The Mid-Century Lark House Embraces Modernity While Preserving History

04.29.24 | By
The Mid-Century Lark House Embraces Modernity While Preserving History

In scenic West Seattle, Washington, perched atop a cliff with panoramic views of Vashon Island, the Olympic Mountains, and the Puget Sound, stands the Lark House. Originally designed in 1958 by esteemed architect Al Bumgardner, this mid-century gem has recently undergone a transformative renovation, reimagining its space to better align with its present owners while honoring its legacy. The project, led by SHED Architecture & Design, breathes new life into the home by delicately balancing innovation with preservation.

Modern kitchen with wooden ceilings and floors featuring a marble island, surrounded by open plan living space with natural light and greenery visible outside.

The design team meticulously assessed each space, discerning where minimalistic alterations would suffice and where more comprehensive changes were warranted. Interior spaces were restructured to maximize natural light and openness while framing surrounding views, echoing the essence of the original design ethos.

Modern kitchen with dark marble countertops and wooden cabinets, leading to a living area with a fireplace and mid-century modern furniture.

Upon entering Lark House, one is greeted by a meticulously crafted blend of old and new. A new front door and custom casework welcome guests, while a wallpapered powder room adds a touch of sophistication. In the kitchen, a wall was taken down to amplify flow and connection with the surrounding landscape. A mix of custom cabinetry and woodwork with modern elements like Nero Marquina Marble on the island, a coffee bar, and breakfast nook, enhance the space’s functionality.

Modern kitchen shelf with books, a coffee maker, glass jars, and a green vase under a warm light, set against a textured black backdrop.

Modern kitchen with wooden cabinets and shelving, featuring a staircase in the background, white countertops, and small decorative items.

Modern interior hallway with wooden walls and floors, a staircase with black railings on the right, and framed pictures on the left.

Modern kitchen with wooden ceilings and cabinets, featuring a breakfast bar with stools, and an open view into a cozy living area.

A cozy living room with a leather sofa, a freestanding fireplace, and walls decorated with various artworks, surrounded by large windows and lush greenery outside.

A thoughtful selection of materials and finishes, from fun tiles, flooring, and wallpaper, to carefully curated furnishing and art picks imbue each space with character and charm.

Modern living room with colorful furniture, wooden ceiling, and large windows overlooking a lake.

Under a cedar tongue and groove ceiling, the open living room centers around views of the water and the colorful Roche Bobois Mahjong Sofa in Missoni fabrics. The Vitis 5 chandelier from RBW adds a sculptural statement above without overpowering the space.

Modern living room with a colorful patchwork rug, red bed, and a fireplace, complemented by a large portrait painting on the wall.

A cat sits facing a tree seen through an open door in a modern hallway featuring wooden walls and a bench with a leather bag.

An elegant bathroom with a black marble vanity, white sink, and intricate floral wallpaper, complemented by warm lighting and vertical sconces.

Narrow hallway in a modern home featuring wooden paneling and walls, with a high ceiling and a round ceiling light.

Modern home interior featuring a warm, well-lit foyer with wooden floors, exposed brick wall, and a pendant light, seen from the entrance.

Narrow modern bathroom with black and white patterned floor, wooden cabinetry, and frosted glass door leading to another room. natural light streams in through skylights.

Ebony colored Concrete Collaborative SSS tiles, designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel, add a playful, graphic touch to the primary ensuite bathroom floor.

Modern bathroom with a marble countertop, integrated sink, built-in wooden shelving filled with decorations, and geometric-patterned floor tiles.

Cozy bedroom featuring a bed with blue and white bedding, a wooden floor, dark textured walls, and a large window. there is a round white pendant light and plants in the room.

A two-way fireplace, clad in black Fireclay glazed brick tiles, between the living room and primary bedroom was renovated and closed off on the bedroom side for added privacy.

Cozy bedroom with large windows showing a garden view, wooden interiors, and colorful wall decorations.

Modern bathroom with black marble countertop, wooden cabinets, frosted glass door shower, and white tiled wall.

A bright, airy corridor with large windows overlooking a tree and the sea, featuring a toy giraffe and colorful striped rug.

A couple relaxing on a wooden deck outside a modern house with large windows, surrounded by lush trees, with a small white dog near them.

Modern courtyard with a large pine tree, yellow chairs, and a white table, surrounded by black-framed glass walls and wooden beams.

A modern home entrance with glass doors and wooden frames, surrounded by lush trees and plants, leading towards a body of water.

The front facade received its own facelift with new vertical cedar siding painted in Benjamin Moore’s Black Tar paint and a custom pivoting door.

A serene pathway between black wooden fences leading towards a warmly lit house, flanked by lush greenery and trees under a dusky sky.

Two modern black houses with a connecting walkway, surrounded by lush trees and a driveway with two cars, one red and one silver.

Modern suburban home with a lush garden during sunset, featuring a carport with two cars parked under a well-lit overhang.

To see more work from SHED Architecture & Design, visit

Photography by Rafael Soldi.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.