A home for sale in Washington offers the fairy tale cottage experience, the seven dwarfs not included.
The four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom home on SE Hidden Valley Way is located in Olalla, Washington, and is listed for $925,000. The one-of-a-kind home, which hit the market last September, was built by hand with no right angles, was the brainchild of the original owners, Morgan and Karen Richey, who were inspired by a similar fairy-tale cottage in Vancouver.
“He virtually hand built it himself,” said Rick Ellis, of John L. Scott Real Estate, the broker for the property. “It is not any kind of conventional construction.”
According to him, the ceiling of the house has stalactites, giving it the appearance of a cave. The ceilings also have extensive beam work, all hand cut. “They had these guys working on these beams …. Imagine the time and the man hours to make the effect he wanted,” said Mr. Ellis.
That type of detail is present in almost every facet of the house, from the stained-glass and leaded-glass windows, to the hand-cut stone hearths and a kitchen accessed through a massive tree trunk, to the roof (which needs replacing) and has no right angles, to the doors, which are all different and have handmade hinges. “He had to actually make the doors first and mold the house around the doors. All these things he actually built backwards. You could say there’s nothing that standard in the [house],” Mr. Ellis said.
Mr. Morgan worked on the house for almost 20 years before selling it in the early 1990s about 60% finished, according to Mr. Ellis. The current owner, Evonne M. Bess worked on it for another three years, for almost 25 years of construction total.
The house is made more special by its fairy-tale location, in a small farming community. You drive along “in the middle of nowhere,” and then “come across an immaculate really ornate gate,” Mr. Ellis said.
Mr. Richey was a landscape architect, and the seven-and-a-half acre property has acres of enchanted forest, exotic bushes, and bridges hand constructed out of river rock. For even more whimsy, there is a tree house in a large redwood tree that has a fireplace and is on a little island surrounded by a moat.
Since being listed for sale, the house has proved a popular tourist attraction. “We had an open house and 300 people came. It was more like a Disney attraction,” Mr. Ellis said.
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