Skagit Valley Family Transforms Patio into Extension of Their Home

An extensive patio project paves the way for an Edison family to enjoy the outdoors year round
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After commuting to Seattle for work five days a week, Scott Edwards heads north to the Skagit Valley for some rural R&R. Edwards, managing principal for Dovetail General Contractors, and his wife had lived within the Seattle city limits for 10 years, but when their daughters, now 17 and 14, came along, they decided to take their flock afield. “The number one thing for us is that our kids can grow up with a big yard like my wife and I both grew up with,” says Edwards, a native of Mount Vernon.

The family found a 1903 farm house on a run down, 3-acre dairy farm in the teeny town of Edison (population just shy of 150) and turned it into a rustic charmer, adding a nearly 2,000-square-foot outdoor living room. “Surprisingly, one of the main drivers for creating our patio was simply the logistics of mowing the lawn,” says Edwards.As the family collected large pieces of furniture, they couldn’t find a winning configuration in the sprawling backyard,thus the concept of a large concrete patio came into play. The space features a fire pit (inspired by Wallingford restaurant Joule’s stony structure), which is flanked by comfy couches and chairs. Another corner holds a dining area, including a 14-foot-long communal table modeled after the tables Dovetail built for the Redhook Brewery in Woodinville. Herbs and decorative flora are nestled in concrete planters throughout, so a smidge of rosemary or mint (for cooking or cocktails) is never more than a few feet away.

PHOTO: Ed Sozinho. A 14-foot long communal table defines the dining area in one corner of the space.

Beyond hosting weekend bonfires and birthday bashes, the Edwards family spends day-to-day life on the patio year round. “On a cold, clear winter day, we’ll be out there with the fire on,” Edwards says. But it’s during the warmer months that the patio truly serves as an extension of the Edwards house. “Seasonally, we move our life from inside the house to outside,” Edwards says. “From when I get home on Friday until I head back to Seattle on Sunday, we’re eating every meal and having every cup of coffee out there.”

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