The Estate at Smuggler’s Cove
3962 Smuggler’s Cove Road
5,334 Sq Ft Main House
275 Feet of High-Bank Waterfront
1-Bedroom Craftsman Bungalow Guest House
Studio with Bathroom and Stone Fireplace
Once in a great while, a property comes to market that combines a location of profound natural beauty with such cohesive design, masterful construction and artisanal detail that it may legitimately be called a masterpiece. The estate at Smuggler’s Cove is the definition of just such a place.
Comprising 22 acres of exquisitely integrated high bank waterfront, the estate at Smuggler’s Cove represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a property of remarkable grace, privacy and beauty. It is the product of a meticulous design and construction process, as well as the dedication of its master gardener owners, and their ongoing stewardship. The property has been featured in multiple books and articles as an example of Pacific Northwest garden design at its best, and its main house and various associated buildings stand as testament to the builders’ art. This is an enclave of rare proportion, position and quality that still manages to live as an enveloping and welcoming family home, while creating an unmatched perch from which to enjoy the breathtaking surrounding nature of Whidbey Island and Puget Sound.
Located directly above the historic Smuggler’s Cove on the West side of Whidbey Island, the property includes 275 feet of high bank waterfront arranged within a 22 acre private park set into its pristine evergreen forest surroundings. The estate is bounded by DNR land to the North which provides added tranquility, and it features a historic road that leads all the way down to a private beach and lagoon. The views from the main house are simply spectacular, offering outlooks over the Admiralty Inlet defined by Whidbey Island to the East and Port Townsend and Marrowstone Island to the West, with an endless parade of marine traffic passing by on a daily basis. The residence is a wildlife lover’s dream, home to nesting eagles, deer, seals, otters and orca pods that are a daily part of life in this delightful natural oasis.
Accessed via a private loop road that winds its way through a groomed, but largely undisturbed native forest, the estate includes numerous unique gardens, ponds and points of interest, with an expansive main house nearest to the water, and a studio, guest house and fully finished utility structure carefully arranged along its perimeter. Ancient fallen trees and stumps are treated as sculptural elements, while a series of hiking trails weave throughout the property to facilitate daily wanderings. Elegantly conceived gardens of native species reticulate out from each structure, moving seamlessly from edited formality to untouched nature for an aesthetic that feels absolutely organic to the home’s surroundings.
+ MAIN HOUSE
The main residence occupies pride of place in the estate, sited to take advantage of spectacular tree-framed views over Admiralty Inlet from virtually all of its primary spaces. The house gently hugs its terrain, appearing to rise organically from the forest and earth with a series of low-slung roof lines with deep eaves for shade. It is designed to echo elements of the historic arts and crafts movement, constructed from native cedar and stone to reference and blend with its natural environs. Indeed, the structure maintains an exquisite sense of proportion that invites favorable comparison to some of the most celebrated historic Craftsman residences of the early 20th century. Its expansive horizontality allows the home to contain an open and airy floorplan that is banded by windows carefully placed to frame outlooks over the Puget Sound and estate grounds.
The main level is devoted to a series of interconnected public spaces that are ideally scaled for extravagant entertaining, yet arranged and proportioned to provide a comfortably luxurious and enveloping daily living experience. Varying ceiling heights help to define more intimate spaces such as the dining room and library, while box beams and soaring vaulted ceilings allow oversized windows to flood the living room and sun room with natural light. Substantial, natural-finish hardwood casework and trim establishes a strong sense of linearity, and artisanal wall finishes create a historic patina that resonates throughout the house.
A deeply sheltered front porch entry is constructed around a set of antique stained glass windows. It leads into the gracious foyer that serves as the central artery of the house, providing access to the living and dining rooms, the kitchen, guest suites, office, sun room and staircase.
The living room is a beautifully proportioned space, anchored by a massive stone fireplace, and sited to take maximum advantage of a 270 degree Puget Sound view framed by evergreen trees to the North and South. A wide passage opens this primary living space to the dining room with two walls of windows and French doors that allow access to one of the house’s patios. Hardwood floors run throughout all of the main first floor living spaces, while a sophisticated lighting system allows for a range of illumination options.
The kitchen is one of the home’s most impressive and distinctive features, with cabinetry constructed entirely from solid, book-matched panels, sliced from a single log of exotic koa wood. It is the light-filled hub of the house, offering a huge central cooking and dining island, a deep breakfast nook with built-in seating and four walls of customized cooking and prep space. Appliances include SubZero refrigeration, Dacor gas cooking, double wall ovens, a stainless dishwasher and two sinks. The walls and ceiling are hand stenciled with a delicate botanical motif, while the floors are covered in warm, shock absorbing cork. A walk-in pantry provides storage for cooking equipment and supplies, while a built-in home office enjoys views over the front gardens.
Two spacious and richly appointed guest suites are located off the hall to the dramatic sun room, and feature ensuite baths and large windows overlooking the gardens. The sunroom is a spectacular four-season retreat, with three walls of floor-to-ceiling windows that flood it with natural light, as well as an elegantly stenciled vaulted ceiling with skylights that is uplit by copper-housed perimeter lighting. A built-in wet bar helps make this the perfect spot for all day gazing at nature.
The library is a grand, yet cozy room that is lined with built-ins for books and display. Charming window seats invite curling up with a good book in the sun. Box beam ceilings and a large honed marble tile fireplace anchor the room with a sense of history and permanence, and there is plenty of space for desk and seating areas.
A highly detailed Craftsman staircase leads up to the private second level owner’s suite, comprised of a master bedroom, a sitting room, walk-in closet, and a glorious master bath, all housed within a light-filled, second level “airplane” architectural structure that projects along the North end of the house. The master bedroom is a warmly inviting retreat that offers astounding views over Puget sound from its wall of windows. It connects directly to a luxurious bath that offers a deep soaking tub set into its own bay window, with outlooks over Admiralty Inlet, a separate water closet, a two-sink vanity that defines a makeup area with water views, and a walk-in shower. The entire room is delicately stenciled, with custom cabinetry and casework, as well as handmade tile. A walk-in closet will house the most expansive wardrobe, while a private sitting room can easily serve as a nursery or as space for a caregiver.
Every detail of the house has been carefully considered and is of the highest quality, from hardware to fixtures, to the artisanal tile and local stone that is employed throughout. It is a symphony of sublime design, complimentary materials and surfaces and decisions thoughtfully made to help it blend into its surroundings.
+ SECOND LEVEL
A spacious MASTER SUITE occupies the northwest corner of the upper level, separated from the rest of the top floor by an elegant hallway. The room is a quiet oasis of clean surfaces and daylight, anchored by a beautifully built-in wall of custom furniture built-ins. Space is afforded for seating and correspondence, and the room is sublime in its privacy and setting. French doors lead to a large private patio that overlooks Lake Washington and Seward Park beyond.
The adjoining MASTER BATH is a similarly restful and rejuvenating space, with a continuation of the fir floors that run throughout the house anchoring a wonderfully eclectic arrangement of bath furniture and fixtures. Two vanities are built into custom, hand painted chests with natural limestone counters, while a grand, two-person soaking tub is the center piece of the room, built into a limestone covered base and centered under a large pair of casement windows. The bath tub enclosure affords private outlooks over the lush side yard and cooling breezes. Twin linen closets surround one of the vanities, providing ample storage for all necessities. Completing the master bathroom, a spacious separate room contains both a lavatory and bidet with its own window overlooking protected green space.
The master suite, as a whole, is completed by a well-organized and carefully arranged dressing room that overlooks the front courtyard.
A SECOND BEDROOM on the west side of the house includes open floating built-in shelves around a pair of French doors that overlook the back yard and lake views, and offers a wall of closet space. The scale is spacious and comfortable with plenty of room for additional seating or a desk.
The THIRD BEDROOM is located in the southwest corner of the house, and is surrounded by casement windows that flood the room with natural light and frame lake views through original old-growth trees. This is a delightful tree house of a room that really emphasizes the house’s unique topography. A discreet back hallway leads to a beautifully appointed Jack and Jill bath that the room shares with the rest of the floor. It includes a full tub and shower with subway tile surround, a period style pedestal sink, and a private lavatory area.
A small room off the south end of the hall offers great home STUDIO or office space – the perfect personal retreat. It is accessed via a pair of French doors and overlooks a stand of native red cedars.
The upstairs hall continues beyond this room to an ipe deck that affords tranquil views over the entry courtyard and leads directly to the garage and shop areas.
+ GUEST HOUSE & STUDIO
Privately sited down a path toward the Northern end of the property, the guest house is a low-slung, shingle style Craftsman bungalow with deep eaves, a welcoming front porch and a stone chimney. It is a one-bedroom home with a large sitting room, anchored by a massive stone fireplace. The house offers its own outdoor patio for relaxation and is encased by large casement windows that frame lovely views of the surrounding nature. It includes a full maple kitchen, a comfortable full bath and a spacious bedroom that is sheltered by old growth trees. This is an ideal standalone residence for use by long-term visitors or a caretaker.
Situated between the main house and the guest house, the studio is a stunning freestanding stone building with large picture windows that overlook the gardens. It has a bath and stone fireplace for easy autonomy from the other structures, as well as a sitting area and a built-in corner desk for use as an office or creative space. Of course, the structure could also do double duty as guest quarters.
+ PROPERTY & GROUNDS
With 22 acres of pristine wilderness and 275 feet of beach front, the estate at Smuggler’s Cove is utterly unique among island properties currently on offer. It was conceived to be as much a private nature reserve and park as a home, and as such was laid out to be minimally intrusive to its native surroundings. Access roads follow natural openings in the woods, and structures were placed along openings in the overstory to help preserve the property’s wildlife habitat and ecosystem. At the garden’s heart is a twenty two foot wide elevated reflecting pool which provides a glassy sea of calm amidst the ever-changing woodland.
A host of carefully selected native plantings help bridge the divide between man-made structures and the forest, creating a series of delightful garden stops along the hiking trails and roads within the estate. A gated formal garden sits behind a groomed mature hedge, and functions as a glorious outdoor room for specimen plantings, vegetable gardening and outdoor entertaining. Indeed, the grounds of this estate offer an edited and meticulously curated commune with nature that is nothing short of spectacular, comparable to some of the most noted gardens in the region.
The property comprises a private well district, and each building has a dedicated septic system with nine leach fields that can support a fifth structure. A built-in generator provides power in case of outages, and there are two boathouses along the beach. According to the current owner, the private lagoon supports some of the best fishing on the island, and there is an easement down to a neighboring state park. Useless Bay Golf Club is a short drive to the south.
The entire estate was developed within a one-year timespan by a team of five general contractors all reporting to noted builder Bob Arndt to minimize long-term impacts on the land, and to ensure an unbroken sense of continuity of materials and structures. This gives the whole estate a rare sense of homogeneity that makes it feel hewn from a single palette of native stone and timber. Smuggler’s Cover is imbued with a lodge-like permanence and maturity that belies its relatively recent completion in 1994.
The oversized garage is as much an owner’s retreat as a utility structure. Fully finished and heated, it offers numerous bays for vehicle collections or gardening equipment, and includes infrastructure that can support everything from use as a woodshop to a hub for full vehicle restoration. At present, it functions as a utility area with a pocket billiards table and display spaces for a lifetime of collections. In addition, the building features a large office, paneled in knotty pine with its own bath.
The building is designed to allow for conversion into another home, should the new owner desire it. It’s architectural style blends perfectly with all of the other structures on the estate, and the quality of its construction fully supports such an evolution of use.