A home we worked on closely with general contractor Schultz Miller has received media attention in the Seattle Times. For a this custom cabinet project, we were responsible for building cabinetry in multiple rooms that was designed to blend in seamlessly with the existing architecture of the house.
Allen Shoup has long earned his living by having a refined palate. Whether it's for wine (as founder of Long Shadows Vintners and former CEO of Stimson Lane Wineries and Estates, owners of Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Crest) or fragrance (he's created 20 or so for Amway and Max Factor). Shoup is quick to tell you that most of the cost of a bottle of perfume is due to the packaging. Design matters.
"Everything's eclectic," Shoup says. "Even as a child I was interested in interior design. I grew up in a house with early-American furniture, the bad kind. And my wife has lived with me long enough she's picked up the bug. We have an informal agreement not to buy something unless we both agree on it."
The approach works. The home is grand yet cozy, elegant yet comfortable. And the Shoups have been happily married for 30 years. This is a place for the kids to come home to and bring their kids.
"I think everyone should spend some time nurturing their appreciation of aesthetics," Shoup says. "And a lot of my male friends find that tedious."
The aesthetics take many forms at the Shoup home. Glass, paintings and sculptures among the rugs, chairs and sofas. Built-in cabinets hold antique toys and mechanical banks. Each collected with the enthusiasm of a 10-year-old with a rookie Ken Griffey Jr. baseball card.
Oh, and there's the wine. "When we added on, the excuse was that we needed a wine cellar," he says. "We had to put in retaining walls, and that held down the size of the cellar. But I didn't need it bigger. I had a winery. And we did most of the entertaining there."
But there are a lot of keepers here. You can tell by the dust. A signed Robert Mondavi (Shoup's mentor) from his first vintage, 1966, another signed (by both Ernest and Julio) 1978 Gallo cabernet, an '84 Columbia Crest cab, a Thurston Wolfe Sangiovese, 2002 Villa Mt. Eden, bottles from the Mouton Rothschild artist series.
The Shoups don't take their home lightly. Because this is their only home.
"I have so many friends who have second houses," Shoup says. "And you hear about the pipes breaking and things needing fixing. Those are time traps.
"There are still too many places in the world we want to see.
"But the best compliment we get about our house is that, despite the size of the house and the amount of breakable stuff in it, it feels very comfortable."