Lake Season Approacheth

Property Watch: A Floating Home Designed with Love

High design meets laketop whimsy in this custom SLU retreat.

By Sarah Anne Lloyd March 2, 2022

Image: Clarity NW

Spring is fast approaching, and houseboats and floating home listings are sailing back in—including this majestic floating home moored on the eastern side of Lake Union, featuring party-ready spaces and small retreats alike. It's on the market for the first time in 26 years.

While the bones originally came together in 1978, it emerged in its current form in the mid-'90s, when owners Gerry and Tanya Seligman decided to build their dream home. Enlisting the help of their friend Norman Sandler, a former associate of famed Seattle architect Roland Terry, they hit reset, trading late-'70s weird for a whimsical, wood-forward design. In the March 14, 1999, issue of Pacific Northwest, Sandler said they “wanted to create a sense of style that delivered a greater sense of permanence than one might expect to find on a houseboat.” That ethos shows up in the home’s cohesive design—but it still maintains an appropriate level of floating-home quirk.

Image: Clarity NW

Tucked into the two-story entrance hall, a reading nook with built-in bookcases provides both a cute hiding place and a pull-out bed for guests (or just more reading space). A rounded balcony gives a view of the front door from the second-story bedroom. In the living and dining areas, antique window casements and exposed-beam ceilings fit the nautical aesthetic perfectly. Together, they’re large enough for some serious gatherings; for example, the Seligmans hosted an annual Halloween party here. The kitchen is huge, a blessing in any home atop the lake. 

Image: Clarity NW

Any time you’re looking at a floating home, views are going to be a priority, and this one delivers. The Space Needle is visible, unobstructed, when you’re sitting by the fireplace, or lounging on the deck just past it. It’s the same view from a higher vantage on the second story, which is comprised of the home’s one giant bedroom and its en suite bath. If need be, it’s large enough to transform into two bedrooms—but then you’d need to share the luxuriously large shower and soaking tub.

Image: Clarity NW 

As part of the Log Foundation floating home co-op, the listing is for both the home and the slip, which isn’t always a guarantee. Dock amenities include moorage for a smaller boat with co-op approval, and up to two leased parking spots, each $100 a month. The dock’s proximity to Terry Pettus Park—named for a floating home champion—creates a swimming hole, although you could always just jump right into the lake from your back porch, whether into a kayak or straight into the water.

Image: Clarity NW

Listing Fast Facts

2017 Fairview Ave E, Slip B
Size: 1,425 square feet, 1 bedroom/1.5 bath
List Date: 2/25/2022
List Price: $3,300,000
Listing Agent:
Danny Varona, Realogics Sotheby's International Realty

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