Old World Home on the Bluff Even More Beautified

A 1924 Edmonds-area estate gets a landscape update worthy of its timeless prospect

By Seattle Mag September 9, 2014


This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of Seattle magazine.

Just because you’ve had the good fortune to realize that real estate mantra “location, location, location,” it still doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Such was the case for a 1924 Tudor-style manse in Woodway (an exclusive enclave south of Edmonds harboring a coterie of grand old estates). Situated on a beautiful bluff overlooking Puget Sound, the home came with a glorious 4-plus-acre surrounding of forest, meandering lawns and classic, rhododendron-rich Northwest gardens. What it didn’t have was an outdoor scheme that met the lifestyle needs of its owners (a family with young kids that loves to entertain) and that meshed with their home’s elegant, Old World design pedigree. Enter Eric Drivdahl, AIA, of Gelotte Hommas Architecture (known for its skillful ways with traditional architecture), who collaborated with noted landscape architect Darwin Webb to create a classical but functional outdoor domain for the home’s water-facing backside. The result is 3,200 square feet of handsome new hardscape that includes a stunning stone terrace genteelly extending from a spacious new family room addition; a pool and companion cabana (matching the main house’s old-style Tudor stucco, but fitted with a handy new outdoor kitchenette); an outdoor shower and sunken spa; and a fire pit. (A linchpin of Webb’s master landscape plan was to lower the grading from the house down to the bluff in order to maximize views of Puget Sound from the brand-new terrace.) While respecting the home’s traditional vocabulary, says Webb, “The intent was to create a variety of spaces both covered and uncovered that would feel comfortable for just family, or for parties of 100.” (The homeowners report a recent cigar party for 100 people as an unmitigated success.) In addition to becoming “focal points in the yard and magnets for people to gather around,” says Drivdahl, the light-handed integration of new man-made elements, cabana to fire pit, has better anchored the home to its natural landscape.


Follow Us

PCF Wins Prestigious Remodeler's Award

PCF Wins Prestigious Remodeler’s Award

PCF Construction Group nabs awards for excellence and integrity

People Come First (PCF) Construction Group has been building dream outdoor living spaces for homeowners across the Pacific Northwest for more than 15 years. The Kent-based builder was named National Remodeler of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in 2023, and a National Finalist in 2024. “Receiving the Remodeler of the…

Small-Scale Sensitivity

Small-Scale Sensitivity

Whole-house renovation respects the aesthetics of its Capitol Hill neighborhood

Miriam Larson founded Story Architecture in the belief that, if she dug deep enough, each house and the family that lives in it would have a story to tell. In time, she would also conclude that some books are perfectly happy to be judged by their covers.

Water World Wonder

Water World Wonder

Unique artistic collaboration invites water into stunning Lake Washington home

Swivel Interiors founder Kathleen Glossa lured five innovative local artists to a newly purchased vacation property perched on the northern edge of Lake Washington. Photo by Andrew Giammarco

Minecraft Motivation

Minecraft Motivation

Couple uses video game for renovation inspiration

They had a hard time visualizing what their new home might look like, so they turned to Minecraft, a hugely popular video game Microsoft markets as a tool for creative types to “battle mobs, construct shelter, and explore the landscape.” They had been playing the game for years, and didn’t need to consult the box