December 1, 2023

Jerry O’Leary has lived in Guatemala, Costa Rica, England, France and Italy. However he by no means totally left Seattle, the place he maintained his main house starting in 1980. When he lastly made the choice to remain for good, he was shocked to find that Seattle now not suited him in addition to it as soon as did.

“I’m an older particular person now, and I simply wished one thing barely quieter than Seattle,” mentioned Mr. O’Leary, 71, an avid artwork collector who labored as a lawyer and helped handle his household’s enterprise pursuits in natural-resources firms. “I used to be not capable of exit and entry every little thing that Seattle has to supply, so it appeared that paying the premium of dwelling in Seattle grew to become much less and fewer worthwhile.”

He tried close by Bainbridge Island, however discovered it just a little too quiet. So he settled on Tacoma, a smaller metropolis about 35 miles south of Seattle with a vibrant arts scene.

He was intent on shopping for a condominium relatively than a home, however discovered few interesting choices obtainable, so he recognized 5 buildings he preferred and waited for one to open up. It took a couple of yr, however ultimately a 2,200-square-foot residence went in the marketplace in a 1980 constructing designed by Alan C. Liddle, a prolific native architect who died in 2009. Mr. O’Leary purchased it for about $700,000 in March 2020, originally of the pandemic.

“It has a fantastic view of Puget Sound and Vashon Island, and I can see the ship visitors,” he mentioned. “It’s a fantastic place to stay.”

Mr. O’Leary preferred the bones of the area, however the four-decades-old inside wanted a whole refresh. For that, he referred to as on Hoedemaker Pfeiffer, a Seattle-based structure agency, and made two primary requests.

“The very first thing was that I’ve by no means been capable of get greater than half my artwork out of storage, so I wanted a spot that will let me carry out as a lot of my artwork as doable,” he mentioned.

Even so, he didn’t need his new house to resemble a chilly gallery. “I wished one thing that was fantastically made, that had first-class supplies, however the place anyone might stroll in and really feel comfy,” he mentioned. “No person would stroll in and really feel like they couldn’t sit down in any chair, they couldn’t contact any wall. It needed to be completely livable.”

Tim Pfeiffer, a accomplice at Hoedemaker Pfeiffer, and Hana Schooley, a venture supervisor on the agency, aimed to protect the unique spirit of the residence whereas making some surgical enhancements. They left many of the partitions intact, however changed a couple of with oak-slat screens to carry daylight into darkish corners.

“It’s a extremely lengthy apartment unit, so it was a problem getting mild to penetrate from one facet to the opposite,” Ms. Schooley mentioned. “Our idea didn’t contain massive strikes — they had been small strikes to enhance the sunshine and create an area particularly for Jerry.”

One of many screens connects the lounge and the den, the place built-in cabinets present a spot to show sculpture. “It’s undoubtedly a collector’s house,” Mr. Pfeiffer mentioned, “with nice sightlines to particular items, and collections of items in different areas.”

Extra screens dissolve the boundaries between the kitchen and a hallway resulting in the first suite, in addition to between the first bed room, rest room and dressing space.

For visible heat and a welcoming feeling, the architects selected a palette of textured supplies in impartial hues: Sandalus quartzite with a leathered end across the hearth, two kinds of limestone for the first rest room flooring and self-importance, grass-cloth wallcovering with a refined sample round Mr. O’Leary’s mattress, and buff-colored paint for his main artwork show partitions.

They furnished the area with classic items heavy on character, together with a sculptural Sixties Guillerme et Chambron wooden armchair in the lounge; a eating desk and chairs from the identical furnishings maker; and textured linen materials and woolly rugs.

However none of it occurred rapidly.

Mr. O’Leary had purchased the residence from an older vendor whose transfer right into a nursing house was delayed amid the pandemic, so he allowed her to proceed dwelling there for 9 months after closing. It wasn’t till she moved out on the finish of 2020 that Mr. Pfeiffer’s brother-in-law, Tom Treleven, of Treleven Challenge Administration, was capable of begin development.

Mr. O’Leary moved into his new house in March 2022, after spending one other $700,000. “It’s extraordinary,” he mentioned. “It’s a stunning place. The rooms work precisely as I’d hoped they might, in a really comfy, pure method.”

Up to now, he estimates that he has managed to show about 70 p.c of his artwork assortment — excess of in his earlier house.

Mr. Pfeiffer, who grew up in Tacoma, was simply as taken with the completed residence and its environment. “I discussed to Jerry,” he mentioned, “‘You realize, if you happen to ever resolve to promote this place, it’s bought my identify on it.’”

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