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One of 'Seattle's 10 Greatest Homes' Lists For $1.8M

They picked the right colors, style, and theme to evoke a nautical feel for this $1.8M floating home in Fairview.

In 2011, Seattle Met asked a panel of experts to pick the ten greatest homes of all-time in Seattle. You're looking at one of them.

The dwelling looks like the considered marriage of a Craftsman bungalow and a classic wooden boat—two Seattle bloodlines coming together, appropriately, on Lake Union. The barrel-vault ceiling over the second-story den arcs across laminated fir beams, a scaled-up sailboat cabin. As in a boat, no possibility for storage space is wasted; even the cherry-faced Craftsman-style columns flanking the fireplace open to reveal shelves for DVDs. It’s only 1,400 square feet, but it doesn’t feel tight. Because it’s all so logically functional and carefully executed, it avoids the trap that ensnares so many designers working in popular historical styles. "I was searching for an honest expression of the materials," Burgess says, "trying to get underneath the kitsch."

With the right shades of blue paint and white trim, this floating home on the east side of Lake Union looks properly nautical, a natural setting for a Tommy Hilfiger ad.

From the outside, the blue is bold; but the white trellis, frames for the french doors, and trim for the barrel ceiling are what hold the eye. Rather than walls that run flush with the dock into the water, outdoor living spaces ring the first and second floor. If you're going to live on the water it makes sense to spend time sitting by and enjoying it. Besides, the house is only 1,367 square feet on the inside, so outside space provides some nice options for entertaining and relaxing.

The interior is well-thought out and thought through. The style seems pulled from a hundred year old craftsman with beamed and paneled ceilings and rich woodwork supporting built-in cabinets. Barrel ceilings for the second floor continue the nautical theme as if the rooms were great staterooms on a ocean-going yacht. While the kitchen looks historic, the appliances hiding behind wood facades must be relatively new because the house was built in 2002. The bathroom certainly looks conventional, not at all like a boat's toilet/head.

There may be bit of confusion, however. The $1,795,000 (plus $530 per month) offering is listed as 1 bedroom and 1 bath; but looking at the photos reveals a second bed. Maybe that room doesn't qualify as an official bedroom, but that obviously is a bed and there's little room for anything else but the bed. Without a closet though, they probably couldn't count it. Bad news for the listing is good news for your guests, or as a sanctuary for a snorer.

Part of that price must be tied to location. One reason for so much emphasis on outdoor spaces is a series of views across to Seattle's skyline, prime property for every fireworks display, yacht-y play dates, and impressing the guests.

· 2339 Fairview Ave E [Windermere]