Patty and Mike Denton thought about buying a Kirkland home because they wanted to have dogs, and their condo wasn’t conducive to that. What they got themselves into was a roughly three-year process of essentially building a brand-new home. But it was well worth the wait and effort.
The former Boeing engineers worked with architect Curtis Gelotte and homebuilder Lakeville Homes to design a contemporary home with Asian and Scandinavian influences that indulge clean lines and warm features. The home overlooks Lake Washington with 180-degree views of blue water and skyline, and we’d be remiss to leave out that there’s plenty of backyard space for their two boundless puppies, Tucker and Murphy. Though the home feels like a piece of art, it also has the functionality they were looking for — three bedrooms, a laundry room with a dog-washing station, office space, storage, an outdoor living area, a media room, recreational space, and a 500-bottle wine cellar.
“We were just going to do a major remodel,” Patty Denton said, as we sat in her airy living room with coffee in hand. “But we ended up going all the way down to the foundation. … The footprint is still similar, although expanded. We loved the view, and the neighborhood is about as good as it gets. We feel like we’ve moved back into the ’50s. Everyone knows everyone, and everyone is so supportive and friendly.”
The entrance commands attention with a large monolithic structure of limestone flagged by metal roofing, and the walk-up feels like a living feature with water flowing around the stone path. The custom door, though, is the centerpiece. It’s substantial, with four different types of wood and metal elements. Denton, a former woodworker, collaborated with their junior architect and project manager Brie Nakamura to design the door, which pivots inward when opening. The limestone carries into the interior of the house, as does dark steel framing. She said they had admired the cool-toned limestone on another home, and Gelotte incorporated it right away.
The Asian influence comes from the couple’s travels to Asia. For three years, Mike Denton served as president of Boeing Japan.
“In Asia, things are small, but usable,” she said. “Every inch gets used for something. I don’t know if you can say that about this house, but it’s comfortable, usable, clean, airy, and fresh. The attention to detail is amazing.”
The doors to the office and the Dentons’ bedroom are also key artistic features. A glass artist who fused two large painted panels together created them. Originally, the couple wanted the office entrance to be a traditional Asian shoji sliding door, but knew the dogs would likely damage it. Instead, a shoji-style ceiling adds to the ambiance of the entrance. When the lights are on, the ceiling looks like illuminated rice-paper panels.
Every detail of the home was meticulously planned and designed. Even a after of year of living in the home, Denton marvels at the work that went into it, as does Jamie Hsu, president of Lakeville Homes.
“I often say that I won’t look for good projects,” Hsu said. “I look for good clients. Patty and Mike were unicorns of clients. They knew what they wanted; they understood the costs of what they wanted, and were willing to accept it as part of the equation.”
It’s hard to pick one piece of the house that stands out as their favorite, but the second-story deck off the dining room is at the top of their list.
It takes full advantage of the water view and is anchored by a limestone fireplace. To make it more usable year-round, Gelotte incorporated folding glass doors to partially enclose the deck. Complete with cozy seating, an oversized grill, and flat-screen TV, the Denton deck is the ultimate place to entertain or unwind.
“One reason we love the deck so much is that there are several bald eagles and golden eagles that perch in trees close by and fish the lake,” she said. “Also, lots of herons and osprey.”