Patti Payne’s Cool Pads: $17.86M Birch Bay Waterfront Manse Hits the Market

A gorgeous, 66-acre estate with a 12,000-square-foot manse on about 1,500 feet of pristine Birch Bay waterfront has just come on the market. Priced at $17.86 million, the home is described by its owner as English Tudor with a southern twist because of its enormous, pillared veranda which runs the length of house and has a covered seating area with fireplace. The property, listed with Windermere Managing Broker Michael Doyle and Windermere Broker Patrick Chinn, has a southern exposure and sweeping views of the San Juan Islands and British Columbia’s Gulf Islands.

The couple who owns the home want to remain private, but built this well-planned estate in 2003, with lots of love and thought. They chose the Birch Bay area because it was close to Canada where the husband commuted to work in the Canadian offices of a Silicon Valley company for 15 years. They liked the schools in Blaine for their two high-school-aged children.

Inspiration for the geothermal, energy efficient house came from extensive travels in Europe. The wife would go antiquing in Italy and France , buy amazing items at antique auctions and have them shipped back to wind up in a 2,500-square-foot storage unit, waiting for a place in the house as it was being built.

“I had a vision of what I wanted from my travels, picking up details from places I visited, like the Vatican and Versailles,” she says. “And so we actually built the house around the antiques. I created a working drawing and had it professionally done by a designer for our builders to use. We had our own little twist to it, and that’s how we came up with the floor plan.”

The floor plan resulted in five bedrooms, nine baths, a comfortable theater which was the scene of many football parties, wine cellar and a veranda that was the scene of many crab feeds, bounty from the sea right there at the private beach.

The expansive patio includes hot tub, covered and uncovered seating areas, a prep kitchen, fountain and access to the gardens. There are sitting balconies off of every upstairs bedroom.

The sport and game room can host concurrent games of poker, pool and pinball with room to spare for the bar and cigar table.

An epicurean kitchen with pantry has a formal dining pass-through, stainless Wolf range, hidden Sub-zero refrigerator, beverage drawers, dishwashers, granite counters, custom cabinetry and endless storage, not to mention views of the water and the arrival gardens.

The grounds, with pond and waterfall, and 1,500 feet of waterfront, run the gamut from formal European gardens to forest with abundant wild life.

There is a separate, fully appointed, self-contained caretaker’s apartment, with its own private entrance through the garage.

Materials for the home were hand-selected from the US, Europe and Asia, as were antiques that are part of the home. The list is long and historic, but among the antiques are:

  • A Carrara marble fireplace from Italy, which had to be set in concrete just to stabilize it in the room;
  • The black-walnut carved statues at the entrance to the bar which are from the RMS Olympic, a trans-Atlantic ocean liner built in 1908, one trio of oceanliners, including the Titanic and the Britannic, built by the Harland & Wolff shipyard for the White Star Line. The Olympic was decommissioned in 1937.
  • The mantle in the basement, with hand-carved figures of Pocahontas and Captain John Smithis from the 1700s.
  • The gazebo overlooking the view was imported from Italy.

This is an astounding home, full of thought and world history.

Check out the pictures by Seattle Home Photography to get a feel for this magnificent estate perched conveniently right near the Canadian border.3_2_gallery2_2_gallery  5_2_gallery 22_2_gallery

Puget Sound Business Journal | Patti Payne
July  2016

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