Andrew and April Rauch have a great fondness for their red-brick rambler in the Olympic Manor neighborhood, a well-manicured pasture of low-slung...
Andrew and April Rauch have a great fondness for their red-brick rambler in the Olympic Manor neighborhood, a well-manicured pasture of low-slung Mid-century homes in North Seattle.
They loved the cool architecture (April’s a real-estate agent), big yards (Andrew’s a landscape designer), friendly neighborhood and expansive water views. But after living there for nearly a decade, April thought it might be nice to have a soaking tub.
“The next thing I knew, she was calling contractors and we were interviewing architects,” says Andrew.
A little more than a year later, the wish for a soaking tub became the dreamy new master suite downstairs and family room upstairs, both of steel, glass and concrete construction designed by Thomas Isarankura of BAANdesign (www.baandesign.net). And by the time the Rauches moved back in on Christmas Eve 2006 their Roman-brick rambler at the end of the cul-de-sac became a very modern Mid-century.
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“We gave it its 10-year anniversary gift,” says April, curled up on the hot-red sofa from Kasala in an urban-cool family room of glass walls. Big blue water waves beyond, the Edmonds ferry heading west.
“As a Windermere agent I get to see hundreds of houses. When we bought this 10 years ago people were gagging about Mid-century architecture. I had shown this house to a client, and after my client left I called Andrew and said, ‘You better get over here.’ “
The Rauches have always loved their house. And their architect honored the original structure by bringing a bit of the Roman brick exterior into the new rooms.
April pored over Dwell magazines, determining that their home would be even better if they brought in as much natural light as possible and opened the home for indoor-outdoor living. That led to Isarankura, and Isarankura to Dan Say of structural engineering firm Swenson Say Fagét and then to Ainslie-Davis Construction.
“We had a crappy gray, gross day last week, and I didn’t even care because it was so bright in here,” April says, surrounded by the new family room’s glass walls.
The Rauches have seen their neighborhood change dramatically.
“When we got here, we were by far the youngest family in the neighborhood,” April says. “Now there are 11 kids on this one cul-de-sac.” Three of those kids (3, 4 and 6) live here. And theirs is first and foremost a family home, now 3,300 square feet with four bedrooms and 2 ½ baths.
“The great thing about our architect, Thomas, was he has three little kids, too. And when I thought I wanted horizontal steel cording on the stair railing he said, “So you want to build a ladder for your kids to throw themselves down the stairs? A lot of times he would say, ‘That’s not going to be good for the kids.’ “
And with three little kids doing what little kids do, the mom and the dad are thrilled with the additional 350 square feet upstairs for the whole family. But they are particularly delighted with the 350 square feet downstairs just for them — a restful and private master-bedroom suite.
“These kids are dirty critters by the time they get home,” April says. “We strip them down in the mudroom and then hose them down.”
Washing up is somewhat more luxurious for Mom and Dad. Their bathing room is 8 ½ feet by 8 ½ feet, with a his-and-hers vanity room to the side.
And the tub? A 6-foot Philippe Starck for Duravit that sits just 4 feet from their king-size bed on one side and next to the rainshower for two on the other. Water falls to the tub in a tubular stream from a Hansgrohe faucet installed in the ceiling. A river-rock floor gives an exterior touch to the interior.
The bedroom and bathing room share a glass wall for views of the koi pond and backyard garden designed by Andrew and his company, Grow By Design (www.GBDseattle.com). An opaque glass door is available to separate the rooms, should one choose not to watch one’s spouse bathe.
Rebecca Teagarden is assistant editor of Pacific Northwest magazine. Benjamin Benschneider is a magazine staff photographer.