Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

This unique 4,200 square foot home was designed to be a spa-like retreat from the busy metropolis. The client sought a space that would embody tranquility and embrace a seamless transition between the built environment and nature. The architecture and interior design was a melding of water, sky and flora. These natural elements became the centerpiece of the initial concept design of this Northwest urban retreat on Mercer Island.

Serenity is often found when one is near water and it was water that became the center point of the home. The living spaces envelope a spine of water, allowing dramatic views between spaces. This story of water greets you at the entrance with a reflection pond, then transitions under an interior boardwalk-like bridge, before continuing as a linear propulsion lap pool. At the end of the lap pool, there is a second exterior bridge where the water transitions again to bring you to an infinity edge spa that appears to spill into Lake Washington.

Though the 3 distinct pools of water serve different purposes, visually the water story is continuous, that flows from entrance out to the world beyond, as the fluid soul of the home. The experience of approaching and then crossing over water, while traveling through the interior and in the open, creates a dramatic and tranquil feeling that one rarely experiences within one’s home. The result is the sense that you are enclosed at a destination resort, yet able to step back into the middle of a vibrant metropolis by opening the front door.

Materials were meticulously chosen to enhance the resort-like architecture of the home. The cedar ceilings throughout the main level were stained a bespoke brown-grey, lessening the yellow-red tones of natural new cedar, giving the ceiling a tone and character that is aged and venerable. The walls of the living room, dining room and stairwell were clad in cedar planks to echo the exterior facade, furthering the harmony between inside and outside. Concrete was also used in this way. The polished concrete floors on the main level parallel the repetition of concrete walls throughout the home.

This industrial material is rich in depth and character, especially when polished and juxtaposed with luxurious wool and silk area rugs. The cabinets of the kitchen were crafted in rift cut white oak, stained to a medium brown. Oak’s solidity and consistency provides a grounded space for cooking and entertaining around the oversized island.

The kitchen countertops, in a Carrera marble style quartz, bring brightness and a high contrast to the stained oak. A final layer of texture and color was added with the celadon back-painted glass backsplash. The fritted texture of the glass adds richness while being low maintenance, easy to clean backdrop. The composition of these material selections creates a balanced framework, providing the feeling of calm during lively food preparation and casual dining.

In the master bathroom, the spa-like experience is articulated through the design of the vanity and materials selections. The bespoke master vanity floats above the polished concrete floors with nickel-plated stainless steel casing and stained oak drawer fronts. As you stand at the integrated quartz sink, you look into the mirror flanked with back lit art glass. This exquisite and complex glass is meticulously created by the designer and glass smith working closely together from schematic design until final fabrication.

Surrounding the elegant, modern vanity are walls covered in large format porcelain tile, leading to a soaking tub that is surrounded with the same quartz as the vanity sink and kitchen countertops. The subtle striation pattern of the porcelain and the delicate veining of the quartz add interest and depth, without overwhelming. The master bath semblance is as a calming space to relax and decompress.

The furnishing selections were the confluence of bespoke foundational pieces and the homeowner’s curated collection of art pieces and objects. In the living room, the sectional was made with a leather base and cushions wrapped in durable outdoor fabric, bringing true livability to the living room. The accompanying klismos-backed lounge chairs were also made in soft solution-dyed acrylic to provide the stain resistance the client desired, while still maintaining a luxurious hand-feel.

Delicate glass accent tables complete the space while adding a softness and femininity that complement the strength of the nearby concrete walls. In the master bedroom, softness and comfort were paramount for the homeowner’s relaxation. The custom-made king bed was wrapped-in a buttery leather and is accompanied by a plush swivel lounge chair. The headboard wall was upholstered with a delicate silk fabric and adorned with hanging sconces, hand-blown by a local glass & metal artist. A gentle ripple-fold drapery completes the space while offering privacy for the sanctuary.

The serene ambiance of this home takes one over, from the moment you approach the reflection pond at the entry to when one sits on the down-filled sectional sofa to look out onto Lake Washington, framed by majestic pine trees. The holistic approach of designing for the interiors simultaneously with the architecture and landscape have created a resort-like home that is in harmony with nature and induces tranquility within it’s visitors.

Design Team:

Garret Cord Werner

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

Photographer: Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner | Living space ×

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