Mercer Island Mid-Century Residence
Bringing light and color to a mid-century residence on Mercer Island
Upon moving from Capitol Hill to Mercer Island, the homeowners of this gorgeous home quickly found the towering trees and wooded areas very dark. This was particularly true of the Jacuzzi and outdoor deck, where the homeowners would often want to spend their time. Not only was there a lack of light, but there was also a lack of color.
Northwest Outdoor Lighting was called for a consult, and performed a nighttime demonstration of different approaches to light and color. We created a design and presented 3 options of installation for various budgets. We also created a computer schematic so they could see the final layout. The final approach was a blend of options, with the Sunset tone their preferred approach to color. With that, we were on our way!
Craig’s eye for design led him to suggest mini wells embedded into the decking floor shining up into the ceiling above the front patio, keeping the lighting effect on this mid-century home subtle while showing off its unique details.
A mini deck light was mounted to post at the top of the front steps, creating a puddle of light down the stairway, while we installed a path light with a special milliamp driver at the base to highlight the lower steps.
Mini well lights were installed along the driveway edge to guide guests in and out of the drive, so they don’t wind up in the gardens along the side. The address number on the stone pillar is highlighted with a mini spot light to minimize any confusion for visitors, and highlighting various trees in the parking area/front yard creates a welcoming effect.
During our initial consult, we are looking and evaluating the home from all sides. Additionally, during the nighttime demo we’ll often suggest that the homeowners walk inside to view the outside lighting, so that we can customize the intensity of the light to their exact specifications. (Some like it brighter than others.) In this situation, as we took in the different windows, we realized that we had an opportunity to create a tremendous view from the dining room window by uplighting the trees so the viewer can see them while inside the home. The homeowners are thrilled!
A special patio beside the Koi pond was of particular lighting concern. Before lighting, it was so dark you couldn’t see two feet in front of you! Now, with the addition of the soft golden glow of lighting, one can relax and enjoy the quiet evening.
The hot tub in the right corner of the backyard now has some lighting to assure no one trips while stepping into the tub. We preferred to keep this area a little more subtle and place the uplighting on trees a bit further away.
Additionally, the homeowners decided to approach the design in two phases, which is true for many of our clients. As a result, we made allowances for this in our schematic, including notations as to where the next lights should be installed when the gardens and deck are redesigned for phase two. Eventually, when the deck is renovated, lights will be placed in planter boxes and under seats. More pathlights will be added to guide guests down a path to the hot tub and sauna.
However, the homeowners have already had us come back to add one more light into the pond to capture a bit of mossy rock, as well as a path light to the side steps, just to give a bit of light. Eventually they want another uplight or two to remove a dark void on the back side of the sauna.
Creating a full surround sound of light has enhanced this home. As a result, the interior lights no longer have to be on full blast at night to light up everything! Even the neighbors are enjoying the ways our lights have enhanced this beautiful mid-century modern home.