Laurelhurst Contemporary: A Traditional Home with a Modern Twist
Discover the Laurelhurst Contemporary, a single-family residence located in Seattle, Washington and designed by Paul Moon Design in 2022.
This property boasts an unpretentious, quiet, and comfortable atmosphere, blending traditional proportions with modern elements. Its exterior palette is understated, yet textural and offers a connection to the lake and the neighborhood. Further into the site, terraced gardens transition from the street to the lake and invite pauses at each level. Inside, the home is light and airy, with white walls and black-gridded windows, while the homeowner’s art collections create a unique atmosphere. The general contractor admired the design team’s insistence on quality control throughout construction.
About Laurelhurst Contemporary
Seattle Home Gets a Contemporary Makeover by Paul Moon Design
A Seattle couple living in the neighborhood for 18 years purchased a 4-story home dating back to 1910, situated on a narrow and steep lot on the shores of Lake Washington. The home had a poor foundation, lacked a connection to the lake, and was divided into confining volumes. They wanted a home that felt unpretentious, quiet, and comfortable. Paul Moon Design was brought on board to create a contemporary home with traditional form to fit into the neighborhood.
Creating a Cohesive Space
To create a cohesive design, Moon tackled the architecture, interiors, and landscape architecture. His design was inspired by the late architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen. Moon used traditional proportions to create appropriate scale for the house, giving it an attractive street presence. The gable end and window openings reflect the neighborhood vernacular. The exterior palette is understated, blending gray cement roofing with white stucco and natural gray stone. The floating stair visible from the sidewalk is a nod to the neighborhood, allowing limited legibility of the interior as a point of interest.
Terraced gardens elegantly transition from the street to the water, connecting the home’s three stories to a series of indoor/outdoor spaces overlooking Lake Washington. The gardens offer a mix of formal plantings with classic white hydrangeas. Moon hand-selected every single plant, stone, and light to ensure a unique level of investment from an architect. The procession down to the lake invites pauses at each level as a spa, a firepit, and plated gardens make the journey pleasant.
Quality Control Throughout Construction
The design team insisted on quality control throughout construction, creating a more collaborative process with the building team. Bender Wasenmiller Custom Builders, the project’s general contractor, commented on the design team’s involvement, stating that although things changed a bit during construction, they knew early on what they were being asked to do. They also admired Moon’s clean design, which doesn’t use a lot of millwork to hide details. It’s subtle, less forgiving, and tougher to execute.
Creating a Relaxed Contemporary Home
The interior brief was to create a relaxed, contemporary home worthy of its surroundings. The design team emphasized glazing and light, reflected by white walls and unobstructed by minimally trimmed, black-gridded windows. The interiors incorporated the homeowner’s existing art collections built up over time from traveling the world. Although the homeowners didn’t entertain much before building this home, they now love opening their home up to friends, walking the garden together, or having a coffee on the deck.
In conclusion, Paul Moon Design successfully transformed a confining, poorly connected home into a contemporary space that is both legible and refined. By integrating architecture, interiors, and landscape design, the team created a unique and cohesive space that blends traditional and modern elements.
Photography courtesy of Paul Moon Design
Visit Paul Moon Design- by Matt Watts