Annual visitors to La Conner were in no rush to complete the remodel of this high-bluff waterfront home in Shelter Bay, mulling and tweaking designs on each summer visit over the course of a decade. Dan Nelson of Designs Northwest Architects did a substantial amount of restructuring to modernize what had been a 1970s Northwest contemporary, starting with a stick frame and finishing with a stucco exterior. But the windows tell the story of this home, opening it up to dramatic Skagit Bay views. The water-view windows were designed without headers, giving the sensation of glass meeting ceiling. The open floor plan in the main living area promotes flow throughout, from kitchen to living room to deck. Even when you’re facing away from water, the master bedroom, up a few steps to the half-level loft, features a glass shower that reflects the bay. Steel frames and columns are a nod to the clients who enjoy welding and collectible auto restoration. Along with landscaping touches that include concrete steps and Corten steel retaining walls, they enhance the modern aesthetic of this 3,260-square-foot home. For the homeowners, who pitched in throughout the project, the wait was worth it.

Architect: Dan Nelson, Designs Northwest Architects

Contractor: Steve Swigert

Landscaping: Scott Langford

Photographer: Lucas Henning

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"The water-view windows were designed without headers, giving the sensation of glass meeting ceiling."