Better than New

Roberts Group Renovation Breathes New Life into an Old Home

Tucked away in the charming Bellevue neighborhood of Enatai stands a gorgeous home that expertly blends the old with the new. This recent renovation is the work of Roberts Group, a company that specializes in building custom luxury homes. Originally built in 1955, the home underwent additions in 2012. When the current owners bought the property, they had a vision in mind that was cultivated and brought to life by design consultant Stephne Johnson, who worked hand-in-hand with Roberts Group to make the homeowners’ dreams come true.

Owen Roberts, the founder of Roberts Group, was involved from day one, walking through the home prior to purchase with the soon-to-be owners. One of the most striking elements of the property is its gorgeous Lake Washington view, but the windows offered a minimal view and the ceiling stood a mere 8 feet tall. Fast-forward to present-day; the home now boasts a 16-foot-tall ceiling with tall windows covering the entire side of the house that faces the water. Roberts Group stained and hand-distressed the fir beams that line the ceiling.

Throughout the home, the wine country aesthetic is impossible to miss. The balance of rich colors and textures is timeless and reminiscent of what you might find in Sonoma County or Napa Valley. Natural light pours in, which is only complemented by the hand-applied Venetian plaster on the walls and ceilings in all of the open areas of the house.

One of the highlights of the property, fittingly, is the wine bar. A wine cellar was a must-have for the homeowners, and the transitional space between the kitchen and dining room turned out to be the perfect location. The elegant and extraordinary wine bar features Belvedere marble in a double waterfall countertop at the prep and seating areas. An old-fashioned vintage wine opener and custom steel paneling on the front of the bar complete the elegant finishes. Parallel to the bar counter is the walk-in wine cellar. The temperature-controlled cellar can be viewed through the large glass panel wall and the glass-and-bronze-finished door.

Situated across from the wine bar is one of the definitive highlights of the renovation: the kitchen. Open and airy, the kitchen faces out the tall glass doors that open fully to the patio and lake view. The standout is the large island that sits in the center of the kitchen. The slab is dark-colored soapstone, fabricated by local company Architectural Stonewerkes, and it perfectly matches the custom sink. To the left of the island is a larder with doors that pocket back to reveal a tiled interior, complete with shelves and a coffee station. The hooded range is a custom piece by VK Designs, with upper cabinet doors imported from England featuring a brass mesh and round medallion design. The kitchen space evokes a unique artisan aesthetic, set apart from the rest of the house.

At the other end of the home is the warm and inviting living room with its new, high ceilings and view of the lake through the beautiful glass doors. A Rumford fireplace was custom built to fit within the narrow width of the existing wall and supporting foundation for the chimney. The mantle was cast by local company Art by Ara to create an aged limestone look.

Materials were repurposed as much as possible during the renovation process. During demolition, the original copper-clad entry doors to the home were salvaged. These same doors now house the outdoor television on the patio adjacent to the kitchen. The mahogany deck features a standing tree in the center, which was painstakingly integrated into the patio build.

From the sliding closet door in the living room built from antique Belgian doors, the custom stair railing and handrail, the reclaimed wood flooring from the Midwest (where the homeowners are from), and the made-to-order outdoor entertainment area, to the intricate woodwork on the exterior of the home; no small detail was forgotten in this renovation by the team at Roberts Group.

Roberts Group is no stranger to complicated, multi-faceted builds and renovations and currently runs up to eight projects concurrently. In fact, founder Owen Roberts welcomes the challenge of building custom homes because it combines his two passions: building homes and building long-lasting relationships with clients. Though the company, founded in 1986, is a family company, the intent is to carry that family feeling company-wide by cultivating a culture that is supportive and collaborative.

“Custom building is a team sport!” Owen says.

The Details:

House: 4,378 square feet
Originally built: 1955, addition in 2012
Rooms: 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms
Length of Time: 24 months
Design Consultant: Stephne Johnson
Architect: Scott Allen Architects

Labor of Love

While designing the new entry and the expanded garage, the team knew they would need more Wilkeson sandstone (quarried in Wilkeson, Wa.) to match the stone already in place. Unfortunately, the quarry had recently shut down. No one was answering the phone at Wilkeson, and none of the local stone yards had any inventory. This team didn’t take “no” for an answer. They located a source in Montana and purchased all they had, but it still was not enough. They continued to pursue the quarry and finally talked them into selling the stone necessary to complete the entry and garage.

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