dale chihuly’s boathouse tour part 2: the main house


If you thought the hot shop was cool, then what’s coming up is really gonna excite you. Lots of glass (of course), lots of collections, and lots of big, bold design choices. Chihuly actually received his first degree in interior design, and this training reveals itself in how he set up the space. The boathouse manages to successfully blend a huge range of styles — Native American, vintage, industrial, and Venetian opulence, to name a few. All of these elements, combined with a breathtaking Lake Union backdrop create a truly magnificent experience, one I’m incredibly thankful I got to enjoy! –Megan B.

Above: a detail of a chandelier in the Evelyn room. Click for more from the Boathouse!


The “Indian Room”: complete with an antique Algonquin canoe suspended from the ceiling. (note my awesome uncle Bernie in the background)


Ever wonder why it’s so hard to find good Pendleton blankets? Oh, it’s because Dale Chihuly bought them all. And that sweet 1914 Indian motorcycle? One of only two that exist in the world!


A close-up of the shelving. A mix of North Coast native crafts and Chihuly’s early work, which took its influence from Native American Imagery.


Even more blankets. I wonder if he’d notice if I snagged one?


The loo off of the”Indian room”, lined with first-edition children’s books and chalkware figurines. And more tin ceiling tiles, this time on the door.


Next comes the Evelyn room, which takes its moniker from a gigantic vintage sign I neglected to photograph. Exclusive parties are held here, I’m told — and the table, constructed from a downed douglas fir, can seat 84 people. That’s quite the dinner party!


Vintage masks line the ceiling, painstakingly restored before display. Apparently, Chihuly has at least two other warehouses storing his collections.


Off the Evelyn room sits “the Apartment,” built as a residence for Chihuly’s long-time friend and sculptor Italo Scanga.

scanzos bathroom

The bathtub in Scanga’s apartment. Mirrors on the sides reflect the jewel-toned chunks of resin, making the bather feel surrounded by color.


A sculpture by Italo Scango — you can see that the bathtub may have taken its color palate from his work. And I LOVE the table.


Next up, the aquarium, that Chihuly built for his four-year-old son. The darkness gives the glass seaforms a ghostly feel. And makes for a tricky photo.


A detail of the aquarium seaforms.


Last, but certainly not least, comes the lap pool, with an installation of Chihuly Venetian seaforms enclosed in safety glass as a base. If only the gym had a pool this nice!


A detail of the bottom of the lap pool.

For even more Chihuly madness, keep checking out our Facebook page, where we’ll have an entire Dale Chihuly lookbook coming soon!

From our partners
Sarah C.

Incredible photos Megan! Thanks so much for sharing! Love it.

Sarah L.

wow! i’m really not familiar with him at all so glad you posted. cool space, cool art.

Oooh, when his exhibit came to the V&A I kept saying that I wanted him to come and build me a swimming pool just like that. I had no idea it existed! Do you think he might open it up to visitors?

Mary T

How on earth did you get in there? The magic of Bernie?

Megan b.

@ Mary T: No, the magic of Melodie. She used to work with Chihuly in the late 70’s- early 80’s @ Pilchuck arts school, which he cofounded. The glass art community is a small small world.

Megan b.

Oh, and Paola- you can buy tours @ auctions for non-profits, and occasionally there are fundraisers there. Keep your eyes open!

This place is utterly amazing.
I almost can’t believe it.

Wow. I think I’m speechless. That pool is crazy. I LOVE it.

Kevin Kennedy

Nice. However, if those first edition kids books are RARE and VALUABLE, he just lost MAJOR points by putting them in a bathroom. High humidity is not good for books. Neither is any opportunity to knock them into water