Hip urbanites may never be sold on a home in the suburbs, but many who dream of room to roam (say, for a gaggle of offspring?) do hear the call of the smaller cities east of Seattle. And these days, with Amazon, Google, Facebook and other companies making the Eastside their home, living here can even mean a shorter commute. While Eastside communities offer plenty of options for brand-new housing, the elegantly aging wood and brick suburban manses described here are ideal for ambling about with a glass of rosé — or bridle or pram — in hand, for $1.5 million.
9337 S.E. 70th Place
The overview: No place in these parts is as classically suburban as Mercer Island. And this privately situated three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house is as classic a Northwest contemporary as you’re likely to find. Built in 1968 and fully refurbished in 2012, its design aesthetic is timeless. Situated on the island’s south end, the home is close to such go-to destinations as Mercer Island’s beach, country and saddle clubs, as well as a small shopping area with grocery store and other services. Notes real estate agent Lori Glatz Holden Scott: “The south end of the island is really a community all its own and has a very laid-back, almost rural vibe.”
Inside and out: This towering abode seems to blend right into its woodsy backdrop, an effect assisted by a striking two-story block of windows that beautifully reflects the surrounding forest. Inside, hardwoods weave through an open floor plan that is blessed with dramatic vaulted ceilings and designed for action, with the kitchen — outfitted in gleaming white slab quartz and stainless steel Fisher & Paykel appliances — flowing easily into the big main room and a smaller family room. (There’s a main-floor “man cave,” too.) A striking open industrial-style staircase, accessorized with a teardrop chandelier, leads to a serene master suite, which includes a spa bathroom and a private deck. Broad decking also runs the length of the back of the house, offering tranquil views of — what else? — trees and a Zen-like (read: low-maintenance) landscape featuring a river rock “stream.”
The details: $1.495 million • Built in 1968 • 2,800 SQF • $534 per SQF • 3 beds, 2.5 baths • 2-car garage • .22 acre
Listing agent: Lori Holden Scott, John L. Scott Real Estate, Mercer Island; 206.949.5674; louandlori.com
ENGLISH INFLUENCE. This Sammamish home was designed to mimic an English manor; it’s set within the heavily-treed Pine Hill community. Photo courtesy of FJU Photography
23410 S.E. 17th Place
The overview: In the mid-1980s, a Sammamish couple decided to bring some English country life to the plateau — specifically, a three-bedroom, five-bath, two-story home in the manner of a manor designed by English architect Edwin Lutyens (1869‒1944), according to real estate agent Sara Miller. Nearby is the Sahalee Country Club, along with Pine Lake, Beaver Lake and Klahanie parks, plus a Metropolitan Market and very American eateries like Pine Lake Ale House and MOD Pizza.
Inside and out: Set in a secluded cul-de-sac in the Pine Hill community, this Eastside home presents a stately Olde England brick-and-shingle exterior, punctuated by charming dormer windows. Inside, all is bright and light throughout, with sunny wood paneling reigning downstairs (except for a massive brick wall divide fitted with dual Russian fireplaces). The kitchen, updated in 2016, shines with stainless steel appliances — Miele dishwasher, Fisher & Paykel range, LG refrigerator —and crisp white Cabinetpak cabinetry. The master suite comes with a luxe bathroom (also remodeled in 2016), fitted with Canyon Creek Cabinet Co. quartz-top vanities with undermounted Kohler sinks and fixtures, and a freestanding Kohler clawfoot tub. The suite also has its own fireplace as well as French doors leading to a perfect-for-breakfast patio. Of course, the grounds are rambling and manicured, and there’s a private community tennis court too. Blimey.
The details: $1.55 million • Built in 1986 • 4,500 SQF • $344 per SQF • 3 beds, 5 baths • 3-car garage • 1.14 acres
Architect: Gene Morris
Listing agent: Sara Miller, Windermere Real Estate/East Inc.; 425.891.6488; saramillergroup.com
SPACIOUS ABODE. Two acres around this Issaquah estate give residents privacy and room to sprawl. Photo courtesy of Floorplan Online
13450 Issaquah Hobart Road
The overview: The gracious sprawl of this four-bedroom, three-and-one-quarter bath Northwest lodge–like house, on 2 acres, begins with a leisurely quarter-mile private driveway and ends in a spectacular patio. Its next-door neighbor is Tiger Mountain, part of the “Issaquah Alps” and a hiker’s heaven. And just a few miles away is downtown Issaquah, with linger-worthy options that include restaurants and shows at Village Theatre.
Inside and out: Spacious, light-infused living and dining rooms, kitchen and master suite — all richly dressed in warm woods and lustrous granites — anchor the main floor. The upstairs boasts a bonus room, and the downstairs features a den and secondary bedrooms (thoughtfully designed with built-in desks). However, alfresco attractions are the stars. With forest and gardens all around, the house seems to be hugging its grand patio, which is easily accessed from the master suite or from the main rooms via a stylish trio of French doors. Radiating warmth is a jewel of a woodburning outdoor fireplace with a soaring rugged-stone chimney. There’s also an intimate covered terrace. Oh, let’s not forget a sports court with a hoop and a built-in trampoline —kids’ perks if ever there were any.
The details: $1.55 million • Built in 2000 • 4,120 SQF • $376 per SQF • 4 beds, 3.25 baths • 4-car garage • 2 acres
Listing agent: Rick Franz, Windermere Real Estate/East Inc.; 206.442.7626; rickfranz.com
A version of this story appears in the September issue of Seattle magazine.