Seattle–based creative director Lou Maxon recounts the thrills and trials of ditching the suburbs, buying 21 acres, and building a modern home with renowned firm Olson Kundig Architects.
Editor’s note: In 2011, Lou Maxon chronicled the process of building the
Let’s start in 2002. My wife and I, our two sons, and our basset hound were nestled into a cozy craftsman on a corner lot in suburban America. White picket (vinyl) fence, cul de sac, generous
And then we were six. Our third son was born in the spring of 2006. With three young kids, a dog, and plenty of accumulated knick-knacks, our once-spacious, three-
We knew we wanted something different: something less cookie-cutter, more deliciously different, and completely us. We began searching for land. We started tearing pages out of home magazines. I started subscribing to Dwell. Where our architectural palate was once limited to only Victorians and faux-Craftsmans, it now exploded into a world of
After visiting at least a dozen sites, one afternoon I got a call from my wife that put our dreams into light-speed mode. She was trolling real estate sites looking at properties. I remember only a few words: 21 acres. Small town. Forested acreage. Valley view. Visit tonight. This was Spring 2007.
We made an offer. Then a counter-offer. About two months later, we had two mortgages, 21 acres, a house to sell, a house to build—and no clue how either was going to happen any time soon.
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