The song “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” from the musical of the same name, instantly came to mind as we drove up the steep hill to Bill and Mary Kloster’s home. Built on the highest promontory of a gated housing development high above I-82 as it makes its way to Selah, the two-story house commands an amazing view of the Yakima Valley.
“Bill wanted every room to have a view,” Mary said, “and we designed around that. From the deck we can see both Mount Adams and Mount Rainier.”
This is not the Klosters’ first home on this hill. In 2000, they were one of the first families to build in the subdivision, but as more houses were constructed and their two sons went off to college and careers, they decided to “move on up.”
As we parked in their circular driveway, centered around a rustic basalt fountain, the car just missed a Chukar that scurried off to the hillside. Indeed, the home sits in an area full of wildlife. Over the years the Klosters have encountered a long list of critters, including coyotes, rattlesnakes, marmots, ground squirrels, doves, and even a friendly deer, to name a few.
Bill Kloster is a well-known local builder and Mary is best known for her star turns at Yakima’s Warehouse Theatre Company. Bill encouraged her, with the help of her good friend Randy La Pierre, to design the two- story, 4,800 square-foot house, which features four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms.
Mary describes the style as “open concept with traditional overtones.” The exterior has a contemporary feel and when you enter the foyer, the 12-foot-high ceiling hints at the expansive rooms to come. Two vintage wingback chairs upholstered with crewel fabric bookend a vintage tripod table, giving visitors a taste of Mary’s interior design scheme that mixes old and new furnishings throughout the house.
Just steps down the hall is the formal dining room, decorated with antique Mission-style sideboards, dining table and chairs. Mary inherited this classic furniture from her family and had the walls of the room faux painted to give the space an old-school feel. The table pulls out on two sides and has seated as many as 17 people when Mary’s relatives come to town for their Sigmund family golf tournament!
An open concept kitchen/living room is conveniently located across the hall. Both Mary and Bill admit that this is the heart of their home. The kitchen features granite countertops, a long island, tile floor, stainless steel appliances, and a tall bank of custom wood cabinets designed by Mary and Randy La Pierre and built by Yakima Valley Cabinets. A small breakfast table is near a glass door that leads to their outdoor deck, which spans the length of the house. In fact, the deck is wide enough to accommodate a barbecue and chairs for summer outdoor entertaining while enjoying the view of greater Yakima.
The kitchen flows into the couple’s spacious living room that Mary has decorated with family antiques and modern leather furnishings. A fireplace on the north wall sits ready for winter, while built-in cabinetry fills the east wall, featuring a large television, a built-in bar, glass-door shelves that display crystal wine glasses, and lots of storage. Mary has an expansive Dickens Village collection that she displays on the top of the cupboard year-round.
The open kitchen and living room were built for entertaining, and when January first rolls around, the couple invite family and friends to their annual New Year’s Day celebration. Guests look forward to Mary’s wonderful array of hors d‘oeuvres, while Bill concocts his famous Moose Milk, a holiday drink he learned to make when they were first married and lived in Alaska.
Down the hall you find the couple’s master bedroom suite. Mary has placed the king-size sleigh bed at just the right angle to view the sun coming up over the eastern horizon. An antique armoire, dresser, and a carved Chinese chest round out the furnishings. The room has a large adjoining bathroom with double vanities, a huge walk-in shower and tons of room in the walk-in closet.
Just off the bedroom comes the real surprise — a large sunroom added after the house was built. Mary just happens to have a green thumb, and the solarium shelters a variety of exotic plants that would never survive Yakima’s cold winters. This cozy, warm room blooms all winter and has become a favorite place to escape with a good book.
In the basement, the couple has created a casual family room with an adjoining kitchen. One unusual appliance found in the kitchen is Mary’s vintage mangle. Back in the day, this machine was used to iron laundry. Mary is an accomplished seamstress and uses it to iron large pieces of fabric she plans to use in costuming plays and musicals for the Warehouse Theatre, or for making something special for a friend. Taking up space on the far side of the kitchen is a large green board designed for cutting pattern pieces.
Mary’s light-filled sewing room, located in a bedroom, offers plenty of light, and of course a view of the hillside and beyond. Last winter, she looked up from her sewing and was surprised at the creature staring back at her. Like a wonderful winter surprise, an inquisitive deer stood and watched her long enough for Mary to take its picture.
Mary and Bill love to host family and friends for stays in their basement bedrooms. They’ve converted one room into a casual entertainment center. Featuring a big screen television and comfortable seating, this room is perfect for a small crowd to come over and watch the Seahawks, Mariners or a blockbuster movie.
The Klosters are very happy in their hillside house and frequently invite people to visit. When they do, they get to experience a breathtaking view of the Yakima Valley.