While in Seattle I was able to see my friend, Karen and her hubby, Ted. I hadn't seen Karen for nearly 8 years! She's a long time friend of mine. We met while we lived in Florida 38 years ago. I was preparing to have a baby at home, in the large Victorian house we lived in. Karen rented a cottage on this property and was redoing a 1949 Coupe to resell and use the money to buy land near Flint Hill, Virginia. She was there for the birth of Aramin, making a 'birthday' cake in the shape of a butterfly. She left the next day for Virginia, in a 1946 2-ton flatbed truck.
The following year I visited her in Virginia and fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains, which precipitated my move to Virginia. We've kept in touch over the years, with her moving from Virginia to Maryland to Oregon then Washington. In each place she restored a house, sold it and moved on. About 8 years ago, she met Ted, sold everything, bought a beautiful teak sail boat from Canada, restored it and sailed up and down the west coast and finally back up to Canada, living on the boat for a couple years.
Four years ago she and Ted bought a 'lot' in a neighborhood in Seattle with a tiny cottage on it. Ted is an architect and designed this house to fit the site. While living in the tiny cottage at the bottom of the yard, they started construction at the top of the hill and when they reached the cottage, they tore it down, moved into the new part and continued building.
Pictured above is the understated front of the house.
Fours years later, Karen is still working on it, putting up drywall, tiling and doing lots of finishing work. She is a perfectionist and it shows in her workmanship. This is the side of the house, cascading down the hillside.
Karen and Ted are thrifters extraordinaire. All the furnishings in the house are either from Craigslist, yard sales or the awesome thrift stores that Seattle is known for. This midcentury table is from Craigslist which they got for a steal. It came with 6 chairs.
While at their weekly thrift store visits, they found two chairs exactly like the others.
The house is full of light ...
but also very private as they have put in all this greenery and over the four years, it's filled in nicely.
The stainless steel sink was bought at a close out and the fridge came with no doors! So she made doors and painted them.
Karen does all the tiling and I especially like this idea in their master bath. The tub is against the wall but you have to walk through the shower to get to the bath. So there's just a drain in the floor in front of the tub and a big shower head overhead. Genius!
In every house Karen has redone, she has dug out for a pond. This house is no exception. They had to do MAJOR excavation, bringing in large equipment to fix drainage problems and tons and tons of rock.
This is looking down from the bedroom balcony.
I was so impressed with the house, the use of recycled, found, repurposed materials. I like the modern, industrial, midcentury look about it and look forward to seeing it finished. I think this will be there forever home.
We took a little tour of the lock in their neighborhood. There were 3 boats in it so they were being raised up while we were there.
This sculpture is nearby. This is where the salmon make their way upstream and there's a viewing window where you can watch all varieties of salmon swimming upstream.
So this concludes my most fantastic summer. Italy, England, and biking along the Pacific Coast Highway. Seeing friends in all those places, making new friends along the way and enjoying life to the fullest. I'll probably never have another year like this one, so I appreciate it all the more.