Image: HD Estates

When architects design their own residences, they don't typically hold back much. Ross Anderson built this waterfront home for his family in 2002, and he included some real highlights, like a stone bulkhead and a bathtub with a view, but kept it less formal than some of his other more elaborate works. It strikes a unique balance between high-design and approachability—and now, after almost 20 years of being lived in, it's on the market.

Some of Anderson’s earliest collaborations were with his father, famed Northwest architect Ralph Anderson, first as a builder that wasn’t afraid to take on his dad’s sometimes-ambitious designs, and eventually as a fellow architect. While his style is clearly influenced by the elder Anderson, with plenty of exposed grain and carefully framed views, it evolved on its own in a much different era than his father’s heyday.

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The floor plan uses the hillside locale to create views in nearly every room. The formal living room is especially striking, with a floor-to-ceiling, south-facing window directly looking out on Elliott Bay, with peeks at the Puget Sound beyond. Like the rest of the home, it’s covered in fir details, including a large mantel above the fireplace ideal for hanging art—but pretty enough to stand alone.

Image: HD Estates

Behind a railing a half-floor up, the dining room includes a built-in design around a specific piece of art: A painting of the home’s view by a family friend. Above a couple of low shelves, a large frame highlights the piece. A large top shelf doubles as a mount for gallery lights. Of course, this room also features the real-life view through floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open up to a large deck spanning most of the side of the house.

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While the entire home doesn’t adhere to a true open floor plan like many homes of the era, the kitchen still has that ethos. It’s surrounded by space to work, eat, and watch TV—less formal versions of the single rooms outside, with some added function and tons of cabinet space.

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At the home’s highest altitude, a bedroom has the biggest view through sliding-glass doors to a Juliet balcony. Perhaps the most opulent feature inside the home is the ensuite bath, which is larger than some studio apartments. Rather than a double sink, it has two entirely separate counters and mirrors to avoid bickering over self-care routines. At the far end, a serene nook contains just a shelf, a bathtub, and two windows with views to the south and west. 

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The other four bedrooms are two floors below, most of them with their own door to a water-facing deck for admiring the view, meandering down to the bulkhead, or maybe sneaking out for midnight paddleboard parties. Other lower-floor amenities include a gym, complete with its own sink, mini-fridge, and two sliding glass doors to the outside, and a study full of built-in bookshelves.

Past some sturdy rock gardens, the path along the bulkhead looks somewhat like a public dock and includes davits for lowering small watercraft—Anderson is, apparently, an avid racing kayaker. At lower tide, a set of stairs leads to the rocky beach below.

Image: HD Estates

Listing Fast Facts

3035 W Galer St
Size: 4,080 square feet/.2 acres, 5 bedroom/5 bath
List Date: 10/14/2021
List Price: $4.5 million
Listing Agents: Portia Grey
, Windermere

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