Grand Award

Category Single-family community
Entrant/Developer/Interior designer The Cottage Co., Seattle
Builder Fairbank Construction Co., Bainbridge Island, Wash.
Architect/Land planner Wenzlau Architects, Bainbridge Island
Photographer Joe Bianco/Northwest Property Imaging

This small waterfront community, which boasts magnificent views of Mount Rainier, is a natural beauty, but it is also convenient to retail and public transportation. “You can easily hop on the bus to Trader Joe’s, the YMCA, or a ferry to Seattle,” says Linda Pruitt, co-founder of The Cottage Co.

Its cottages, ranging from 1,536 to 1,764 square feet, flank a central walkway and its extensive common space includes carefully landscaped gardens. Pruitt’s target market was empty-nesters interested in downsizing without sacrificing quality. Accessibility was important, so architect Charles Wenzlau designed the homes with level entries, main-floor master suites and laundries, and a second master upstairs. “This responds to multigenerational needs,” says Pruitt, and is convenient for guests or a caretaker, if needed. The smaller homes don’t allow for entertaining large groups, so a common building serves as an extended living room, available for hosting larger events and parties.

“The success of our community is the intimate scale,” says Pruitt. “It demonstrates how seven homes can share in this wonderful amenity, and everyone gets a million dollar waterfront experience.”