On The Market: An Updated Mt. Adams Contemporary

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You could say architect John Senhauser designed this house twice: first from the ground up in 1980 and then again, via major renovations, circa 2007.

1251 Ida Street
1251 Ida Street

Lori Wellinghoff

The structure changed hands a few times over the years but its major design elements have stayed the same—a gracious courtyard entry, a private city-view balcony off the living and dining rooms, and curved walls starting in the foyer and running the length of the first floor. “The whole idea of that curve,” says Senhauser, “was to pick you up at the entry and sweep you out the back at the view.” Mission accomplished.

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Lori Wellinghoff

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Lori Wellinghoff

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Lori Wellinghoff

The most recent renovations cost roughly $700,000 and left few spaces untouched. Among other things, Senhauser converted a second-floor terrace into living space for a sizable second bedroom, re-worked the entire master suite, and spruced up the courtyard entry. Another designer transformed the lower level, originally a furniture refinishing studio, into a posh exercise room, sunny guest suite, and climate-controlled wine cellar.

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Lori Wellinghoff

The current homeowner also brought in Sycamore Street Studio sculptor Bob Dyehouse to create some signature decorative pieces (which will stay with the house). Basket-weave-style stainless steel entry gates and a copper wall fountain for the front courtyard were modeled after the exterior railing on the main floor balcony, and a sleek stainless steel fireplace surround in the living room was “designed with a kind of counter curve,” says Dyehouse, to compliment opposing walls.

entry gates
entry gates

Lori Wellinghoff

One of the coolest renovations by far happened in the kitchen, where cabinetry mounted on a curved wall makes the space trapezoidal in shape (the new center island is a trapezoid, too). Looking in from the dining room, the effect, says Senhauser, is reminiscent of trompe l’oeil. “When you add a diagonal subtly, it actually increases the perspective from one end,” he says. “The kitchen appears longer, like it’s extending deeper.” Translation: Senhauser, it seems, was the right man for the job. Both times around.

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Lori Wellinghoff

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Lori Wellinghoff

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