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92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Photo of North Elevation
North Elevation: “After”

With the exception of the new entry addition, the exterior bones of the house remain largely intact, yet the difference in street presence is dramatic. The new addition introduces a point of focus for the entire façade: providing appropriate hierarchy and taking the spotlight away from the garage. New windows, doors, and paint stitch the addition into the existing house.

North Elevation: “After”

With the exception of the new entry addition, the exterior bones of the house remain largely intact, yet the difference in street presence is dramatic. The new addition introduces a point of focus for the entire façade: providing appropriate hierarchy and taking the spotlight away from the garage. New windows, doors, and paint stitch the addition into the existing house.

Designing a new life for an old house.

This major residential remodel and addition transformed a house with a strange history into a dream home for a couple starting a new life. By the time the owners approached us about a potential remodel, the house had already been through a series of alterations over the decades, but none of them had involved an architectural designer. Because of this, there were quite a few odd features of the house, both inside and out, which led them to consider selling it to start fresh somewhere else.

However, the house sits off a secluded gravel drive, with a large & sunny backyard, plenty of established trees, a wide variety of wildlife passing through, and a sweeping view of Puget Sound. It would have been very difficult to find another property offering those same benefits. So, through considered design, we remodeled the house into a home that husband and wife are proud to own, and in which they love to live.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Photo of Front Entry
Front Entry: “Before”

To approach the front door of the existing house, a visitor had to walk up the expansive concrete slab driveway, cutting between cars, then up a flight of exterior steps. Large bushes hid much of the entry until the visitor was already in the drive.

Front Entry: “Before”

To approach the front door of the existing house, a visitor had to walk up the expansive concrete slab driveway, cutting between cars, then up a flight of exterior steps. Large bushes hid much of the entry until the visitor was already in the drive.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Photo of Front Entry
Front Entry: “After”

Now, besides the new entry addition, the concrete slab is replaced with permeable pavers, lined with concrete curbs and landscaped planters that guide and accent two approaches: one for vehicles, and a separate crushed gravel path through the yard, for those on foot.

Front Entry: “After”

Now, besides the new entry addition, the concrete slab is replaced with permeable pavers, lined with concrete curbs and landscaped planters that guide and accent two approaches: one for vehicles, and a separate crushed gravel path through the yard, for those on foot.

Look at those “Before & After” shots!

Before the remodel, the front entry seemed almost like an afterthought: unceremoniously patched into the exterior wall, beyond a hatch to a crawl space, and up a concealed flight of concrete steps. The front door opened directly into the dining room, with no transition space, or sense of privacy at all.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Floor Plan, Level 1
Floor Plan: Level 1

The first floor features the new entry addition, a completely redesigned kitchen, and a more logical arrangement of the hall and two back bedrooms.

Floor Plan: Level 1

The first floor features the new entry addition, a completely redesigned kitchen, and a more logical arrangement of the hall and two back bedrooms.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Floor Plan, Level 2
Floor Plan: Level 2

The second level underwent a complete redesign of the master bath and closet, and incorporated an expanded stair system, all without increasing the floor area.

Floor Plan: Level 2

The second level underwent a complete redesign of the master bath and closet, and incorporated an expanded stair system, all without increasing the floor area.

Construction documents detail how to bring it all together, and make it real.

A set of construction documents — including a site plan, as-built plans, demolition plans, proposed plans, electrical plans, exterior elevations, interior elevations, building sections, and wall sections — communicated the design to the contractors for construction. The redesign required that we gut the house down to the studs on all levels, removing some interior walls completely.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition:
Turning the Corner

Careful wood detailing allows for a continuous handrail as the stairs turn.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Photo of Custom Woodwork and Railing at Front Entry Stair
A New Way In

The floor level of new entry addition is just one step up from the exterior ground level. This way, the elevation change up to the main floor can occur inside the house, allowing not only for increased visual separation between the front door and the living spaces, but also for a beautiful entry foyer lush with wood detailing.

A New Way In

The floor level of new entry addition is just one step up from the exterior ground level. This way, the elevation change up to the main floor can occur inside the house, allowing not only for increased visual separation between the front door and the living spaces, but also for a beautiful entry foyer lush with wood detailing.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition:
Details Matter

Every piece of the handrail had to be designed, measured, and crafted down to the smallest detail, with no room for error.

Details Matter

Every piece of the handrail had to be designed, measured, and crafted down to the smallest detail, with no room for error.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition:
On-Site Design Solutions

From the beginning, the nosed edge of the hardwood flooring was designed to also be the nosing of the top stair. But, when an issue of conflicting finishes arose, we worked out a redesign on-site in which not only the nosing of the top stair, but also its riser and the nosing of the second stair down trace along the edge of the main floor, implying its thickness. The nosing of the second stair then continues around the corner of the entry as a window sill covering the thicker wall of the addition.

On-Site Design Solutions

From the beginning, the nosed edge of the hardwood flooring was designed to also be the nosing of the top stair. But, when an issue of conflicting finishes arose, we worked out a redesign on-site in which not only the nosing of the top stair, but also its riser and the nosing of the second stair down trace along the edge of the main floor, implying its thickness. The nosing of the second stair then continues around the corner of the entry as a window sill covering the thicker wall of the addition.

Custom woodwork adds a warm touch.

Composed of oak and custom-milled hemlock over a hidden iron structure, these one-of-a-kind railings are the brainchild of collaboration between us, Royal Dumo, and his team of skilled carpenters. The hemlock matches the other interior trim details, and the oak is stained to match the refinished red oak floors. Shadowline details in the stanchions mimic similar details in the kitchen cabinetry and at the mantel on the hearth.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Panoramic Photo of Remodeled Interior, Living Room to Entry
Breaking Down Walls

Before the remodel, the exterior walls at the dining room stood where the railings now run, and the front door opened into the room where the two wood columns now stand. An unnecessary fin wall and a coat closet encroached on the view into the living room.

Designing to bring in natural light.

One of the big drawbacks of the house before the remodel was that it suffered from limited natural lighting. Despite large windows in the living room, a needlessly closed-off floor plan and a deep overhang at the dining room window prevented light from penetrating very far into the rooms. The remodel expanded the glazed wall area in the living room, added a wall of windows and two skylights with the new entry, and opened up the walls separating the living room from the dining room. Now, even though the exterior wall is six feet further out from the dining room, the space is flooded with natural light.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition:
A Hearth of Limestone and Maple

When it’s chilly, curl up near the hearth, and when it’s warm, open the awning windows for a cool breeze off Puget Sound.

A hearth of limestone and and live-edge maple.

Replacing the hearth was not originally in the scope of the project, but during demolition, we discovered it wasn’t anchored to the wall when it began leaning out into the room. That was that, and we tore it out. The new hearth lifts the existing gas fireplace insert as far off the floor as it could go while still fitting within the existing firebox. Constructed of concrete blocks and clad with honed seagrass limestone, the hearth absorbs the heat of the fire and radiates it back into the space long after the flames have been turned off.

When you need a little extra air...

The original house had a corner window in the living room, and a reasonable amount of glazing, but it was all composed of plain, fixed, picture windows. The remodel features beautiful (and efficient) wood windows with aluminum cladding on the exterior, and a custom, asymmetric mullion pattern. Three massive awning windows in the living room open to provide cross-ventilation.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition:
A View of the New Entry Addition and Dining Room

The railings that separate the living room and dining room from the entry run where the exterior walls of the house once stood.

Creating spatial privacy between spaces.

Before the remodel, the front door opened directly into the dining room, where the two wood columns now stand. There was no transition space, and no sense of privacy: anyone standing on your front stoop had a direct view into the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Now that the front door is down a flight of steps, the spatial distance creates a sense of privacy, and the foyer offers space for a bench to sit while removing muddy shoes, and hooks where rain-soaked coats can dry.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Panoramic
A Chef in the Midst of the Party

When you love to cook and entertain, it’s way more fun to be in the middle of the party, even when you have to keep an eye on the stove. The raised counter between the kitchen and the dining room blocks the view of any prep work left out when everyone sits down to eat.

A beautiful, but serious, kitchen.

Just because it looks nice, doesn’t mean that you can’t have some hardcore appliances that any chef would love. Beyond the quartz countertops, solid wood cabinetry, glazed cabinet doors, and the tiled backsplashes, the kitchen is outfitted with two full ovens, an industrial sink, and (taking advantage of the upgrade to gas) a 5-burner Wolf cooktop.

Lighting for varied light conditions.

From the dimmable LED recessed cans in the entry and dining room, to the pendants, downlights, undercabinet and in-cabinet lights in the kitchen, the lighting is designed to flex easily to suit varying conditions and needs from day to night.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition:
Optimizing for Personal Preference

An asymmetric, undermount sink with an offset drain opens up more space underneath for storage. And, a powerful rangehood mounted above standard height keeps the space over the cooktop feeling open, but is strong enough to make up for the added distance.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition:
Designing the Cabinetry to Suit the Need

When there are no bar stools, there is no need for knee space. Instead, the backside of a kitchen peninsula can feature a row of shallow cabinets: perfect for storing napkins, salt & pepper shakers, candles, and even a collection of Scotch. At the transition between the dining room and living room, a coordinated, built-in china cabinet anchors the kitchen cabinetry, and makes use of what would have been a bare bulkhead end.

Designing the Cabinetry to Suit the Need

When there are no bar stools, there is no need for knee space. Instead, the backside of a kitchen peninsula can feature a row of shallow cabinets: perfect for storing napkins, salt & pepper shakers, candles, and even a collection of Scotch. At the transition between the dining room and living room, a coordinated, built-in china cabinet anchors the kitchen cabinetry, and makes use of what would have been a bare bulkhead end.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: View of Stair Down from Master Suite
A Pleasant Descent

At the bare minimum, the stair to the master suite will be used twice a day. A relaxed run, a landing, natural light, and a custom railing make this experience much more enjoyable.

A Pleasant Descent

At the bare minimum, the stair to the master suite will be used twice a day. A relaxed run, a landing, natural light, and a custom railing make this experience much more enjoyable.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition:
Stair to the Master Suite

The ceiling in the stairwell is at the height of the ceiling of the floor above, and flanked with large windows, so the passage glows with southern and western light.

A solution in the stairs.

Pre-remodel, the stairs to the master suite climbed in one, straight, steep run. With the hall and closets reconfigured, the stairs now turn at a landing. New windows high above allow the glow of southern light to reach the living room.

Relax in a spa-like master bath.

With a view of Puget Sound, and flush with natural materials, this master bath is neither short on amenities, nor on peaceful style.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Master Bath Panorama Looking West
A Whole New Bathroom in the Same Footprint

By redesigning the floor plan, the new master bath fits a large, double-headed shower, a jetted tub fit for two, a pair of sinks, a dropped makeup counter, a separate toilet room, and a closet prepped with a washer/dryer hookup, all without moving the exterior walls. Even so, the walk-in closet is still enviably large, and the bedroom didn’t lose an inch.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Master Bath Detail - Tiled Nooks in the Shower
Built-In Shower Nooks

Two nooks in the shower wall are positioned not only within easy reach, but also placed within the layout of tile such that the pattern of grout lines remains clean and minimalist.

Built-In Shower Nooks

Two nooks in the shower wall are positioned not only within easy reach, but also placed within the layout of tile such that the pattern of grout lines remains clean and minimalist.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Master Bath Frameless Glass Double Shower
Double Shower

The 5’ x 4’ frameless glass shower features two shower heads, each with its own valve.

Double Shower

The 5’ x 4’ frameless glass shower features two shower heads, each with its own valve.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Master Bath Detail - Quartz Inclusions in Napolina Tile, Detail 2
Gems in the Rough

Each naturally occurring quartz inclusion in the limestone tile is unique, varying in color from rusty brown to pure white.

Gems in the Rough

Each naturally occurring quartz inclusion in the limestone tile is unique, varying in color from rusty brown to pure white.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Master Bath Detail - Quartz Inclusions in Napolina Tile, Detail 1
Quartz Inclusions

When caught in a ray of sunlight, the quartz inclusions in the Napolina tile gleam in contrast with the limestone.

Quartz Inclusions

When caught in a ray of sunlight, the quartz inclusions in the Napolina tile gleam in contrast with the limestone.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Master Bath Detail - Frameless Glass Meets the Wall and Sill
Frameless Glass Meets the Wall & Sill

The layout of the tile was designed so that the grout lines in the field would meet the grout line at the top of the sill.

Frameless Glass Meets the Wall & Sill

The layout of the tile was designed so that the grout lines in the field would meet the grout line at the top of the sill.

Napolina limestone: tile for a gem lover.

The gorgeous Napolina limestone tile of the shower and bath changes character as the light shifts throughout the day, and the naturally occurring quartz inclusions glisten when they catch the sun. The tile extends cleanly from floor to ceiling, with curated grout lines, so that there are no awkward finishes or joints disrupting the peaceful view.

92nd Street Residential Remodel & Addition: Detail - Custom Live Edge Mantel
Custom Limestone & Maple Hearth

The clean lines of the limestone hearth are offset by the sinuous live edge of the handcrafted, custom wood mantelpiece. The wood is offset from the limestone surface just slightly to create a shadowline detail, an accent found also in the custom railings and in the kitchen cabinetry. (Woodworking by Gary A. Leake Woodworking, Whidbey Island, Washington.)

Many thanks to a great team!

As our first, solo, large-scale architectural project, this project will always hold a special place in our designer hearts. So, humor us while we give a few thanks.

To our clients, who had faith in us in the first place: thank you for entrusting your house to us, and sharing with us your needs and desires so we could turn it into your new home. To the talented carpenters, woodworkers, and tile artisans, whose eye for detail and care crafted this place together. And, from this gal especially: thank you to Royal Dumo & Scott Lovell of Chermak Construction for partnering with me to not only make it all real, but also for the good time we had making it happen. Cheers!

Still hungry for more about this project?

Go deep, and read more about it in our blog.

92nd Street Remodel & Addition - Before and After Remodel Photos: Front Entry, Before & After - Cropped for Featured Image

92nd Street Remodel & Addition: Before & After

Explore the dramatic before and after remodel photos for this major residential re-do, and read about what it took to bring new life into an old home.

92nd Street Remodel & Addition: Early Design Sketches - Final Design with Landscaping - Cropped for Featured Image

92nd Street Remodel & Addition: Early Design Sketches

Quick design sketches and discussion from the earliest phases of design for the 92nd Street Remodel & Addition, an award-winning whole-house remodel.

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