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Renovated 1960s Home

Called Mercer Modern, this house takes its name from its location – Mercer Island, a landmass in a freshwater lake west of Seattle. It was a 50-year-old apartment in Washington that was renovated by the US firm Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape.

The two-story house sits on a hillside with views of the water and the city skyline. Customers wanted a home with a casual atmosphere and a flowing connection between the interior and the surrounding area. The original house had large bones but was separated from the outside area and the sprawling property and is now well connected to the outside area.

Windows and doors were replaced in certain areas, new exterior lighting was installed and facades were painted creamy white. If necessary, old columns and beams were replaced with steel columns and glued wood beams. On top of a garage, the team created a new outside deck with built-in seating and Ipe wooden terraces. Cedar slats surround the deck and let the sunlight through while blocking the view of the neighboring houses. A concrete and glass staircase connects the raised terrace with the backyard.

Inside the apartment, the spaces have been made light and airy by removing walls and adding glazing, as well as the inclusion of light-colored surfaces and decorations. The materials reflect the loose, relaxed style of redesign and open the heart of the house not only to nature, but also to natural, sustainable textures. The airy and light feel of the material palette encourages the family to go outside and reconnect with the sunlight while enjoying the views of Lake Washington and the downtown Seattle skyline.

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