Slideshow: East Meets West

This Year’s Northwest Idea House is Innovative, Green and Zen

Photos by Dane Gregory Meyer

Tod and Kristin Sakai build and design award-winning custom homes for a living. This time, they literally went to work for themselves by creating a custom home in Kent for their own family that also doubles as a showplace and office space for their business, Sockeye Homes. Through many years of building homes for others, they had created a long wish list for their own home. The end result is a stunning, innovative and super energy-efficient family home full of smart design ideas and products. 425 magazine is proud to present this year’s  Northwest Idea House.

When you know what you’re doing and you know what you want, building a grand almost 7,000-square-foot home like this only took them about 10 months. They worked closely with their co-architect, Patrick Hungerford. “They were very clear and had put in a lot of thought before my first scribble on a piece of paper. Also unique to the project was the desire to incorporate ‘Built Green’ ideas and materials,” he said. “I have a lot of clients that ask for this but tend to back off once the budget is discussed. But Tod really pushes the envelope and has found ways to make it payoff. Every part of his house has an example of this, thus the label ‘Idea Home.’ He pulled it off and in turn shows his clients how to do the same.”

The home is open and bright and full of natural elements. The design is simple and streamlined. It is modern with an Asian-infused flair (hello, onsen). It’s made for their growing family and entertaining (note the beer kegerator, the 80-inch TV with serious surround sound and open kitchen and NanaWall between the dining area and deck). But it is what you don’t see that makes this home energy efficient and smart.

The Daikin HVAC “Altherma” system was a huge investment (about $85,000) that will pay off within a few years. It is an air-to-water heat pump system that produces their radiant floor heating, forced air, air conditioning and hot water all in one unit. Tod learned about the systems when he installed them in Japan. It uses about as much electricity to run as a vacuum cleaner for their large home. He has done a lot of work with Japan thanks to his building experience and being bilingual. He began as a liaison in the building trade during the rebuilding effort  following the Kobe earthquake.

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) were used to frame the basement — no damp, drafty spaces here. The hydronic radiant floors keep the home warm and the Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) keep the roof insulated, too. In the future they plan to add photovoltaic solar panels on the south side of the home, eventually making this home net-zero when it comes to heating the home and producing hot water.

“This truly is a dream-come-true home for us,” Tod said.

SEE IT LIVE! Visit to schedule your tour! 

Sockeye Homes | Tod and Kristin Sakai |

Hungerford Architects | Patrick Hungerford |

Candace Nordquist |

Closet Organizers and Window Coverings, Amazing Spaces, • Vinyl Windows, Atrium (Huttig) Windows, • Appliances, Albert Lee, • Cabinetry, Bellmont Cabinetry, • Laminate Countertop, Contour Countertops,, Caesarstone, • Tile, Contract Furnishing Mart, • Shower Doors, Mirrors, Glass Railings; Courtesy Glass, • Lighting, Crescent Lighting Supply, • HVAC, Greentech Heating and Cooling (Daikin), • Tile, Daltile, • Garage Doors, Distribu Doors, • Recycled Glass Countertop, Eco by Consentino, • Plumbing Fixtures, Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., • Cambria Quartz Countertop, Flo Form Countertop, • Countertop Fabrication/Install, Global Granite, • Built Green Verification, Green Dog Enterprises, • Central Vacuum, Central Vaccuums, • Siding, James Hardie, • Flooring, Janes Gypsum Floors, • Door Hardware, Kwikset, • Plumbing Fixtures, Kohler, • Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF), Logix, • Appliances, Luwa, • Landscaping, Malone’s Landscaping, • Built Green Certification, Master Builders Association-Built Green, • Aluminum Windows and Sliding Door, Milgard, • Carpet, Mohawk Carpet, • Murals, Murals by Angie, • Sliding Door, Nana Wall, • Metal Roof, Nu-Ray Metals, • Wood Windows, Doors, Pella Windows and Doors, • Tile, Pental Granite & Marble, • Structurally Insulated Panels (SIP), Premier Building Systems, • Moulding and Millwork, Sauder Moulding and Millwork, • Paint, Sherwin Williams, • Decking, Specialty Forest Products, • Tile, Statements, Inc., • Custom Wood Furnishings, Stageplan, • Interior Doors, Trimlite, • Building Materials, TRM Wood Products, • Building Materials, Western Pacific Building Materials,

See past Northwest Idea House stories.

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