Michele and Bob Conrad had one thing in mind when designing their dream home — creating peace. Nestled in a cozy rustic landscape overlooking the Overlake Golf Course on Bellevue’s Clyde Hill, the Conrads wanted a home for their family that reflected their way of life — and one that honors growth and resiliency.
The busy couple divides their time between running two successful businesses and managing the schedules of three busy kids: Ella, 13, and 8-year-old twins Olivia and Colby.
After working for Microsoft for almost a decade, Michele branched out and opened her own marketing and consulting company. Bob is an ex-professional golfer who works in commercial real estate for Kidder Mathews.
They are all busy and wanted a home where they could decompress — clean lines, simplified design, and cozy.
Creating a bright sanctuary was inspired by darker times, when in 2011, Michele was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer. After surviving six months of chemotherapy, two months of radiation and seven surgeries, Michele desired to simplify her life and her surroundings.
“I feel like I put on a body of armor and just logistically did what I needed to do each day to cure it. What made everything easier was family, friends, and the community,” she said.
Michele also credits her recovery to surrounding herself with family and friends, and reducing clutter and chaos.“Since then, I have been drawn to clean, simple, peaceful, and refreshing home décor.
“When looking back to my Pinterest pages over the years — each pin has a consistent theme — the décor is serene, simple and peaceful — many are Scandinavian — very bright, light, airy, layered neutrals, beautiful art, lots of windows and bringing the outdoors in and vice-versa.”
Finding the perfect spot for the home they envisioned took time. Moya Skillman from Foster Realty introduced them to Todd Lozier, president of Lochwood-Lozier Custom Homes, a Redmond-based custom home, design, and landscape firm. Lozier was planning to renovate a special 1960s-era Ralph Anderson home.
Anderson was an iconic architect known for crafting designs to blend with the Northwest landscape; he used broad windows, protective rooflines, exposed framing, and the emphasis on verticality became his signature. The Conrads and Lozier wanted to preserve the home and at the same time make it functional for today’s lifestyle.
It was a match made in design and architectural heaven when they brought award-winning designer Lisa Staton of Lisa Staton Design on board. She had worked with the Conrads on past homes, and she understood their design desires.
“This was not a historical preservation, but rather a renovation with tremendous respect.”
The end result? The home is not complicated. Each room reflects the personalities of every member of the house — peace and tranquility for Mom to a putting green out back for Dad. The color palette is warm and bright. The furniture is a mix of high-end meets funky vintage finds, as well as items from Etsy, IKEA, Alchemy Collections, West Elm, and more.
“This was not a historical preservation, but rather a renovation with tremendous respect,” Lozier said. “This home is Lochwood-Lozier’s interpretation of what Ralph Anderson might have done today given the different lifestyle choices and needs of families today.”
Major changes included removing all interior walls to create an open concept main-floor plan. Upstairs also was reconfigured to create walk-in closets, and ensuite baths. Staton used her designing eye to make it all work. “Creating a rhythm where the whole house read as one full visual statement, and each room could have its own character — I really wanted the house to flow seamlessly,” she said.
It took nine months to complete. When the project was done, the Conrads, who were part of it from start to finish, were still in awe. “When you walk in the house it feels serene and peaceful. It has a really good aura,” Michele said.
One of her favorite things is to look out the windows with 360-degree views of towering trees. “We carefully lit up an old beautiful Madrona tree, which really shines in the evening.” It’s simple, strong, and timeless, just like the Conrads and their home.By Christy Lynn Abram | Dec 28, 2015
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