Bainbridge Island Modern Homes
Looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life? Just a quick trip across Elliot Bay from downtown you’ll find the charming bedroom community of Bainbridge Island in Kitsap County. This conveniently located island town may be close in proximity to the booming metropolis of Seattle, but it is a world apart in the pace of life that it offers its residents. Just a 35-minute ferry ride from Pier 52 in the heart of Seattle, this affluent suburb to the west is a serene country-like setting. Near the Ferry terminal at Eagle’s Landing you’ll find Winslow, a flourishing commercial environment where in addition to several delightful restaurants, shops, cafes, and galleries, you’ll also find modern condos, and other newer developments. Bainbridge Island is known for its thriving local arts scene, and the newly constructed Bainbridge Island Museum of Art features collections from artists around the Puget Sound region. Kayaking, biking, and hiking are just some of the many outdoor activities to partake in on the island that highlight the healthy lifestyles of its community. Bloedel Reserve, Battle Point Park and Fay Bainbridge Park a few of the noteworthy recreational areas worth exploring in this scenic environment.
For home owners, the Island offers panoramic views from various points across the island including stunning views of Mt. Rainer, the Seattle Skyline, the Olympic Mountains, and the Puget Sound. There is no shortage of modern and mid-century homes lining the rocky shores of the island, and further inland. Many of the Northwest masters of architecture including Gene Zema, and Ira Cummings have built homes for Bainbridge Island residents over the years. From charming beach cottages, to stately abodes perched high atop bluffs, modern homes in various price points can be found around the Island. To the North you’ll find neighborhoods like Arrow Point, Manzanita Bay, and Port Madison that offer some of the most superb instances of modern architecture on the Island, and to the South neighborhoods like Bill Point and Rockaway Beach are home to some extraordinary examples of mid-century modern architecture as well. If you are looking for an alternative to city life, Bainbridge Island is a great option. It has a friendly community vibe that is both sophisticated and laid back, in a setting that is picturesque and full of old-world charm.
Eastside North Modern Homes
Suburbs north and east of Bellevue and Kirkland are quickly becoming in-demand areas to live as homeowners seek privacy and space. Many of these more rural towns and communities have restaurants, shops, and other convenient amenities for residents. Find classic modern properties that have been carefully preserved as well as contemporary builds, new condos, and Northwest Modern homes.
CNN Money named Redmond, just east of Kirkland, the fifth best small town in 2012. The area is undoubtedly Microsoft country, and the rapid growth of the computer giant set off a flurry of development in recent decades. Bonuses for homeowners include the popular Redmond Town Center outdoor mall and 560-acre Marymoor Park, which features a velodrome, climbing wall, off-leash dog park, and playing fields. The city’s close proximity to natural attractions like Lake Sammamish and the Cascade Mountains also make it an appealing place to live.
Further north, Woodinville offers the best of both worlds: a burgeoning wine tourism district with nearly 100 tasting rooms and large homes on generous lots in quiet, residential areas. Rural farmland and forested acres are a draw for those seeking room to grow. Unincorporated Hollywood Hill is a sought-after enclave for those who are willing to pay a premium.
Tucked between the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish and the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Sammamish Plateau is a peaceful retreat for families and those seeking a more laid-back lifestyle. (Forbes even named Sammamish the Friendliest Town in the United States in 2012.) The orchards and rural farms that were once here in the early 20th century have slowly given way to retail centers and housing developments. Today, the Plateau is prized for its proximity to recreational activities like hiking, golfing, and boating, and for its scenic natural surrounds. It’s also a popular vacation spot in summer.
At the confluence of the Snoqualmie River and Raging River in Snoqualmie Valley, unincorporated Fall City is a rural bedroom community with around 5,000 residents. Its historic farming roots are evidenced today in U-Pick farms and abundant small-town charm. However, large estates and nearby attractions—the Summit at Snoqualmie ski resort, hiking in the Cascade Mountains, outlet stores in North Bend, Snoqualmie Falls, and three golf courses—make it a desirable escape.
Eastside South/South Lk.Washington Modern Homes
Located south of Bellevue on the east side of Lake Washington, Renton is one of the most affordable areas of the Seattle Metro area. Although its history is that of a working-class suburban neighborhood, the city is now redeveloping industrial areas into live/work scenarios and accentuating its waterfront connections. New development is Modern in feel and look. The surrounding hills above the lake are a Mid-Century Modern treasure hunters dream with many untouched gems waiting for people with the right sensibility to update and reinvigorate them.
Kirkland / Bellevue Modern Homes
Located on the east side of Lake Washington, Bellevue and Kirkland have grown up to be more than just suburbs of Seattle; they now have their own identities and urban cores. A Modern sensibility drives much of the new condominium and townhome development. Projects such as One Main and the Certified Gold, LEED-built Bellevue Towers are a harbinger of an Eastside turn towards Modern.
Kirkland and Bellevue, along with the adjoining city of Medina, lie along the lakeshore and therefore have some of the highest priced real estate on the Eastside. Over the years, old homes have been torn down to make way for new custom homes-many of which are strikingly Modern. Don't let this blind you to the mid-century history however. There are gems tucked away in many nooks and crannies.
Modern Bellevue neighborhoods include Woodridge, Surrey Downs, Robinswood, Eastgate, and the iconic Hilltop neighborhood. In Kirkland, the neighborhoods of Bridle Trails, Holmes Point and Rose Hill are also home to many Mid-Century Modern residences.
Mercer Island Modern Homes
Mercer Island is a bedroom community located east of Seattle along the 1-90 bridge. For an Eastside community it has one of the highest concentrations of Classic Modern homes in the area and like West Bellevue, is home to some beautiful examples of custom Mid-Century Moderns built by the fathers of Northwest Modern architecture- Paul Hayden Kirk, Ralph Anderson, Wendell Lovett, Roland Terry, and Russell Burton to name a few.
Although Mercer Island is made up of mostly single-family residences, it has a busy, yet small downtown area on the northern end of the island. It is here you will find retail shopping, restaurants and several new condominium projects, including the Mithun designed Island Square.
If one is looking for Contemporary Modern, some of the foremost architects of today have built around the island. With a large inventory of waterfront and view property, Mercer Island has some of the highest priced real estate on the Eastside, but with that high price tag comes beauty, innovation and an integration with wooded and hilly terrain of the island.
Normandy Park - Dashpoint Modern Homes
Bounded by Seattle to the north, Kent to the east, and Tacoma to the south, four cities line the eastern shore of south Puget Sound with an abundance of waterfront properties, commercial areas, and small-town charm.
South of White Center, this historic community was incorporated into King County in 1993 and still maintains plenty of small-town charm. It boasts six miles of Puget Sound shoreline, a close proximity to Sea-Tac International Airport, and a diverse community. In fact, minorities make up 38.5 percent of Burien’s population, and the different cultures are reflected in the town’s array of global restaurants. Other draws for residents: a revitalized downtown area, featuring wide streets, boutique shops, lush landscaping, and classic lampposts, plus a fantastic skateboard park.
High-end homes line the waterfront, while affordable properties and mixed-use buildings, provide plenty of housing options. On the commercial side, local modern architect and former Burien resident Robert Dennis Theriault built several community buildings here, including Northeast Senior High School, Glendale Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the old Burien Library.
Originally intended to be a stately community built in the French Normandy style, the dream for Normandy Park was cut short by the Great Depression. Years later in the 1940s and 1950s, the city was “rediscovered,” resulting in the classic mid-century modern homes that still standing today. As is with most real estate, the closer to the water, the steeper the price, but some of the more affordable modern housing options in the area exist here.
Tucked between Burien and Des Moines, Normandy Park is conveniently located close to Boeing, Sea-Tac International Airport, and Southcenter Mall. And at just 2.5 square miles, it offers the quiet, pedestrian-friendly, community-oriented lifestyle that families crave.
A skinny swath of land bordering Puget Sound and about halfway between Seattle and Tacoma, Des Moines has plenty to attract residents and visitors from around the region. Originally a lumber town that was settled in the late 1800s, the city experienced a boon of suburbanization after World War II. Today, some preserved mid-century classics are sprinkled among an array of more recent developments and contemporary builds. As always, the waterfront is a catalyst for high-end properties.
For recreation, the marina district attracts flocks of people with its blocks of restaurants and retail. Walk the waterfront promenade, watch sailboats out on the water, and keep an eye out for seals, seabirds, and other wildlife. Elsewhere, Saltwater State Park is a favorite for its beaches, forested trails, tide pools, and artificial reef.
The sixth largest city in Washington, Federal Way started out as a small logging settlement and grew in the ’50s and ’60s with residential and commercial development, including homes for engineers and executives at local businesses Boeing and Weyerhaeuser. Rapid growth in the following decades led to The Commons at Federal Way mall, the Wild Waves water park, a bonsai museum, a rhododendron botanical garden, and 397-acre Dash Point State Park with trails, saltwater shorelines, and other outdoor attractions.
Homes with beach access or water views are coveted, while ramblers, split-levels, and other styles of properties fill out the community. On the commercial side, perhaps one of the more stunning examples of contemporary design is the Federal Way Library by Mithun. Nestled between trees, the postmodern building features a striking silhouette with floor-to-ceiling windows.
North Seattle Modern Homes
Spurred by the veterans and industrial workers who had come to help with the war effort, Seattle grew quickly and its suburbs began to expand in the years following World War II.
Today, North Seattle is a large area—spanning north of the ship canal to neighboring Shoreline and east to west between Puget Sound and Lake Washington—with many diverse communities. From the previously working-class neighborhood of Ballard and quirky Fremont to active Green Lake and charming Ravenna, there is a neighborhood for just about everyone in North Seattle. Starter homes attract young families and professionals, while grand and impressive properties also abound.
Although the early-20th-century Craftsman Bungalow is by far the most common style of home in North Seattle, there are several pockets that have a distinctively modern sensibility.
Neighborhoods like Wedgwood, Hawthorne Hills, and View Ridge in Northeast Seattle were largely developed post-war, and contain a number of modern gems. View Ridge, as the name would imply, offers stellar vistas of Lake Washington, and the community of Inverness is a "Hilltop-like" neighborhood off of Sand Point Way with underground utilities, covenants to protect views and easy access to the Burke-Gilman Trail.
In Northwest Seattle near Carkeek Park, Golden Gardens, and Puget Sound, Blue Ridge features Craftsmans, Colonials, and Victorians as well as a smattering of mid-century modern finds. The neighborhood was first developed by William Boeing and still remains one of the city’s more quiet and exclusive communities.
North of Blue Ridge, the Broadview neighborhood stretches up along the Sound to Shoreline. It’s decidedly more residential than bustling Greenwood to the south but still has small commercial pockets of grocery stores, shops, and businesses. Find a diverse array of homes, mostly built from the 1940s to the 1980s. Pricier properties line the shore and high bluffs with water views, while more modest homes can be found inland.
For one of the largest concentrations of mid-century homes in Seattle, though, Olympic Manor in Crown Hill is the place to be. This enclave north of Ballard started in 1953 as a community of 350-plus homes built on the site of a former golf course. The majority of properties here have classic architectural lines—one-story ramblers, two-story homes, and split-levels—with wood, exposed concrete, and Roman brick exteriors. Also here: gracious yards, wide sidewalks, and winding roads that keep heavy traffic and noise to a minimum.
Seattle Modern Homes
Seattle is known for its distinct neighborhoods, each having is own unique vibe and demographic. Downtown is exploding with new, distinctly modern condominium projects with restaurants and shopping just steps away. Led by the likes of Paul Thiry, Roland Terry and Lionel "Spike" Pries, Seattle has experienced some of the best of the Mid-Century Modern wave both before and after World War II. Almost all of the Seattle neighborhoods are home to masterpieces by these and other "fathers" of Northwest Modern architecture, many coming out of the University of Washington School of Architecture.
Capitol Hill is known for its edgy bent but is also home to some of Seattle's grandest and oldest homes. The shoreline of Lake Washington finds the graceful neighborhoods of Madison Park, Madrona and Leschi, and some of its priciest real estate. Northwest of downtown is the vibrant neighborhood of Queen Anne and the a lovely, bucolic enclave of Magnolia, both with fantastic views of the Seattle skyline and Puget Sound.
Magnolia, in particular was developed post-war, and offers many pockets of Mid-Century homes. Paul Hayden Kirk built several homes here as well as the Magnolia library, which just underwent a stunning renovation. Not to be missed are homes designed by a little-known modernist architect named Ira Cummings who's work was very prolific during the early to mid-fifties. Cummings also designed several "mod" apartment buildings on Queen Anne.
Recently, Contemporary architects like Eric Cobb, Tom Kundig, Heather Johnston, John DeForest and Jim Burton carry the Modernist vision forward with sleek innovative designs capturing the energy and vibrancy of Seattle's high-tech and bio-tech initiatives. Green building a growing segment of the market and leaning heavily Modern. Seattle's desire for more sustainable living will continue to drive these green-building initiatives forward.
Shoreline / Edmonds Modern Homes
Just beyond Northwest Seattle, Shoreline and other cities in western Snohomish County stretch along Puget Sound. These suburbs are a popular choice for those who want space and affordability, preserved Mid-Century Modern properties, and a location that’s a reasonable commuting distance to downtown Seattle.
Shoreline was once part of North Seattle until it became its own city in 1995. Today it has 14 distinct neighborhoods and is primarily residential with a core of businesses running along Highway 99, the major thoroughfare that goes south to Seattle and north through Snohomish County.
One of the most notable Shoreline neighborhoods is Innis Arden, a community overlooking Hidden Lake with supreme views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. Architect Ralph Anderson was one of the first to build in this area, with other young architects following soon after. Find classic modern homes here with simple forms, flat and shed roofs, expansive windows, and natural materials.
East of Shoreline, the forested bedroom community of Lake Forest Park offers ample privacy with generous lots, a bevy of nature preserves and parks, and easy access to the popular Burke-Gilman Trail. It was first envisioned as a getaway for professionals and remains a prime choice today for its unblemished landscape and lakefront properties.
To the north, former logging town Edmonds boasts island and water views, plus convenient access to ferries. Early development in the late 1800s gave way to continued growth in the ’40s and ’50s. Today a smattering of MCM homes still exists, and some spectacular custom homes in recent years have pushed the contemporary design envelope.
Woodway to the southwest has a park-like atmosphere and, similar to the Hilltop Community in Bellevue, is a strong community dedicated to preservation. And further north, the city of Lynnwood is a bustling suburban neighborhood with a large regional mall and affordable housing.
South Seattle Modern Homes
Bounded by I-90 to the north and Lake Washington to the east, South Seattle is perhaps one of the city’s hottest up-and-coming areas—making it a prime place to invest. The diverse, vibrant communities here are full of lifelong residents as well as young, urban families, while revitalization efforts and the Link Light Rail line have infused South Seattle with new life. This area is comprised of various neighborhoods, each with its own distinct personality.
Beacon Hill has already received kudos for being one of the top great places in America
, but its real estate prices are surprisingly modest in comparison to the rest of Seattle, making it a fantastic place to buy. From this hilltop perch, see downtown sprawled out below you and Mount Rainier looming in the distance. The commercial-and-residential core is ideal for young families craving a walkable, urban lifestyle, while historic landmarks, like the Art Deco-style Pacific Medical Center built in the 1930s and formerly used as Amazon’s headquarters, add plenty of personality.
Locals know about this hidden gem, nestled in the center of the South Seattle area. Its roots date back to the 1890s, when lumber mills and railroads dominated the scene. Today the historic turn-of-the-century brick buildings have been transformed into an eclectic mix of hip restaurants, shops, bars, and galleries. Residents take advantage of the Wednesday farmers market
, monthly Bohemian Backstreets
art walk, and BeatWalk
summer music series. And, in terms of real estate, the modern architecture scene is growing fast. Buildings are springing up around the light rail line, and Dwell Development is working on a new, energy-saving passive house
This neighborhood has a little something for everyone, from modest Craftsmans to stately and elegant homes, from lively summer festivities to quiet tree-lined boulevards. Find locals biking along Lake Washington Boulevard, watching Blue Angels and hydroplanes whizzing by, or strolling through Olmsted-designed Mount Baker Park
or blooming Bradner Gardens Park
. Home prices here vary widely, mostly dependent on your proximity to sparkling Lake Washington, adding to the unique character of the ’hood.
Diverse and welcoming, this waterfront community on the southwest edge of Lake Washington has a great mix of single-family and multi-family homes with stunning views of the surrounding natural splendor. Don’t miss the free-admission Kubota Garden
, an urban oasis Japanese garden with cypress, cedars, elms, and a spring-fed pond.
Just south of Mt. Baker and east of Columbia City, Seward Park
abuts Lake Washington and features a varied mix of residents—from Microsoft executives to blue-collar workers—and a 300-acre showpiece, Seward Park, which attracts people from all over Seattle. The park includes old-growth forests, walking and biking paths, an art studio, and more than 100 species of birds and wildlife. You can even go on a birding tour, nature walk, or late-night owl prowl with the Seward Park Environmental & Audubon Center
. In terms of real estate, find everything from a mid-century modern to a charming bungalow.
What once stood for “South of the Dome” now means “South of Downtown.” Expect to discover a colorful mix of hipsters and artists in this urban, industrial district full of converted warehouses, live-work spaces, and condos. Downtown’s skyline is always in sight, it’s a short walk to Safeco Field
(home to the Mariners) and CenturyLink Field
(home to the Seahawks and Sounders), and a collection of breweries, tasting rooms, bars, and distilleries showcase the continuing transformation of this neighborhood.
Urban Condos Modern Homes
The need for housing near the urban core and the redevelopment of many neighborhoods in Seattle and on the Eastside brought an explosion of condominium projects. From the warm woods and clean lines of the Northwest Contemporary to the hip vibe of the Industrial Modern, builders and developers have finally grasped the concept and the marketing power of Modern design.
In Seattle, buildings like Lumen, Enzo, Mosler Lofts and Trace Lofts on Capital Hill, are great examples of the move toward a modern, urban lifestyle. Walking distance to restaurants, shopping, the arts and major employers these buildings attract young and old alike.
In Bellevue, developers went distinctly Modern with projects like Bellevue Towers, a certified LEED Gold building and One Main, with it's clean lines, floor to ceiling windows and stunning views of Meydenbauer Bay. Even the never-built but very beautiful European Towers with it's unique, automated parking structure, one floor-one condo layout and sleek European interiors are a sign of a decided trend towards Modern in the Eastside building community.
West Seattle Modern Homes
West of downtown, across the Duwamish River, West Seattle is known for its spectacular views of the Seattle skyline, Elliott Bay, and the Olympic Mountains.
Sandy Alki Beach attracts hordes of Seattleites during summer for a vibrant lifestyle reminiscent of a California beach town. A variety of properties dot this neighborhood—called North Admiral, which is the oldest in West Seattle—from cottages and condos to modern homes. Sunbathers, rollerbladers, volleyballers, and runners frequent the waterfront, while tourists and locals alike enjoy the litany of boutique shops, grocery stores, and family-run restaurants. To the west, 100-year-old Alki Point Lighthouse
, a preserved concrete and masonry tower, is a must-see attraction. Another bonus? The West Seattle Water Taxi
gets you to downtown in a scenic 10-minute ferry ride.
Elsewhere, The Junction (Alaska Street and California Avenue) is a commercial core with plenty of shopping and dining options, plus a year-round farmers market on Sundays. And farther south, 135-acre Lincoln Park offers hiking paths and biking trails, picnic and play areas, and remarkable greenery, including old-growth Douglas firs.
Eclectic microhoods throughout West Seattle feature an array of classic moderns as well as new contemporary builds. Mid-century enclaves, like Fauntlee Hills
—with expansive homes featuring open floorplans—and Arroyo Heights
, a waterfront community where many MCM properties built during the post-World War II development boom still stand, are coveted areas for their stunning Puget Sound views.
A wave of recent development has also brought sustainable communities into the real estate mix, attracting young professionals and families to the area. One of the more notable examples is High Point
, a diverse, mixed-income community featuring recently constructed cottages and townhomes that are Energy Star or Built Green rated. Playgrounds, parks, and public gardens encourage a community feel, while porous sidewalks, drought-tolerant plantings, and low-impact landscaping keep sustainability in mind.
Whidbey Island and San Juan Islands Modern Homes
Starting on the north end of Puget Sound just 30 miles from Seattle, locals and visitors alike can enjoy breathtaking views of the serene water surrounds, forested islands, and far-off mountain ranges. Offering a variety of wildlife, rugged cliffs, old-growth forests, and other attractions include boating, kayaking, wineries, art galleries, and picturesque farms.
Properties in this area are varied, including restored MCMs and newer contemporary properties and Northwest Contemporary homes. Along with turn-of-the-century Victorians and New England-esque beach homes, expect to find quirky bungalows and custom builds.
Views, proximity to the water, and lot size all factor into the price, but there are also a variety of neighborhoods to explore.
Communities with artists, musicians, retirees and those who enjoy a more relaxed way of life live on these Islands and surrounding areas making it an accessible and versatile environment to live full or part time in offering saltwater shoreline, forested coastlines, and close proximity to the mainland as well as the San Juan Islands and Vancouver, BC, have made these areas a desirable destination.
San Juan Islands
Designated a National Monument in 2013 for its tribal fishing grounds, historic lighthouses, and vital wildlife habitats, the San Juan Islands are truly an enchanting place to live. On this 172-island archipelago, you’ll find state parks, alpaca farms, and secluded beaches.
Naturally waterfront properties—and empty lots primed for custom homes—are a main draw for many who choose to live on island time. Inland, expect to find everything from adorable Craftsmans style homes to Northwest moderns.