By Stacee Sledge
Whatcom Magazine, August 2007
serve up summer get-togethers
What better way to savor
Whatcom County's summer splendor than dining outdoors?
wondrous water views, stir in mostly mild temperatures,
and add perennially verdant vistas. Then see how three
local families cook and entertain in open-air spaces
that can often be enjoyed year-round.
The front of Darcy Jones’ and his
mother Margery Jones’ brick Tudor home off Chuckanut
Drive is a commanding sight, with its half-circle drive
and meticulously landscaped front lawn. But the true
stunner is found around back.
there that Darcy’s late father, respected Bellingham
civil engineer and community leader Harry “Pat” Jones,
created a dream oasis.
passed away in early 2004, Darcy, now 47, purchased half
of the home from his mother. He lives in Bellingham part
time, running civil engineering companies both here and
in San Diego. Margery Jones, 69, is a long-time CPA,
with an office in Fairhaven.
around to the backyard, past the fishing shed and Pat’s
prized wooden boat
(a Lapstrake Skiff made from Port Orford
guests are enveloped in a lush space that
rises slowly up into the tall trees on a lot that takes
up just under one acre.
hillside is dominated by two 90-foot-wide ponds situated
one behind the other like stair steps, surrounded by a
variety of trees, bushes and flowers. Waterfalls cascade
from above the higher pond and wend down, carrying
soothing sounds with them.
used to be just a hillside lawn,” says Darcy, looking up
at the levels of landscape and water features. “Dad
designed and built everything himself.”
large Ducane gas grills stand sentry near the home’s
first outdoor kitchen area, which stretches from part of
the home’s three-car garage and opens onto a back patio.
The space is stuffed with everything caterers need to
supply party fare: two dishwashers, two
refrigerators, commercial-grade ovens and range, plus a
panoply of pans.
back in the yard, at pond-level, is the home’s true
outdoor-dining showpiece. Brick side walls and a covered
pergola house wood cabinets, a range, a microwave, and a
refrigerator on one side.
other side, dissected by a marble dance floor teamed
with lights and sound system, is a bar area that drops
down a step. A television recessed into the wall looms
above the bar, where it’s often tuned to University of
Washington Huskies games.
curve around the outside of the bar’s counter. Even in
cold, windy months the kitchen remains comfortable
with space heaters and canvas walls, which can be put in
place and taken down as needed. The space is tailor-made
a lot of political fundraisers here for everybody —
Democrats and Republicans alike,” recalls Darcy. Pat was
also involved with the Boys and Girls Clubs, often
throwing outdoor fetes for the organization where
disadvantaged children could gleefully fish in the
was my dad’s pride and joy,” says Darcy. “Some people
buy yachts. This is what he wanted to do.”
sort of evolved'
John and Andrea Pettit enjoy an
adolescent’s paradise in their back yard, appropriate
for their trio of teenage sons. Just steps from their
window-lined family room sit a pool and hot tub, while
several wooded acres behind their Lake Whatcom-facing
home have plenty of room for painfully fun paint ball
years ago, John and Andrea, who moved from New York to
Whatcom County 20 years ago, added a more grown-up space
to the mix with an outdoor kitchen. They called on
(the same team that built the home in 1999, to add a
family room and create a covered space outdoors for the
sort of evolved,” says Andrea. “We had an outdoor
barbecue, but wanted something under cover and built-in.
And we decided to add a cook top, because then I could
cook stir-fry or fried foods and not mess up inside.”
Another bonus: The outdoor cook top boasts BTUs far
higher than the indoor kitchen’s stove.
Travertine marble floors in
the family room continue through sliding doors and out
to the kitchen. Black granite counters top the cooking
and prep area, which includes a sink, refrigerator and
built-in charcoal grill. A second, larger refrigerator
is at the ready in the nearby garage.
The star of the culinary
space is a Wood Stone oven, used worldwide in
restaurants and, increasingly, homes, and manufactured
in Whatcom County.
The couple hired a stone mason
to build a ledge stone façade that encases the
5-foot stone hearth oven. It's topped by a mantle of the
same black granite used for the countertop.
Fong, chef and co-owner of Bellingham’s Pacific Café,
once created a memorable meal for an office party using
the Pettits' outdoor kitchen and Wood Stone stove. But
Andrea is the usual chef at chez Pettit.
clearly loves her oven, the largest residential model
available. She says meats are more tender and vegetables
cook faster so they keep their texture but caramelize on
very different way of thinking about cooking,” says Wood
Stone’s Laura Dewell, residential chef and sales support
at the Bellingham-based company. "In a Wood Stone oven,
you adjust the flame and have intense heat on all four
sides. It takes a long time to heat up and a long time
to cool down, so you have the opportunity to do
different things in it during those times.”
Stone offers classes that teach prospective buyers and
owners how to take advantage of all the oven offers,
from making pizzas
seafood to scones
After taking several,
has an ever-expanding gastronomic repertoire to show for
“We use (the stove) year-round, but much more so in the
says. “We make anything from roasts to vegetables. I’ve
made soups and frittata.”
It was even called into service
to roast the Thanksgiving turkey.
Now that’s outdoor living.
James Bond house’
“Our son calls
this the James Bond house,” Lynette Kenoyer says with a
laugh, describing her and husband Chet’s
Set right on the water’s edge, the lake
side of the home is fronted by a deep deck, whose
lower level also doubles as a dock. The couple’s
wakeboard ski boat floats mere feet from the house. That
the boat can be practically driven into the house is
earned the home its spy movie moniker.
kind of a lake rat,” explains Chet, a real estate broke
who grew up on Lake Whatcom. He and Lynette, a
bookkeeper, have owned six different homes on the lake’s
shore in the 30 years they’ve been married and raised
just keep hopping around,” Chet, 53, continues. It’s one
peril in his line of work:
He sees houses he likes and sometimes can’t
probably sold Lynette on the house is this area
(in front of the outdoor fireplace),”
says Chet. “When you’re sitting up here, you don’t see
anybody; it’s just the fire and the sun.”
it’s protected from the wind,” adds Lynette, 48.
bi-level deck easily seats more than two dozen guests.
Dark-brown wrought iron furnishings are softened by
light taupe cushions.
large dining tables line the lower, water-level deck,
while small side tables
snug up to a bevy of beckoning lounge chairs.
Directly in front of the white flagstone fireplace, on
the upper-level deck outside the home’s kitchen and
dining room, a glass-topped coffee table
is bookended by more comfortable seating.
deck is essentially an extension of the indoor living
areas, thanks to sliders all along the front of the
house — two 16 feet wide and a third spanning 12 feet.
love that,” says Lynette. “You just open them all, and
then open the front door and get air through here. It’s
a great feel on a nice summer day.” The sliding doors
were just one smart remodeling change the couple made
when they bought the home five years ago.
“There’s no real difference between the deck and the
dock,” says Chet. “We didn’t have the railings
initially, which was really neat, but then our grandbaby
turned one and started walking.”
Since it’s made of glass, the added railing
doesn’t block dramatic water views.
been fun with the kids growing up,” says Chet of the
home. “Their friends, parties and activities have always
been at our house. Now that they’re older, it’s still
kind of the party house.
like to come back,” Lynette says with a laugh.
wouldn’t they? The outdoor area, complete with built-in
barbecue, is ideal for family get-togethers.
outside pretty much all summer, whenever it’s nice out,”
the kitchen’s so close, so to bring food out here is not
a big deal,” Lynette adds.
couple’s master bedroom includes one of the enormous
sliding doors that open onto the roomy deck. “I’ve woken
up in the morning and opened the door to find a bass
fisherman in his boat right there, just looking at me,”
Chet recalls, laughing.
fishermen may not be the visitors Chet has in mind when
describing the couple’s favorite aspect about their
home, guests do rank at the top of the list.
He says, “We just like sharing it with
Stacee Sledge is a
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