The views of Lake Chelan and the surrounding mountains never leave you in the hilltop residence of Patti and David Riel. Both builders, the couple designed their four-year old home with windows big and small to let it the light and sights.
Personal touches and memories of travels and past work projects prevail throughout the Riel house. The entryway starts the walk down memory lane: the black-and-white tile floor is similar to that of a hotel in Italy in which Patti once stayed.
Another memorabilia item hangs above one’s head in the two-story-high entry — a chandelier they saw in New Orleans and had transported to their home.
“David spent quite a few days hanging those crystals in place, each and every one,” Patti said, pointing at the enormous, multi-layered light fixture. A work of art is a more appropriate description for the champagne-hued creation.
David’s office is immediately to the left of the entry, highlighted by dark-stained African mahogany beams from a Seattle-area home.
“We rescued those beams from an old Queen Anne home,” Patti explained. “The house was about a 100-years old, but the beams are in excellent condition. You can’t find things like this anymore.”
The European feel continues in the powder room, also with black-and-white tile flooring.
“The center tile slab is from my daughter’s house. They did some renovating and I took the tile,” Patti said.
More black and white embellishes the kitchen. Two jumbo slabs of quartz constitute the sizeable center aisle which accommodates a sink and plenty of seating.
The kitchen, dining and sitting area were built with the great-room concept, with no walls and the areas flowing into each other. The feeling of space and light makes the downstairs living space feel even larger than its square footage.
“The patio windows can be pulled completely off to the side. The whole wall opens up to the patio,” Patti said.
The expansive patio is an invitation to sit and let the eyes feast on the Chelan scenery. The pool at one end of the patio adds to the relaxing atmosphere.
The master bedroom is downstairs, right beyond the living space. The inverted ceiling over the bed holds a light system that can be controlled by an Alexa device.
“Alexa, red lights,” Patti commanded. “Alexa, pink lights”, she continued with chuckle. And the lights obeyed.
The large master bath has a soaking tub and a walk-in shower — and luxuriously comfortable heated floors. Adjoining the bath area is the master closet, Patti’s personal designing project.
“We don’t use the upstairs on a daily basis,” Patti explained on the way up to the second floor.
The upper level is a guest area with three bedrooms and a living/dining space with its own little kitchenette. With four grown children and eight grandchildren, the Riels need the space for visiting family. One of the bedrooms has a Murphy bed which adds to the floor space — grandchildren like to play, after all.
What is a house without a man-cave? In the Riels’ case, it’s a man-loft above the three-car garage that can be reached from the house — a short walk down a hallway and a long walk up the stairs. David installed a window halfway up the stairway, for the views and the light. And maybe for an excuse to catch one’s breath on the way up.
David’s loft, his recreational space, is large enough to be an apartment. With two sofa groupings, a kitchenette and the music corner, it is both spacious and welcoming.
One wall is an impressive Beatles exhibit, with photos of the John, Paul, George and Ringo and replicas of their individual guitars on display. It’s easy to guess that David’s choice of instrument is the guitar. He owns quite a few of them, as a matter of fact.
David doesn’t just play for his own enjoyment, but for the greater public, as well. He is a member of the Loose Change band.
“This is our FD home — the Final Destination home,” Patti stated.
Patti retired from Boeing four years ago and is happy to stay in Chelan, continuously redecorating their home. She is a capable furniture restorer and has refinished many of the antique pieces in their Chateau Riel, as they call their Chelan forever home.
“This is our happy place,” she said.