For a Fashionable ‘Brady Bunch,’ a Modernist Household House in Seattle


When Brandon Ebel and Sarah Jio started planning a life collectively, they couldn’t miss the parallels between their very own households and a sure tv present.

“Now we have a ‘Brady Bunch’ state of affairs happening,” stated Mr. Ebel, 51, who has two daughters and a son from his earlier marriage, whereas Ms. Jio, 43, has three sons from her earlier marriage.

“We had truly met one another within the ’90s, when she was relationship the lead singer of one in every of my punk rock bands,” stated Mr. Ebel, the founding father of Tooth & Nail Data and Strong State Data, and an proprietor of the espresso firm Caffe Vita. “Then we each ended up getting divorced and met one another on-line once more, 20 years later.”

Mr. Ebel owned a home in Seattle, as did Ms. Jio, a journalist and writer whose newest novel, “With Love from London,” is out this week. However after getting engaged in December 2017, they realized that neither dwelling was massive sufficient to carry their mixed entourage, together with six youngsters who now vary in age from 10 to 17.

Happily, Mr. Ebel had a plan. “I had had a imaginative and prescient to construct a contemporary home for nearly 20 years,” he stated. “And when Sarah and I fell in love, I used to be within the strategy of discovering the right lot.”

In 2015, he had noticed a possible tear-down home on a primary hilltop lot in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood, and approached the homeowners about promoting. It turned out that they have been nearing retirement and receptive to the concept, and after two years of negotiations, Mr. Ebel purchased the property for $1.2 million.

Ms. Jio instantly understood why he favored it. “It has this lovely view of the Seattle skyline, the Area Needle, the ferries coming in from Bainbridge Island and Mount Rainier,” she stated. “It actually simply takes your breath away.”

She was much less sure about Mr. Ebel’s intention to create a modernist compound. “I used to be form of a latecomer to fashionable design, and I used to be just a little nervous the home he had envisioned could be chilly, and never a heat place for a household,” she stated. “I write a number of historic fiction and sometimes return to the Nineteen Forties, Nineteen Thirties in my storytelling, so I like a conventional dwelling.”

The couple’s architects, Jon Gentry and Aimée O’Carroll, of GO’C, put Ms. Jio’s considerations to relaxation once they introduced their design for the 5,500-square-foot home. “I cherished it instantly, and I didn’t count on that — it truly shocked me,” Ms. Jio stated. “It was a contemporary dwelling of such heat.”

The couple had given Mr. Gentry and Ms. O’Carroll an in depth want record for his or her new dwelling, and the architects had seemingly ticked each field. “Brandon stated he didn’t wish to give all the children big bedrooms the place they’d simply go and conceal out,” Ms. O’Carroll stated. “So we created a communal house for the children to hang around in and smaller bedrooms that encourage folks to be collectively.”

The result’s a collection of six compact bedrooms of roughly 80 sq. toes apiece, clustered round a devoted youngsters’s lounge with communal desks, on the highest stage of the three-story dwelling. “I name them ship’s cabins,” Ms. Jio stated. “They’ve their privateness and autonomy, however then they’ll come out and be brothers and sisters.”

A bridge-like walkway leads from the youngsters’s space to the first suite, which has a bed room that cantilevers out from the remainder of the home, to take most benefit of the view. “It simply explodes open with glass and metal to border that view,” Mr. Gentry stated.

One stage down, the primary ground has extra space for gathering. An expansive double-height lounge is open to a big kitchen with walnut cupboards, an eight-burner Lacanche vary and an island that seats six.

“That kitchen is so nicely used and so nicely cherished,” Ms. Jio stated. “I’m an enormous gardener and an enormous prepare dinner.”

In the summertime, she harvests greens, fruits and herbs from the rooftop backyard, which is accessible through a perforated-metal staircase. “Now we have a kiwi vine, grapevines and, this yr, we had an enormous fig harvest,” she stated. “The youngsters find it irresistible and go as much as choose golden raspberries and blueberries, or I’ll ask them to seize me some basil or rosemary for dinner.”

The kitchen flows seamlessly into an indoor eating space terminating in sliding-glass doorways that open to an outside kitchen and a big terrace with a firepit. There’s additionally a library with a steel-clad hearth and partitions lined with books and data that mirror the couple’s passions. The decrease stage has extra hangout areas, together with a house theater and a recreation room, and gives entry to the pool.

After their contractor, Thomas Fragnoli Building, broke floor in April 2018, Mr. Ebel and Ms. Jio married in July 2019 whereas their dream dwelling was underneath building. “We saved delaying our marriage, simply because this home was taking a very long time,” Mr. Ebel stated.

Even after their marriage ceremony, they continued splitting their time between their two particular person houses, and didn’t totally transfer in collectively till their new home was accomplished in November 2020, at a price of about $1,000 a sq. foot.

They’re now lastly settled, and marvel at how the home helps the entire household spending time collectively, whereas offering sufficient separate areas for every individual to seek out some non-public house.

“It has grow to be our household dwelling,” Ms. Jio stated, “and a spot of pleasure.”

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