January 15, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

The greys and whites of winter do not bother Dr. Christian Bessmer and his wife, Gina. In fact, they designed their home around the color (or is that color-less?) scheme.

Their story is colorful. They picked out a property at Beaver Lake, purchased land, and made plans to build their first home together. But life threw them a curve ball that left things less black-and-white.

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In December 2013, Christian, 36, and Gina, 37, found out they were expecting their first child. After 12 years as a couple, they left their carefree lifestyle and settled down in parenthood.

They quickly realized that their original plan of building a home at Beaver Lake might not be the right fit. Their priorities were now changing and they found themselves thinking about school districts and being closer to family and friends.

The couple opted to build at Ashbury Farms development in Bellevue, a smaller development that allows them the more rural setting they desired.

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“There won’t be more than 45 homes built here so it can keep that small community feel,” explains Christian.

A visit to Street of Dreams inspired Gina’s idea of designing on a neutral plain. She also wanted an open floor plan for the kitchen, dining, and living room; granite countertops; and Jack-n-Jill bathrooms. Christian wanted a large garage for all his tinkering projects and “a shower that was just like a car wash.” 

Jack Gifford, design specialist at Advantage Development, made sure their desires were met. Each room embodies a monochromatic mindset and approach.

An invariable feeling starts when approaching the home. The contemporary design includes lots of right angles surrounded with paint the color of a nimbus cloud and light-colored stone on the face of the house.

The kitchen features curved white stone island countertops with smokey marbling that allow guests to see each other while sitting in the kitchen set against a backdrop of raven cabinets and minimalist lighting. Stainless steel appliances add luxury and also the barest hint of shimmer.

The main bathroom includes Christian’s human car wash, with multiple shower heads and a remote control water system.

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The results were better than they imagined. There’s definite cool factor to it—a house with many unique aspects, including a hidden pocket door in the kitchen that opens to a pantry on the right and hallway on the left, which in turn sends people toward a second entrance to the mudroom and garage.

Warmth is found in the bedroom, where hints of gold glimmer alongside a metal poster bed. In the master bathroom a Jacuzzi tub with a mounted television and heated backrest give a feel of being a guest at a luxurious hotel.

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The garage, at almost 1,500 square feet, obtains warmth from a hot/cold water supply. Christian’s play space includes elevated ceilings and enough room to store five vehicles. “It’s definitely my dream garage,” says Christian, laughing.

The outdoor space acts as an extension to the house with a living room, complete with sectional sofa, and soon-to-be kitchen right off the dining area. The in-ground pool spans the length of the backyard, its Mediterranean turquoise shocking viewers after seeing so many Russian blues. The serenity of this space continues with an alternating pattern of grass and river rocks.

The Bessmers are thrilled with how the house has turned out but look forward to eventually turning the unfinished basement into a game room—complete with bar and pool table. But not now. Knowing they are expecting their second child in April, now is about making memories as a family in a home they can call their own.

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