Set in its own little forest but still on the beaten path, this party-ready midcentury modern home hasn’t aged a day since 1957. And while it’s been well-maintained for modern life, the architecture, finishes, effortless flow, and creative built-ins have stayed the same. 

The home was designed by Cooper and Sawers, a prolific residential architecture firm that built similarly gorgeous houses and amenity-rich apartment complexes throughout the 1950s and 1960s, along with some miscellaneous government and retail buildings. Their work frequently appeared in The Seattle Times, including a four-page feature in Pacific Northwest Magazine on a custom home for a family of 13 and a Beacon Hill home with five split levels. Looking over these old features, some themes start to emerge: They loved natural materials like redwood and cedar, cantilevering, and windows that literally reach all the way up into the ceiling. In that sense, this home, which appears to have stayed in just one family (or at least the same last name), is extremely on-brand.

The front entrance, set into a pattern of tall windows, is hidden behind trees and bamboo and opens into a split-level foyer decked in exposed grain. Head upstairs for the home’s centerpiece: A living room with a gentle tongue-in-groove cathedral ceiling with period spotlights. Floor-to-ceiling windows include sliding-glass doors to a large balcony surrounded by trees. Up top, the glass has the appearance of fully reaching the ceiling without the smallest bit of framing—this element, along with the display area above the hearth, is in some of their other residential work too.

Like many of the best midcentury homes, the focal point is the fireplace; this one has a cantilevered hearth, coats more than half the far wall in brick, and has a large, raised white surface for hanging art (or perhaps, realistically, a television).

The dining room is open to the living room and features a sleek built-in hutch. The kitchen is just past it, and it’s a stunner. The actual cooking area is galley style with an abundance of storage. Bar seating lines up on the other side of the counter without sacrificing cabinet space—instead the cabinets on that side hang from steel supports, creating a tall shelf above. A large, brick structure was originally an indoor barbecue. At the end of the kitchen and seating corridor, the space expands into another cozy seating area with corner windows facing Lake Washington.

Downstairs, sitting in the corner of a den with its own, more casual fireplace, find a wet bar with a couple of vintage delights. One is a colorful bar salvaged from a bowling alley. A full vintage range, apparently original to the house, is right behind it, with retro geometry and a huge blue dial. The three bedrooms are down here, too, along with sliding-glass doors to the woodsy backyard.

The location is pretty choice: It’s a mile off I-90, two blocks from the shoreline (and the wildly exclusive Mercerwood Shore Club, which requires a $500 non-refundable deposit just to get on the waitlist) and a 15-minute walk to Mercer Island High School. Downtown Mercer Island is just a five-minute drive away.

Listing Fast Facts

4275 Shoreclub Dr, Mercer Island
Size: 2,440 square feet/.2 acres, 3 bedroom/3 bath
List Date: 4/20/2022
List Price: $2,095,000
Listing Agents: 
Adam E. Cobb/Windermere

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