Andrea Lebosquet was a lucky girl. Her dad had a good job that came with great houses. Herman Trum was commandant of the 13th Naval District...
Andrea Lebosquet was a lucky girl. Her dad had a good job that came with great houses.
Herman Trum was commandant of the 13th Naval District in the late 1960s and commander fleet air Western Pacific at Whidbey Island. Served by a staff of seven, LeBosquet lived in Discovery Park’s version of the White House — the stately mansion that visitors to the park in the Magnolia neighborhood can only fantasize about today. And she lived in the commander’s lovely Dutch farmhouse at the Oak Harbor base.
“Dad and I wanted to live in the grand Seattle house all the time, but my mother loved that Dutch farmhouse,” she says, referring to her father merely as “the head Navy guy around here.”
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What did LeBosquet learn from growing up in those houses? To live a grand lifestyle of servants and fancy dinners? That white gloves matter? Every circumstance requires pomp? Nope.
She learned to love houses.
“This is my third house on the island,” she says, slicing into the cranberry-nut bread a neighbor has just brought by. Black coffee steams from its cup. “My last house was in Coupeville, and I loved that house. It was the house of the year for the Skagit and Island County Builders Association in 2002. But I have always wanted to live on North Bluff Road in Greenbank. I put the word out with my quilting friends. I thought it would be years before I got something.
“Weeks! It was weeks!”
This explains the rather large cedar-shingle and stone Craftsman that has us in its comfortable grasp. There are decks (four — one for tea, one for cocktails, one for sleeping, one for the dogs). And bedrooms (two, with hers on the back so she can hear the wind). And towering ceilings of Western red cedar (26 feet high) and sturdy stone fireplaces and a massive sewing room. There’s a comparatively compact kitchen, which LeBosquet calls “Shaker and humble, not fancy-schmancy,” anchored by a cherry red AGA stove. And a grand stair railing in fir and cherry, simply intricate.
LeBosquet’s many cheerful quilts complement perfectly the saturated greens and reds and golds throughout her home.
All of this in 3,700 square feet nestled nicely into the woods, facing Saratoga Passage and the Cascades.
LeBosquet says she teased Whidbey Island building designer Jon Chew of Chew Design Build: “Jon loves the Craftsman. Jon is a former carpenter. Jon loves wood. So I told him if I ever build another house you can build a Craftsman for me.
“I am not a Craftsman person, but this spot, it turns out, just said ‘Craftsman.’ “
And it says so in every room, by way of each craftsperson who had a hand in its creation.
LeBosquet remembers them all. There was finish carpenter Steve Ryder, who worked on her house for a year and a half before it was completed in fall 2006.
“He had terrible arthritis, and he would creak and groan, and my heart just broke for him. But he was here, every day. And then there was Mike Dettrich, my builder. Everyone who came here became friends . . . This is my third kitchen with Chuck Hurtzler” of Chuck Hurtzler Fine Wood Cabinets.
For their part, we will let Chew speak for the artisans who crafted her Craftsman.
“Andrea is a woodworker’s dream. She never said no. This house went ahead despite the budget, which blew my mind. It still blows my mind.”
And now, in her big house of cozy corners, LeBosquet looks forward each week to hosting her quilting group, her neighbors, her acquaintances new and old, her family. Sometimes they sit together with a hot cup of coffee before the massive living-room fireplace whose carved mantel reads, “Friendship is a sheltering tree.”
Rebecca Teagarden is assistant editor of Pacific Northwest magazine. Richard McNamee is a photographer who lives in Stanwood.