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A Tudor Tutorial
It's easy to be confused by all the competing terms: English cottage, Tudor, Elizabethan, Gothic Revival and so on. A new book helps set the record straight on one of the most popular American residential home styles: "Tudor Style: Tudor Revival Houses in America from 1890 to the Present" by Lee Goff (Universe, $45).
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Northwest Living
WRITTEN BY LAWRENCE KREISMAN
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BARRY WONG

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A Dream In English
Behind the brick and leaded glass, time turns back

"It's my dream come true," says Pat Huggins of the English manor house nestled in trees above the shores of Lake Washington.
 
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A vestibule adjacent to the garage was finished with quarry-tiled floors. Pat and Neale Huggins have turned the room into a study with a desk and book-filled cabinets. To visually enlarge the space, they put up the big mirror.
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Pat has lived on or near the lake for almost as long as she can remember. "I grew up in a very modest home on Queen Anne and was a school teacher. We never had any extra money. But from a very early age, I fell in love with being on the water." She shared a house on the lake when she taught in the Mercer Island school system, and she got into the habit of canoeing along the shoreline to look for waterfront shacks and asking real-estate people to look for her. "Most were so horrible that I'd almost automatically ask, 'What's wrong with it?' "

To her surprise, one real-estate agent's lead — to an old summer house on the north end of the island — was a winner. "I saw it and I said, 'I'll take it.' " She and husband Neale spent the next 12 years renovating it. But their most recent move, made two years ago, may very well be the last. The couple has found the perfect fit.

The 1920 brick-and-stucco, English-style home was designed by a British architect who lived in Seattle for many years. Visitors approach it from above, parking near the original garage (now a rental cottage) that shares the stucco and half-timbered vocabulary. A stairway leads down through a dense landscape of rhododendrons and azaleas to the house. High-pitched roofs, multicolored brickwork and leaded and stained-glass windows give it a handmade character.

Years ago, Pat had seen an advertisement for the house and was immediately entranced. Though not large at about 2,400 square feet, it felt like home to Neale, who had grown up in England. Unfortunately, their offer to the seller was not as impressive as someone else's. But Pat put the winning bidder on notice: If you ever decide to sell, let us know.
 
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The living room provides comfortable seating areas centered around the fireplace.
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The years passed, and Pat and Neale settled in to the renovations on their old place. But when they learned that a new house adjoining their property would block their light, they started looking again. Pat called the owner of the Tudor and discovered that he was planning to sell it when he retired in a year. Determined not to miss their opportunity this time, the couple sold their home and lived in a condo to wait. Finally, two years ago, they moved in.

The bonus for waiting was that the previous owner had done some major upgrades that Pat and Neale could never have afforded to do. He extended the dining area, turned the three tiny bedrooms upstairs into an office, master bedroom and bath, and shaped the empty concrete basement into another living room and bedrooms that could provide rental income later. For now the couple are renting out the "guest cottage" that was the original garage. It follows Pat's rule, "We don't live anywhere unless there's a rental cottage."

"My husband is a retired patent engineer, and I used to be a school counselor, and now I am a marriage and family counselor. We make ordinary incomes. We manage to live here because the rentals help pay the property taxes." Pat is also the author of books for therapists and teachers, such as the soon-to-be-published "Helping Kids Handle Conflict." The ongoing popularity of her books has helped bring in the cash to fix up houses.
 
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This charming English-style cottage appears much as it did in the 1920s. Brick, stucco and half-timbering, as well as leaded glass, combine to give it a "handmade" look. A previous homeowner had started an exotic azalea garden down the bank, which this couple has revived and enhanced.
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Comfortable couches, pillows and upholstered chairs invite sitting and conversation, and the picture windows frame the lake and views to Seattle. The restful nature of the place is not coincidental. Pat leads couples and women's retreats here, and the house provides many areas for people to meet and talk.

Susanne Isakson, a friend and interior designer, helped Pat pick out the leather sofas and rug in the living room and arrange other things, including family heirlooms from England and antiques Pat inherited from her mother. Isakson "has an eye for where to put things," Pat says. "She knew everything we brought with us would fit, and it seems to."

Pat's knack is for finding colorful, comfortable, traditional furnishings on a very small budget by buying at second-hand and consignment shops. She never buys anything unless it is at least half-price — and often much less. She points to a grandfather's clock in a corner of the living room, a Mercer Island find for $100. In her home office, she shows off a chair she got for $50 and a handsome desk she bought half-price at Modele's Home Furnishings on Western Avenue. Mirrors, a sideboard in the study and other items came from Bell'Occhio Consigned Fine Home Furnishings and Antiques in the Pike/Pine neighborhood. She also shops through the newspaper classifieds. "If you really take the time to look in the paper you can find tremendous bargains . . . or at least you did years back when I started looking."

For Pat, there is magic to this place. Descending the stairs from the quiet, dead-end street, you can step back in time and far away from the everyday world. Looking across the water at Seward Park, she says, "I like pretending I am an early-American Native canoeing over — way back before white settlers even came."

Lawrence Kreisman is program director for Historic Seattle. He serves on the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board.


Cover Story Plant Life On Fitness Taste Northwest Living Now & Then

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