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A tale of two unique Bainbridge cottages asking $985K

Size isn't as important as what you do with it. A pair of tiny cottages on Manzanita Bay stepped away from convention to fit a lot in a small space, or spaces

Browse through the photos and don't be surprised if you think the house is much larger than 800 square feet. It may take a tour to see how they fit in so many features and to see why they're asking $985,000.

Start with the spiral staircase, the one without a railing. It corkscrews up with braced steps around a carved pole to a balcony that overlooks the living room. Wonder about the safety aspects, but keep in mind that the house was built in 1979, hasn't been on the market since then, and evidently worked well enough for those decades.

The rough rock tub surround in the master bathroom won't be replicated anywhere. It even has the fixtures incorporated into the stone. Congratulate the plumber and the mason for making that work.

They used big rock for the fireplaces, added stained glass in at least one bedroom, and didn't constrain themselves to square corners - particularly for the room at the top of the spiral stairs.

At the basics, it is a 2 bedroom, 1.75 bath cottage that somehow fits in all of that plus a full and open kitchen, and a formal dining space in a solarium. The dutch door is a simple touch that's easy to overlook with so much going on.

As if one cottage wasn't enough, there's another, too. Its design opted for a more conventional style, but is well enough executed that it would be worth touring too - though the other one grabs the most attention.

The location was the inspiration for such intriguing work. The two cottages sit on 0.36 acres beside Manzanita Bay along 95 feet of waterfront. For some, that's a million dollar view even without a house or two.

· 6670 NE Bayview Blvd, Bainbridge Island [Windermere]