fabulous, flawless glass.
In the all-new master suite that takes up the entire all-new upper floor, corner windows and tapered clerestories usher in so much light, “Evan sometimes wears his sunglasses here in the mornings,” Rebecca says.
Rebecca and Evan, both native Seattleites, went to elementary and high school together; staying close to their families, and their generations-deep roots, matters — as does an impeccably polished setting that brilliantly reflects who and where they are.
“This originally was a box house, a split level,” she says. “The place looked like it was falling down, but then we turned it into this.”