For a Modern ‘Brady Bunch,’ a Modernist Family Home in Seattle

They had six children together when a veteran music industry professional and a novelist got married. “The challenge was to create a place where everyone could feel at home. We had actually met in the ’90s when she was dating the lead vocal of one of my punk rock band’s lead singers,” said Mr. Ebel. He is also the founder of Tooth & Nail Records, Solid State Records, as well as the owner of Caffe Vita. “Then we both ended up getting divorced and met each other online again, 20 years later.”ImageBrandon Ebel and Sarah Jio commissioned the architecture firm GO’C to design a house in Seattle to accommodate their whole family, including six children from their previous marriages.Credit…Kevin Scott for The New York TimesMr. Ebel and Ms. Jio owned houses in Seattle. After getting engaged in December 2017, they realized neither their home nor their family was big enough to accommodate their six children, who range in age between 10 and 17. Fortunately, Mr. Ebel had a plan. He said, “I had been dreaming of building a modern house for nearly 20 years.” “And when Sarah fell in love with me, I was in search of the perfect lot.” In 2015, he spotted a potential torn down house on a hilltop lot in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood and approached the owners about selling. After two years of negotiations, it turned out that the owners were in their final years of retirement and were open to the idea. Mr. Ebel purchased the property for $1.2million. Jio understood immediately why he loved it. She said, “It has this beautiful look of the Seattle skyline and the Space Needle, as well as the ferries coming into from Bainbridge Island or Mount Rainier.” It really takes your breath away.ImageThe living room, which is double-height, has large glass sliders that lead to a terrace. The Mesh suspension light (from $2,795) is from Luceplan; the Harbor armchairs are from B&B Italia.Credit…Kevin ScottShe was less certain about Mr. Ebel’s intention to create a modernist compound. She said that she was a latecomer in modern design and was worried that the house he had imagined would be too cold and not warm enough for a family. “I write a lot about historical fiction and often return back to the 1940s and 1930s in my storytelling, so I love a classic home.” Ms. Jio’s worries were put to rest by Jon Gentry and Aimee Ol’Carroll, GO’C’s architects. They presented their design for the 5,500-square foot house. Ms. Jio stated that she loved the design “immediately, and I didn’t expect that — it actually surprised me.” “It was a modern home with such warmth.” The couple had provided Mr. Gentry’s and Ms. O’Carroll detailed wishes lists for their new home. The architects seemed to have fulfilled every item. Ms. O’Carroll stated that Brandon didn’t want to give the children large bedrooms where they could hide out. “So we created a space for the children to hang out and smaller bedrooms that encourage them to be together.” The result is six small bedrooms measuring approximately 80 square feet each, all clustered around a dedicated children’s living room with communal desks on the top floor of the three-story home. Ms. Jio described them as “ship’s cabins.” ImageThe primary bedroom is able totilever out from the rest the house, above the pool. Jon Gentry of GO’C.Credit…Kevin ScottA bridge-like walkway connects the children’s area with the primary suite. The bedroom cantilevers out from other rooms to maximize the view. The main floor is more spacious and offers more space for gatherings. A large living room with double height opens to a large kitchen that features walnut cabinets, an eight-burner Lacanche range, and an island that seats six. “That kitchen is so well-used and so loved,” Ms. Jio stated. She describes herself as a “big gardener” and “a huge cook”. In the summer, she harvests vegetables and fruits from her rooftop garden, which is accessible via an open-metal staircase. She said, “We have a grapevine, a kiwi vine and, this year we had a huge fig harvest.” The kitchen features walnut cabinets, an eight-burner Lacanche range, and an island that can seat six. The Sede counter stools ($329) are from Article.Credit…Kevin ScottThe kitchen flows seamlessly into an indoor dining area terminating in sliding-glass doors that open to an outdoor kitchen and a large terrace with a firepit. The library has a steel-clad fireplace, and walls are lined with books and records that reflect their passions. The lower level contains more spaces for socializing, including a home theatre and a game area, as well as access to the pool. “We kept delaying marriage because this house was taking too long,” Mr. Ebel stated. Ms. Jio and Mr. Ebel were married in July 2019. Follow us on Twitter at @nytrealestate.