Picturesque Mercer Island Home Gets Updated
April 22, 2014
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BENJAMIN WOOLSEY
The location was perfect—perched on the shore of picturesque Mercer Island. But the house itself, a contemporary take on a Cape Cod they had lived in for years, simply wasn’t functioning for the growing family anymore. “They had three kids who were getting older,” says St. Helena, California-based designer Erin Martin. “They wanted a house that would fit them and their lifestyle.” Rather than move, the owners decided to reinvent the house, adding square footage and transforming the order and feel of the rooms. “The family is in constant motion,” Martin says. “So the house needed to foster tranquility.”
The look they went for was casual and coastal, but sophisticated. Almost everything in the house is painted white, but there is no starkness: with a design team comprising Martin, architect Brad Sturman and builder Tom Gallagher, the couple had arched doorways added, ceilings rounded and surfaces softened when possible. The floors, hand-hewn on nearby Bainbridge Island, are a pale white oak with a waxy finish that exudes calm.
Martin scoured Seattle galleries for local art and antiques shops for furnishings, mixing vintage with modern and designer pieces. She also made sure each space incorporated nature’s elements. “Every room has glass, stone, metal and wood, representing earth, wind and fire,” Martin says. “That makes the house feel like home.”
Tour The Entire House