Creating a beautiful atmosphere, entertaining guests and providing memorable experiences for loved ones was the vision the Baldridges had in mind prior to building their new home. From the beginnings of what was an empty lot, to the end result of a warm, welcoming home, the focus was “dinner parties and family gatherings” throughout the process. They hired Burke and Jeanne Barker of Empire Remodeling and Focus on Design to turn their vision into reality.

“Jeanne was amazing because I had this concept, but it wasn’t grounded,” said Gena Baldridge. “She really took my ideas and made them come to the life.”

The house was built around the concept of having a large, open space that included the kitchen and great room. A west-facing deck along the space was added for outdoor BBQ’s and mingling in nicer weather.

With busy, active lifestyles that include tennis, traveling and entertaining on top of working full-time jobs, the Baldridges also wanted this space to be welcoming for casual drop-ins.

“Sometimes we’d like to make pizzas and people would come over because they loved being at our house! It always felt special, even if it was casual.”

The affairs could be grand as well. Gena says the most memorable party was a fundraiser in which 50 guests were asked to bring a bottle of wine for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, so the organization could raffle the wine at their Holiday Gala. The guest list included friends and scientists for dinner prepared by a private Chef (who donated his food and time). While cooking heavy appetizers, the Chef would place them out on the large island while talking with guests. At the same time guests mingled in the great room and everyone was able to enjoy the party together.

Having a home that is “the place” for people to go to watch the game, hang out, stop by for appetizers and wine or attend a fundraiser was an amazing experience for the Baldridge family. Gena thanks Burke and Jeanne for making this dream come true throughout what was a seamless process and managing everything to a tee.

“People think of an interior design as picking out wallpaper and this was way beyond that,” said Gena. “Jeanne was involved in the architecture, design and construction along with the cosmetic items. The best thing about Burke and the Empire team is that the project was finished on time which is unheard of. We had a timeline and they were very good at making things happen.”

Making it all more than worthwhile to hear the words, ” This is the prettiest kitchen I’ve ever seen in my life!” from guests and providing amazing memories along the way.