At first Earl Dorsey comes across as unapproachable, but when you get to know him his vulnerable side shows through. Dorsey knows this about himself. So when it came time to build a home on his Bainbridge Island property, he asked architect Matthew Coates to design a house with a reserved exterior but an interior that would surprise visitors with its warmth.
“People always think they know me, but they don’t,” Dorsey told Coates. The architect, who met his client through a mutual friend three years ago, agrees. “He doesn’t come across as the warm, gregarious person that he actually is,” Coates says. “So the house is intentionally somewhat anonymous—even austere—from the exterior. The outside is very strong and sturdy, and almost impenetrable. Once you get inside, the materials are much more soft, almost fragile. There’s a sense of openness. And that is how it is to get to know Earl.”
The palette is warm throughout: caramelized bamboo cabinetry in the kitchen; earthy brown-stained concrete floors on the main level; cork flooring in the guest suite; and shades of plum, green, and red that brighten walls and accent areas. Adding to the coziness is an ethanol-burning EcoSpark fireplace: Zebrawood surrounds the solid basalt hearth.
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“A Bainbridge Island Bachelor Pad,” Seattle Met, August 19, 2011. [View Article]