Holy Window Benches

Property Watch: A Playful and Spacious Mount Baker Tudor

This elegant yet joyful home is big on square footage, creativity, wallpaper, and window benches.

By Sarah Anne Lloyd July 20, 2022

Along the upscale eastern edge of Mount Baker, this stately yet whimsical 1929 Tudor Revival home has formal gathering spaces, two statement fireplaces, at least five window benches, and a whole lot of bold wallpaper across four floors—and it has killer Lake Washington views from three of them. Like many of the beautiful homes on Cascadia Avenue South, it was built by spec developer and contractor Nels Tom Midland, but this one has some extra-special touches, including the tidy, raised lattice and accents built into the brick.

This place has been fancy from the beginning, and went through some illustrious owners, including a prominent banker, a former state senator, a local department store magnate and community leader, and even a notable neurosurgeon that just happened to be Adam West’s stepfather for a few years. (Unfortunately, we have no reason to believe this is the Batcave.)

It’s gotten a little fancier over the decades. According to real estate listings published in The Seattle Times, its bedroom and bathroom counts steadily grew, and the second set of dormers peeking out over the front materialized sometime after 1976. But you can tell that recent remodelers genuinely loved the historic look, matching styles in ways where others would cut corners: low-knob vintage doors, gridded casement windows, and cove ceilings. A 1990 listing announced that it was “completely restored to [its] original grandeur,” and more than 30 years later, it’s refreshingly hard to tell where the seams are, at least in some places.

The home opens to an airy foyer with a textured cove ceiling and archways in all directions. Through a wide, open arch to the right, there’s a formal dining room; to the left, a living room that cascades, through another bigger arch, into a light-filled library with handsome wood built-ins, including a wide window bench (No. 1). Alternatively, you can walk through a pair of arched French doors cut straight through to the backyard.

Even without its addition, the living room is large—it stretches the length of the house, with picture windows facing the front and back. The fireplace here is a Tudor Revival classic, wrapped in smooth stucco with clay tile around the hearth.

Just outside the dining room, a butler’s pantry leads to a modernized kitchen that, despite high-end appliances and subway tile backsplash, doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. An arch in the corner sets aside an adorable dining nook, complete with built-in hutch. Round the corner to another hallway that brings us back to where we started, along with stairs both up and down.

Below, there’s a second fireplace—and while finished basements were far from a given in the 1920s, this one’s original, although its stone finishes came later. This den also has a wet bar, some dark wood-grain wainscoting, and direct access to the yard through double doors. The rest of the basement is modern and multifunctional: a large utility and laundry room, a hall with a workstation, a gym area, and a secluded flex room with counters, a sink, and a fridge.

Up an open staircase with a wrought-iron rail from the main floor are three bedrooms. One cute and cozy one has sloping ceilings and a window bench (No. 2) inside a dormer, and another is larger and airier. The third is a large suite, complete with a sitting room with an upholstered reading nook (that’s window bench No. 3), a three-quarter bath with period-style tile, a wardrobe nook with built-in storage, and a large, private sunny balcony. A finished attic rises one more floor above, offering an extremely spacious bedroom—with a window bench (No. 4) in one of the bonus dormers—and an office or study with built-in bookshelves and, of course, a window bench (No. 5).

The yard is just as carefully designed, with lawns and some decorative landscaping out front and a party-ready network of brick patios—including one with a built-in outdoor kitchen—surrounded by hedges and paths. There is also the pool, which is kidney-shaped with a wide concrete deck, cradled by hedges and trees.

Listing Fast Facts

3121 Cascadia Avenue South
Size: 5,200 square feet/.25 acres, 6 bedroom/4 bath
List Date:
List Price: $3,398,000
Listing Agent: Alex Cury, Compass

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