October 2015

The Most Amazing Homes

Inspiring ideas for every style and every room.
Plus, how Seattleites get cooler with age.

From this Issue

From modern masterpieces to 5-Star Built Green homes, we’ve rounded up the Pacific Northwest’s most beautiful houses and how to get the look in your own home.

1. Modern Retreat
An award-winning Winthrop home by famed local architect Tom Kundig balances big valley views with intimate spaces
By Sheila Cain; Photographed by Ed Sozinho

In The Sky Lounge bar of Tokyo’s Prince Park Tower, Rick Seely is winding down the day with a beer and some conversation. A longtime American expat nearing retirement age, Seely looks out at the megacity at dusk, the lights of nearby skyscrapers flickering on, Japan’s Eiffel Tower replica glowing orange.

Maybe it's our fantastic arts and culture scene, or all the top-flight health care, or simply the coffee, but the Emerald City is a great place to rock your 70s, 80s and 90s.

1. Patti Warashina
Artist Patti Warashina is having too good a time to focus on aging

Plain water is passé—at least, that’s what the sellers of multitudes of fizzy, nutrient-enhanced or flavored (sometimes all in one) waters lining grocery store shelves would have you believe. Dr.

Shaprece, the mononymous singer born and raised in Seattle, has gained acclaim for original songs that blend soul, electronica, strings and trip-hop with gorgeous vocals.

In 1996, a month prior to the first-ever Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law, codifying marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Two decades later, we are celebrating both the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage and the 20th installment of SLGFF.

For Carrie, a Kenmore resident with severe autism, it’s all about the car ride. The 18-year-old loves the journey, says her mom, Lynn Vigo, but once they arrive at their destination, particularly if it is new, it can be quite an ordeal for the 5-foot-tall Vigo to get Carrie—who has a good 8 inches on her mom—out of the car, much less into an unfamiliar building.

Define rage. Have you ever experienced pure rage? How did you express it? How was anger expressed in your family? These are the questions longtime local choreographer Pat Graney is asking five female dancers to explore in her new piece, Girl Gods.

To my way of thinking, a neighborhood can rarely have too many bars. Even Belltown, home to a number of luminous lounges and more, can always happily fit another.

Stumbling across neighborhoods that collectively celebrate Halloween is a bit like admiring holiday displays of luminaria—only with the bonus of skeletons, dug-up graves, strobe lights and Vincent Price recordings. Here are a few spirited ’hoods inspired by the terror and the treats of the season.

Jen Taylor isn’t famous. Cortana, the purple hologram sidekick whom she voices in the Halo franchise, on the other hand, is one of the most recognizable and beloved characters in video game history. It’s an important distinction for Taylor. In the real world, Cortana’s celebrity “is not something I have to deal with,” she says.

In four short years, The Pantry has become one of the most beloved gathering places for food makers and home cooks in Seattle. Every quarter, the Ballard cooking school offers 45 accessible, technique-heavy classes, and many (hello, Russian dumplings) fill up within hours.

Two months ago, there were only two dozen handwritten notes, scattered like colorful Post-its, on a concrete pillar inside Seattle’s new Holocaust Center for Humanity. Written by students, the notes answer the question “How does change begin with you?” By this time next year, executive director Dee Simon hopes there will be 15,000 responses.

As craft beer enjoys a full embrace by the mainstream, beer menus at Seattle’s best restaurants are becoming as widespread and sophisticated as wine lists, with the pairing of beer and food now a more common part of the fine dining experience.

Much has been made of Seattle’s first-ever council race featuring seven of nine positions selected by geographic district. With 45 candidates, it certainly yielded a clamorous primary. But the general election holds the potential for another first: a female majority. Of the 18 candidates on the ballot, 10 are women, and five led in the primary.

“I can’t find your cervix,” said my doctor to me, during a routine pelvic exam in the fall of 2012. I was confused. I was a healthy, active 31-year-old and had made this OB/GYN appointment as a precaution to ensure that my body was healthy enough for pregnancy—I wasn’t really worried. To my surprise, it wasn’t.

One bad childhood trip to the hospital can set you up for a lifetime of trauma. So when 7-year-old Kyla, who has an intense fear of needles, needed her blood drawn at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, its unique staff of child life specialists stepped in.

Once small breast cancer tumors have been detected in a screening, they aren’t easy to find in order to remove them, but new technology, locally only available at The Polyclinic, more precisely targets those tumors. Called radioactive seed localization, the method involves implanting the tumor with a rice-grain-size “seed” that emits a very low amount of radiation.

Jon Christiansen started working behind the bar at Tulio’s in the early ’90s, learning to sling classic cocktails such as grasshoppers and stingers.

Meadowdale Middle School teacher Tamara Musser knows how the world sees her: “If you walked up to someone in Edmonds’ school district and asked them if they knew me, they’d say no. But if you described me, they’d say yes,” says Musser. The recognition is a result of the special educator’s sensational, at times scandalous (depending on which parent you talk to), high-fashion wardrobe.

Bertha isn’t the only tunneler in town. Seattle artist Rick Araluce is known for his miniature-scale sculptures of haunting interior spaces as well as the giant-scale sets he creates for the Seattle Opera. Now he’s embarking on The Great Northern, a less than full-scale but still massive replica of the 111-year-old, 1-mile-long tunnel that still funnels trains beneath downtown Seattle.

Inside the Four Seasons hotel, Ethan Stowell’s newest restaurant, Goldfinch Tavern, benefits from what may be the greatest waterfront view in downtown Seattle. Floor-to-ceiling windows enlarge Elliott Bay, the Great Wheel and the Olympic Mountains to appear so close they could roll off the water and join your table for dinner. The view is an up close and personal experience.

The terms “small” and “local” are pervasive in conversations about the virtues of craft beer, but until recently, no craft beer was entirely small or local.

Earlier this year, Seattle’s single-family zoning suffered a near-death experience when Mayor Ed Murray’s affordable housing panel endorsed what would be an effective citywide up-zoning of the neighborhoods. It sparked an instant uproar, and the mayor quickly backed off. And for the moment, the dream of owning your own house in Seattle—if you can pull together the scratch—dodged a bullet.

Seattle abounds with culinary diversity. Stroll through most neighborhoods and you will likely spot a taco shack, gyro joint and pho house within blocks of each other.

Twelves can show their support this season—and kill time waiting for kickoff—with the Seahawks Tailgate Toss. $69.99. Big 5 Sporting Goods, University Village, 4315 University Way NE; 206.547.2445;

It took three years and near-sinister gobs of chocolate, but Metropolitan Market has perfected and rolled out its claim to confection fame: The Cookie. What other name could fit such an exemplary treat?

Drumming, chanting and tears punctuated festivities at Seattle’s City Hall on October 13, 2014, when Mayor Ed Murray signed Indigenous Peoples’ Day into the historical fabric of Seattle on Columbus Day.

Pepto pink mannequins and metallic display cages housing Acne Studios leather jackets…this is not the Nordstrom you remember. This is Space: Nordstrom creative director of special projects Olivia Kim’s latest in-store launch, which debuted in the downtown flagship store in August.