The garden

Much of the home's character lies in the garden, located just off the breezeway that connects the main living area to the Agostas' office and guest room. (Architect John Patkau insisted that if the couple were going to have a home office, they'd have to "go out of the house to get to work.") The garden is a constant source of pleasure for Karin, who treats it as a place to play rather than working toward a finished composition. Gloriosa daisies and salvias add bursts of color to plots of lavender and herbs. She also grows lettuce, leeks, potatoes, and peas-all without pesticides. To gain knowledge of local growing conditions, Karin went through Washington State University Extension's Master Gardener program.

A deer fence extends the home's sloping walls to encapsulate the garden. The fence was a must. "The deer do a circuit through the neighborhood," Karin says. Not only does the fence keep deer out, it also keeps the garden in. "We didn't want the manmade landscape to compete with the garden-or creep into it," the architect says.

House and setting beautifully integrated

The site for the house was obvious, explains John Patkau: a U-shaped forest of second-growth fir trees sheltering a meadow that opens onto an expansive view of the ocean. "Rather than place the house like an object in the meadow, it bridges the landscape, joining the fir forest and dividing the meadow," the architect says. The plan forms a long line of indoor and outdoor spaces opening to views around a central living/dining area and kitchen.

Firewood, protected from the elements by an overhang, is artfully stored next to the front entry. Equally striking is the deer fence, which has long, open horizontal boards that "add richness and complexity to a simple fa├žade," Patkau says.