Homes Photo Credit: Benjamin Benschneider

Home Tour: Modern Coastal Farmhouse

For two lawyers from the American Deep South, a contemporary farmhouse on the San Juans by Olson Kundig is just what retirement ordered.

As Margaret Greene tells it, the property in the San Juan Islands that she and her husband, Scotty, bought some 15 years ago “found them” rather than the other way around. Margaret, an attorney based in Atlanta (as is her husband), was speaking at a telecom­munications conference in Seattle. The Greenes had a couple of days tacked on to the end of their trip, so they decided to spend them in the San Juans, which Scotty remembered fondly from time spent there while in the military.

“It was 90 degrees and muggy in Atlanta when we left,” recalls Margaret, “and here we were, having our coffee in fleece and wool socks, and we looked at each other and said, ‘How about moving here?’ We had been discussing where to go for part three of our lives. It had a little bit of everything we ever talked about.”

Margaret had also fallen in love with a piece of art at Friday Harbor House, where they were staying, by Cornish landscape artist Amanda Richardson. When the Greenes started looking for a place, their realtor drove them down a long driveway to a four-acre property on False Bay with the remnants of an ambitious English seaside garden. “The realtor said, ‘The woman who used to live here was a big gardener—she was English.’ And I said, ‘This is Amanda Richardson’s house!’ He looked at me and said, ‘How did you know?’”

They had been on the island for a total of 36 hours—and ended up with a second home.

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