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home accent Living with style in skagit county

F E B R U A R Y 2010

FEELING BLUE La Conner homeowner uses favorite color to brighten her abode


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HOME REAL

ESTATE W EEKLY


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Skagit Valley Herald Publisher Stedem Wood

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F E B R U A R Y

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inside this issue

Niche Editor

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Gordon Weeks

Contributing Writers

S h e ’s g o t t h e decorating blues One visit to Jean Eagleston’s home in Shelter Bay and you’ll quickly discover her favorite color

Teru Lundsten Gordon Weeks

Design and Production Greg Fiscus

Copy Editors Greg Fiscus Kathy Boyd

Cover Photographer Frank Varga

Photographer Frank Varga

Display Advertising Manager Deb Bundy

Growing local landscape

Advertising Consultants Sandy Everett, Stephanie Fussell Stephanie Harper, Leah Hines Marc McCoy, Paul Tinnon Kathy Schultz

Plenty of choices available for people in Skagit County

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Ad Production Ashley Crerar, Jody Hendrix Gabe Mannino, Christina Poisal Patricia Stowell

f e a t u r e s

Cover

The Gardener Within . ..................15

Courier Printing

Inside Pages Skagit Valley Herald © 2010 SVP Co. Home Accent is published monthly in the Skagit Valley Herald.

Suit the Chef ...............................16


Sunken by one step, the living room showcases rotating pieces of Jean Eagleston’s vast collection of cobalt blue glass objets d’art, the only art in the room.

Feeling blue and loving it

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Story by TERU LUNDSTEN Photos by FRANK VARGA

pproaching Jean Eagleston’s front door, clues abound that her favorite color is blue. A large, blue, glass swizzlestick adorns her yard to the right, and blue, glass diamonds are embedded into the beveled glass sidelights and semi-circular window in the door itself. Eagleston purchased her home in La Conner’s Shelter Bay community in the summer of 2003, when she lived in Palo Alto, Calif. She and her partner, Terry Sapp, were tired of relying on airplanes to maintain their relationship — he is a Skagit County native. “I was attracted to this house because of the view,” said Eagleston, “and it’s beautifully positioned on the lot to take advantage of it.”

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home accent / February 2010

La Conner homeowner uses favorite color to open up home A downstairs guest bathroom features bluecast glass sinks and counters, all in one piece, set into each vanity and lit from below.

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The north-facing home overlooks La Conner’s Rainbow Bridge and the Skagit Valley with a view of Mount Baker. Eagleston also liked its angular floor plan, and the light admitted by its many windows. Nonetheless, portions of the house felt cavelike, blocked from the view by solid walls, and the house didn’t suit her aesthetically. “It looks very different now,” said Eagleston. The house has a more open feel, every interior surface was replaced or somehow altered, and the palette was changed dramatically. Avery Builders remodeled the house, and Bo Miller Design provided drawings and numerous design ideas. Both businesses are based in La Conner. The extensive deck was re-done immediately (replaced with a vinyl Duradek), but remodeling began in earnest in the fall of 2004. Remodeling did not change the area of the approximately 5,000-square-foot home.

LEFT: Some of the blue glass art pieces stand on translucent, underlit surfaces, giving the living room a museum quality. BOTTOM: Eagleston’s cobalt blue glass objects are gifts, finds from European travels and purchases from local artists.

The house has a more open feel, every interior surface was replaced or somehow altered, and the palette was changed dramatically.

published by the Skagit Valley Herald

home accent / February 2010

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In the built-in wine rack, bottles are visible through a glass top nesting in troughs of a zig-zagged shelf, the pattern emphasized by inlaid blue glass triangles on the front.

Three small, blue, pyramid-shaped pendant lights hang in the living room.

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home accent / February 2010

Eagleston, a psychologist, flew up from California on Fridays to supervise the project. “Doug (Avery) had subs lined up for me in one-hour intervals,” she said. “It was a collaborative effort,” Avery said. “Jean gave us artistic freedom, but we also had to pull out of her mind what she wanted. The mark is the owner’s mark, not the builder’s.” Gray Brazilian slate on point paves the entry hall from where the spacious living room can be seen. Sunken by one step, the living room showcases rotating pieces from Eagleston’s vast collection of cobalt, blue-glass objets d’art, the only art in the room. Eagleston purchased many pieces on her European travels, including an etched vase from Salzburg, Austria, and paperweights from Murano Island, near Venice. Since moving into her home in August 2005, Eagleston has also purchased published by the Skagit Valley Herald


The telescope in the master suite is pointed toward the Swinomish Channel.

pieces by local glass artists. Others were gifts, many from Terry, and one an Erté antique vase from her sister. “Almost every piece has a story,” said Eagleston. The living room also features a plush, gray couch and two gray chairs with elegant, blue throw pillows arranged around a copper-covered coffee table. Two ottomans with

reverse colors (blue upholstery with gray throw pillows) hug walls to the side. Interior decorator Sue Roundy of Lopez Island assisted Eagleston in selecting furniture. Carpeting is gray wall-to-wall wool, and the walls are light gray. “I tried nine different shades before I was happy,” said

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home accent / February 2010

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A gas fireplace separates the dining room from the kitchen.

The living room opens into the dining room, visible but separate. “I’ve never been a fan of great rooms,” said Eagleston. The rectangular, black dining table, with slightly curved edges, is decorated with a silky blue runner when not in use. 6

home accent / February 2010

Eagleston. The palette was chosen to highlight her blue glass collection, and extensive electrical work was done for the same reason. A few pieces stand on translucent underlit surfaces, giving the room a museum quality. Five white, long-stem roses grace a white, built-in cabinet against a wall, and a white bookcase abuts a low wall behind the couch, three small blue pyramid-shaped pendant lights hanging above it. Trim and molding also are painted white. “I obsessed about ledges and edges,” said Eagleston, pointing out the lovely shadows cast by the elaborate molding. A walkway stretches behind the bookcase and low wall, open to the view. On the wall behind it hang several black-and-white photographs by Eagleston’s daughter, Alisa, an art conservator in California. The living room opens into the dining room, visible but separate. “I’ve never been a fan of great rooms,” said Eagleston. The rectangular, black dining table, with slightly curved edges, is published by the Skagit Valley Herald


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Blue glass art and extra lighting create illuminations that give the 5,000-square-foot house a museum-like quality.

A white built-in hutch displays Eagleston’s mostly blue champagne flute collection, and wine bottles (some are blue) are stored in a unique wine rack, also white and built-in.

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decorated with a silky blue runner when not in use. A white built-in hutch displays Eagleston’s mostly blue champagne flute collection, and wine bottles (some are blue) are stored in a unique wine rack, also white and built-in. Visible through a glass top, the bottles rest in troughs of a zigzagged shelf, the pattern emphasized by inlaid, blue glass triangles on the front. A gas fireplace, open on three sides, separates the dining room from the kitchen. All-new appliances include an Avanti wine refrigerator; a black Frigidaire refrigerator with side-by-side doors; a Bosch stove with four gas burners, an electric oven, a warming shelf, and red warming lights; and a quiet, energy-efficient Fisher & Paykel dishwasher with two drawers. The black, composite granite sink with an instant hot-water faucet “is the best sink ever,” said Eagleston. “It doesn’t mar or tarnish.” Counters are black-and-white mottled granite. The original oak floor and cabinets were retained, but eventually the floor was stained light gray, and the cabinets were painted a darker gray.

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home accent / February 2010

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A pyramid-shaped pendant light.

The kitchen has extra space for a breakfast nook, a bar and two stools, and a comfortable sitting area. The large laundry room, with a gray area rug on a bamboo floor, is just off the kitchen. A door opens from the laundry room into the attached three-car garage. Eagleston’s office is off the walkway, back near the entrance. It is irregularly shaped with eight walls, one adorned by a vertical display of 10 glass eggs. From her L-shaped workspace, Eagleston can now appreciate the view beyond the beveled glass French doors. The master suite, with the only window coverings in the house, is on the other side of the entrance, past a powder room with red walls (in deference to Sapp, whose favorite color is red). The bedroom features a king-size bed covered with a quilt in two shades of red, an Orion telescope pointed toward the Swinomish Channel, and three more photographs by Alisa with hand-tinted red roses in each. In the master bath, only a new glassed-in shower was installed. The bathtub, two sinks and tile around them were left unchanged. The walk-in closet is also an odd shape and features a skylight and aromatic Australian cypress floor. “Downstairs is another whole house,” said Eagleston. Used by guests, she keeps the heat down

The kitchen has extra space for a breakfast nook, a bar and two stools, and a comfortable sitting area. 8

home accent / February 2010

published by the Skagit Valley Herald


when it is unoccupied. Most of the walls are light gray, and the floors are covered with gray Berber carpeting. Eagleston’s cow fetish reveals itself downstairs. The living room features a large red couch, a fireplace sporting a row of whimsically painted cows on the mantel and several paintings with bovine subjects. The open kitchenette is in the corner, and Eagleston’s orchid greenhouse is outside on the covered deck. There are three guest bedrooms. In one of them, right off the living room, stuffed cows crowd a low bench against a wall. The other two bedrooms, with

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Blue glass diamonds are embedded into beveled glass sidelights. French blue walls, are down a long hallway. The one used by Alisa and her husband when they visit features Alisa’s thimble collection, the other a high bed and two sets of bypass closet doors. Other rooms off the hall include a small, minimally remodeled bathroom (also French blue), a washer and dryer hidden behind bifold doors, a furnace room, and closets. Bo Miller designed two previously unfinished portions of the lower floor. The multipurpose “project room” includes a treadmill and weight bench, gift-wrapping supplies, and Sapp’s office. A large, windowless space was transformed into a stunning bathroom. Yet another odd shape, it has six asymmetrical white walls. Two custom-built vanities face separate walls, the curve of their edges duplicated by the edges of the mirrors above them. Blue-cast glass sinks and counters, all one piece, are set into each vanity and lit from below. Plexiglass drawers beneath the cast glass diffuse light emitted from rope lights strung further below. The effect is both beautiful and functional, providing night light for guests. Blue isn’t the dominant color in every room; a downstairs powder room is The bathroom also features a 3/4painted red, Terry Sapp’s favorite color. inch quarter-sawn bamboo floor, a glassed-in shower, and a Bain Ultra bathtub with a special aeration system and controllable lights that illuminate the water with different colors. According to the centuries-old practice of chromatherapy, which is said to provide many health benefits, the color blue promotes mental and physical calmness. b

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home accent / February 2010

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Growing local landscape Choices include ornamental grass, fruit trees and better use of rain water

Frank Varga / Skagit Publishing

Eric Andrews of Christensen’s Nursery and Landscaping in Mount Vernon displays a Chinese Witch Hazel. sign LLC. What do you envision covering those bones? As the sunny days begin appearing more regularly, the gardening and Examine your home landscape when you like it the least, perhaps bleak-brown landscaping enthusiasts will scrape last year’s dried dirt off their hoes and seek February or the postplant peak days of August, advises Mount Vernon landscape new foliage. Eric Andrews has worked at Christianarchitect Patrik Dylan. “Look at the bones of your space,” said the owner of eccosDe- son’s Nursery and Greenhouse in Mount By GORDON WEEKS Editor

Vernon for two stints in seven years, and also works as a private landscape consultant. He offers advice to people looking to fill anything from containers on the porches of city apartments to sections of vast fields, and hears questions such as, “How can I make this plant happier?” “The number one trend last year was edible landscapes,” Andrews said. A big

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home accent / February 2010

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Photos by Frank Varga / Skagit Publishing

A dwarf Southern Magnolia tree (magnolia grandiflora). seller is blueberry plants, including the dwarf Tophat variety, 3 or 4 feet wide, that can prosper in a whiskey barrel. Also popular are fruit trees, vegetables and herbs, compact varieties that can fit into containers and in larger spaces, he says. Many customers want trees that are nearly mature, and narrower versions of trees, says Andrews. “People want a tree that already looks like a tree, and they don’t want it to grow more than two feet,” he said. Among the popular choices are evergreens, Japanese holly, upright junipers and ornamental plum trees with flowering dark leaves, Andrews said. Although people have been willing to shell out extra dollars to buy mature trees, Andrews said economic woes are prompting more people to purchase smaller trees, and plant the trees themselves rather than hire help. Andrews said ornamental grass is a growing choice, including longtime favorites Black Mondo grass and blue oat grass. Other favorites are Pompous grass, dwarf grasses and hardy switchgrass, which is cold-hardy because it hails from the Midwest. Another popular local trend is tropical plants, such as hardy flowering gin-

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gers and windmill palm trees that grow up to 20 feet high, said Andrews. He owns another growing seller, a perennial hardy banana tree that creates bananas that are too hard and seedy to eat. “They’re so dramatic looking that people like them even if they don’t produce anything edible,” he said. Andrews recommends that anxious growers don’t let “spring fever” prompt them to fill their gardens with only spring plants, leaving them with tired-looking gardens in the summer and fall. And while local gardeners may be inspired by landscaping visions in national magazines, they need to choose plants that will flourish in our climate, he added. Dylan said he sees more focus on native plants, which, he points out, help sustain the larger ecosystem for wildlife. Dylan — who designs landscapes for government buildings, parks and residences — sees gardeners who plant trees under power poles, not looking far enough into the future to realize they are creating eyesores and maintenance problems that become costly. “Plants are dynamic, and don’t try to plant something to look good today — shoot for a horizon that

home accent / February 2010

TOP: Compact blueberry plants, like this Patriot variety at Christianson’s Nursery and Greenhouse in Mount Vernon, are big sellers and meet the trend of edible landscapes. LEFT: Ornamental grasses are growing in popularity.

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Guest Appearance by Ciscoe Morris

Trees such as the Coral Bark Japanese Maple (acer palmatum) are popular with spring planters.

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makes sense for you and the plant,’’ said Dylan, who suggests looking five years down the road. The concept of landscape sustainability began at colleges and has trickled down to government facilities and backyards, Dylan said. Gardeners are moving away from the use of chemical solutions, and are opting for more organic composting, he said. Landscapers are also working harder to use rainwater for irrigation and fountains, rather than simply channeling it toward sewers, Dylan said. “The idea is that rain water is not just something that comes out of the sky — it’s an amenity,” he said. More gardeners are focusing on drought-resistant plants, said Dylan. Are you interested in collecting rainwater in a wine barrel to water plants, but don’t want to attract mosquitoes? Spend a couple of bucks on goldfish, which will eat the mosquitoes, Dylan suggested. Homeowners looking for a low maintenance alternative to lawns can consider clean soil, and mulch cover that can deter weeds, Dylan said. An even lower maintenance landscape choice is concrete, he said. b published by the Skagit Valley Herald

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A

THE GARDENER WITHIN

chorus of birds, butterflies, colorful plants, trickling water — does this appeal to you? Your backyard (or front yard) is your private space that can become your own little paradise. While I like to travel, I really love coming back home to enjoy my little slice of backyard heaven. If you want to accomplish something that is relatively easy and educational, consider certifying your yard, community garden or school garden with a wildlife-habitat designation. Everything we do in our living spaces affects our communities and, ultimately, our planet. Wildlife health depends on your actions — from your recycling habits to your gardening style, which includes the type and amount of pesticide you apply, how you mow your lawn and the types of plants on your property. But you don’t have to be a planting genius or need acres and acres to achieve certification status. You can start one plant or one bush at a time and keep building. There are several programs in the country that make it easy to certify your yard. In general, most programs require that you fulfill a few basic requirements. You must provide appropriate food sources, adequate water, shelter, a place to raise young, and a garden with sustainability in mind. By satisfying these requirements, you will see more birds and butterflies and even frogs and turtles if you are lucky. The best food sources and cover for your yard would be plants native to your specific area. Additional bonuses would be birdhouses, bird feeders, compost piles and fruiting plants. By attracting more insects to your garden, you will increase wildlife as the insects feed on native plants, and other creatures feed on the insects. If the insects lose their food supplies they will not thrive, and the birds and other wildlife that eat them will also dispublished by the Skagit Valley Herald

Your own little slice of heaven By JOE LAMP’L Scripps Howard News Service

appear. Steer clear of “pest-free” plants! Insects prefer to eat native plants, according to Doug Tallamy, entomologist and author of “Bringing Nature Home.” Tallamy found that more than 90 percent of native insects consume only the leaves of native plants, since they do not have the enzymes required to digest leaves from non-natives. The Backyard Wildlife Habitat program, started by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in 1973, shows people how to make their yards and community

friendly to wildlife (www.nwf.org/ In-Your-Backyard.aspx). Want to take things one step further? You can also certify your community or schoolyard. NWF’s Campus Ecology program benefits colleges and universities. Maybe you’re passionate about butterflies. If so, consider some of the butterfly-habitat programs such as the Monarch Waystation Program (www.monarchwatch. org/waystations). This program’s mission is to “create, conserve and protect monarch habitats.” Monarch butterflies migrate from the U.S. and Canada to areas in Mexico and California where they overwinter. Their migration is threatened by habitat loss in North America as well as in their overwintering sites. Milkweeds (asclepias) are a staple of the monarch butterfly, which they use as both a nectar source and host plant. Monarch larvae feed exclusively on the milkweeds that serve as their host plants. I have a friend who added only a couple of milkweed plants and was rewarded with lovely larvae and monarchs a short time later. MonarchWatch.org offers seed kits that include various species of milkweed host plants, and several nectar plants such as cosmos, joe-pye weed, purple coneflower, tithonia (Mexican sunflower) and verbena. Locate your Monarch Waystation in a sunny area. Once you are certified, your site will be listed in the International Monarch Waystation Registry, an online listing of nearly 3,400 Monarch Waystations. Get inspired and you’ll inspire others. The programs offer signs you can purchase to tell everyone you are proud of your yard and your efforts at land stewardship. You’ll soon see how contagious backyard habitats can be. Still need some inspiration? Check out the NWF’s Wildlife Gardens Group images at www. flickr.com/groups/wildlifehabitat. n Joe Lamp’l, host of “Garden SMART” on PBS, is a Master Gardener and author. n For the National Wildlife Federation, Seattle, go to www.nwf.org/pacific.

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SUIT THE CHEF

POMELO giant fruit giant taste By JO MARSHALL Relish Magazine Contributor

In the world of citrus fruit, the pomelo is a giant. Known botanically as Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis, pomelos can grow up to a foot in diameter and weigh in at 25 pounds. But don’t be intimidated; the ones you’ll encounter at the market will be easier to manage. Green in color, pomelos look like grapefruits on steroids. They taste like grapefruit as well, with a similar sweet-tart range and very little bitterness. Since the pomelo is somewhat exotic, you could assume they’re the work of fanatical grapefruit breeders gunning for a Guinness record. But you’d be wrong. Pomelos appear in the oldest surviving agricultural records of China, where they’ve been cultivated for several millennia. In addition to grapefruit, the pomelo is related to the tangelo (a tangerine/pomelo cross) and the Ugli fruit, a less attractive Jamaican cousin. Cut pomelos in half and eat as you would a grapefruit. The spongy rind is much thicker than a grapefruit’s, so if you want to peel it, it helps to score the skin down to the flesh. In Cantonese cuisine, the rind is used to flavor stocks and braises. In Thailand, wedges are dipped in salt, sugar and chili. Pomelos are eaten on the last day of the year in China to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming months. To hedge your bets for 2010, grab a pomelo when you see it—Chinese New Year begins on Feb. 14.

MARK BOUGHTON PHOTOGRAPHY

Shrimp and Arugula Salad This salad is a perfect balance of sweet-salty shrimp, tart pomelo or grapefruit, mellow avocado and peppery arugula. Use any combination of greens, such as arugula, watercress, mache or spring mix. Vinaigrette 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon pomelo or grapefruit juice 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind 1 2 ⁄ teaspoon kosher salt 1 4 ⁄ cup extra-virgin olive oil Coarsely ground black pepper Salad 5 ounces arugula, watercress or mache 1 pound medium shrimp, cooked and peeled 2 pomelo or grapefruit, peeled and sectioned 1 ripe avocado, sliced 1. To prepare vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a jar. Close tightly and shake vigorously to combine. 2. To prepare salad, place arugula in a large salad bowl and toss with about half the vinaigrette. Divide greens among 4 salad plates; top with shrimp, pomelo or grapefruit and avocado. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Serves 4. n Per serving: 410 calories, 24g fat, 31g prot., 22g carbs., 10g fiber, 640mg sodium. n Recipe adapted from Earthbound Farm, ebfarm.com.

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home accent / February 2010

published by the Skagit Valley Herald


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February 2010 Home Accent