Greenwood Kitchen in Blue

This 1902 home has an interesting history. Rumor has it that Gus Knudson- one of the Woodland Park Zoo’s earliest animal keepers- built and owned the house. Many of the out houses in the neighborhood were used to shelter animals, and these homeowners were even told monkeys likely played around on the structure in their backyard!

Many years later, these 21st century homeowners were ready to make the kitchen in the main house a little more modern, while keeping the charm of the home’s vintage origins.

The first challenge was enhancing the existing space without altering the layout that this young Greenwood couple liked. The crew began by removing everything, to create a fresh slate. From there, they replaced the old, black-and-white checkered tile floor with gleaming Bay Laurel hardwoods. They then replaced the cabinets and added crown molding along the ceiling, making the relatively small kitchen appear taller and more elegant. They also installed new light fixtures and under-cabinet lighting that brightened the entire space. Perhaps the conversation piece of the kitchen, though, is the client’s choice for bright blue accents. With a wall color named “Fiji” and a backsplash tile color called “Crater Lake,” the color palette is definitely a standout in this kitchen.

Perhaps the defining success of this project is that the homeowners now spend as much time communing with guests in the kitchen as they do in the rest of their house!

Sustainability features of the project include low-VOC paints and finishes; locally sourced cabinets and countertops; air sealing around the window and stairs; and sustainably harvested wood floors. Greenhome Solutions was a strong partner in the project, providing a number of the environmentally friendly finishes.

Phinney Ridge Refurbished

This young couple had the foresight to know that some relatively minor changes to their attic would create a whole new look. With a little work, a dark, dull, unrefined space seamlessly changed to a vibrant, well-lit, charming master bedroom and future nursery.

To arrive at that point, the clients first demoed the low, lath and plaster ceiling and exposed the existing brick chimney. Then, Model Remodel came in to adjust the ceiling structure. It was not an easy task, as the ceiling sloped more than 2 inches over 8 feet. Then the crew installed tongue and groove ceiling boards, instead of the more ordinary drywall. They refinished the old, damaged fir flooring and installed some challenging trim around the doorways. They built in closet storage, changed out lighting, and replaced a window. The homeowners provided the finished look with light grey paint. All these touches worked together to preserve the character of the craftsman home.

In the future nursery- currently an office- the clients removed the dark paneling and ripped out the old, red carpet. The crew then drywalled the space and installed fresh, new carpet. They reworked the closet door so it would open from inside the small room, rather than from the main space. One highly deliberate choice was keeping the small, church-like leaded glass window, also to preserve the character of the home.

Now, the room functions well as a cozy office and will be a sweet nursery one day, conveniently adjacent to the main space.

Saving Space with a Murphy Bed

As Seattle becomes a more and more dense city, and people are living in homes of all shapes and sizes, space-saving solutions are of the essence. Twice as of recent, clients have brought a fun idea to the table, no pun intended. The Murphy bed has been a great option for clients, for both functionality and style.

In the Laurelhurst Whole House Remodel, the couple found that their one guest bedroom wasn’t quite enough space for regular visits from family. However, because one of the homeowners works from home often, it didn’t make sense to convert her office to another guest room altogether. The Murphy bed was the perfect solution to have the best of both worlds. The space easily changes over from a table to a bed, depending on the need. See photos above.

In the Fremont Houseboat project, maximizing space within limited square footage was a necessity. The homeowner has two young kids who live with him part time. During the home’s remodel, the crew converted the single sleeping loft into two separate spaces with pocket doors for the kids, but the client needed his own sleeping solution, too. The Murphy bed was it. The homeowner ordered Resource Furniture’s Ulisse Dining Murphy bed. Its special feature is the way the table smoothly tucks under the bed when the bed reclines, even with items left on the table. Now, the area adjacent to the houseboat’s kitchen can function as both a dining room and a bed for the homeowner. See preliminary photos of the houseboat Murphy bed above.

Whether it’s creating more space with a Murphy bed or finishing off that basement or attic, Model Remodel is here to help. Let us know how we can help make your space work for your needs.

Redmond Revamp

Between some nagging leaks in doors and windows and the wish for a new kitchen, this Redmond couple decided it was time for a revamp of their space. Coates Design thought up and drew plans that were as beautiful as they were functional, and the result is a total makeover.

Half the remodel targeted the exterior of the home. In the entryway, the crew replaced the door and built a wood screen. The changes let in more natural light and warmed up the entry. Staff also built a new canopy over the door that better melded with the existing slope of the roof. The neighbors were happy about this change, as the former taller canopy blocked their view of Lake Sammamish.

For the solarium and windows near the home’s deck, Coates designed a new look that would give the appearance of one window unit instead of several different ones. The key was making the windows’ sills all align. The aluminum siding panels underneath the windows tie the look together.

Perhaps the conversation piece of the house, though, is the new kitchen. The husband in the couple is an avid cook, and the existing kitchen was somewhat limiting. The new design created more storage space, left room for high-end appliances, and made entertaining guests easier. The clients wanted warm colors to match their walnut furniture and incorporate their valued credenza. The crew gutted the kitchen and brought in all new items, staying in a warm color palette. The backsplash tiles complement the Abodian white oak cabinets, and their hue changes from brown to beige to light green depending on the lighting. A bonus to the open floor plan—when the couple or friends sit at the bar in the new island, they are now able to take in the lake view.

However, the crew did a lot more work to the indoor space than just the kitchen. They refinished the floors, replaced the fireplace, and swapped out the railing. The crew powder-coated the rails to match the new windows, and the client picked out lighting that also matched, tying everything together. The TV is conveniently tucked away behind a touch-latch door, which matches the kitchen cabinets.

Though there are many beautiful features to admire in the new space, Model Remodel supervisor Jasun Sherman says his favorite thing about the project was working with such wonderful clients.

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography

Model Remodel Scores a Record Four REX Awards

Model Remodel is on cloud nine after winning a personal record of four Remodeling Excellence (REX) Awards from the Master Builders Association. The company was so proud to represent at the ceremony the architects, clients, subs and of course crew, who all brought the project together.

Model Remodel’s awards for the night included

Upon accepting the awards for Ada’s and the Wallingford Family Kitchen, Model Remodel remarked how much the company appreciated the sustainability elements of the projects—a core value of the company.

The awards ceremony took place in South Lake Union and included subcontractors, developers, remodelers, architects and friends. Everyone was extremely supportive and congratulatory to Model Remodel for winning the most awards that night. The comradery and positivity were wonderful.

Model Remodel would like to congratulate all the winners and participants at the REX Awards, in addition to thanking the judges and the Master Builders Association. In addition, we cannot overstate the importance of our architect partners, who we thank sincerely. Finally, a very special thanks goes out to all the Model Remodel staff- project managers, supervisors and carpenters- who worked on these projects directly. The awards never would have been possible without them!

MRM Seeks Designer

Model Remodel specializes in sustainable, residential design and construction. We are seeking a full time architectural designer to lead our design division. We are a fun-loving company that works in a fast-paced environment, and we take great pride in the work we do. Projects range from small bathroom remodels to whole house remodels.

The ideal candidate is/has

  • A Master’s Degree in Architecture
  • 3-7 years of professional experience in residential design
  • Proficient in AutoCAD, Photoshop, InDesign, Sketchup, and Microsoft Office Suite
  • Experience with residential design and construction
  • Experience with construction documents
  • Technical knowledge of construction materials and methods
  • Technical knowledge of sustainable materials and methods
  • A great eye for materials and texture
  • The ability to design in multiple styles — traditional, modern, etc.
  • A great sense of humor and positive attitude
  • Attention to detail
  • Able to work independently, as well as part of a larger team
  • Great communication skills, highly organized and able to multi-task

Please provide a cover letter, resume and work samples via email to Please include samples of recent projects, sketches, 3-D modeling, furniture you’ve built, or any other images that show your creativity.  Graphic design and web design skills are also a plus.

We will provide a detailed job description at time of interview. Thank you for your interest!

Please, no phone calls or third party recruiters. MRM is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We offer a competitive compensation and benefits package. This is a full-time position.

Fremont Houseboat

Working on a houseboat had some unique and frankly funny challenges, from the Crew developing sea legs to the guys adjusting to make fixtures level in a rocking space. The men often joked that working under the houseboat’s low ceilings was like being on the set of “Being John Malkovich.” To read more about the unusual circumstances associated with this project, view Model Remodel’s blog post, “Working on a Houseboat.”

However, when it came to the construction aspects of the project, the work was similar to any other remodel job. The houseboat owner wanted a space that was more modern and conducive to his growing kids, who live with him part time. So, he called Model Remodel to convert the single sleeping loft into two separate spaces with pocket doors for the kids; update the unfinished basement into an entertainment room and office; make over the bathroom into a more contemporary space; install bamboo flooring throughout; and spruce up the kitchen with new countertops and appliances.

The project comprises a few custom features. The client wanted a dishwasher, but it didn’t easily fit in the small kitchen. Instead, the Crew rerouted the plumbing and drain lines and installed the dishwasher underneath the stairs, adjacent to the kitchen. The Crew also altered an internal triangle-shaped fixed window into one that can open. They cut the plexiglass piece and installed hinges on it, and now it opens awning-style toward the rest of the house. Finally, the client loves his gadgets and wanted more access to USB outlets. During the remodel, the Crew installed several of them throughout the house.

Despite some of the unique challenges of working on a houseboat, the Crew enjoyed the change of scenery of this project, literally and figuratively!

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography

Montlake Light and Bright Basement

This young couple was running out of space in their home after the birth of their son. They loved the house and the neighborhood and decided to renovate rather than relocate. The home’s existing basement presented the perfect opportunity to capitalize on an already-existing space. Model Remodel’s in-house designer turned what was an unwelcoming raw space into a playroom for the son, a cozy spot for Mom and Dad to unwind at the end of the day, as well as a private guest suite for visiting friends and family.

The basement began as a dark, unfinished storage space. The floors were concrete and about 6 inches off level, and the foundation and framing were exposed. However, after meeting with a structural engineer, the team was able to rework the footings, beams and columns. The designer relocated the furnace and water heater and added new walls, paint, flooring and a guest bathroom. Very quickly, the basement became functional as a live-in space.

The biggest challenge, though, was transforming the basement into a well-lit, warm, cozy space, where adults and kids alike would want to spend time. The first task was lighting. The designer outlined two sliding glass doors into the basement’s plans. The crew installed a 9-foot door in the rec room and an 8-foot door in the guest bedroom, to connect the basement to the beautiful yard. The natural light changed the entire feeling of the basement. On top of that, the clients provided energy efficient inserts for new can lights throughout. To cozy the space up, the designer hid the foundation of the chimney with an energy efficient gas insert. Last, the couple’s fun taste and love of color really brightened up the basement. The multicolored rug, the green fireplace surround, and the colorful decorations truly transformed the basement from how it began.

Now, the basement is indeed one where the parents go to relax after their son falls asleep and their son goes to spread out with his toys. On top of that, it’s a comfortable spot for guests. Despite the very divergent purposes of the basement, the space is fresh, functional and fun for everyone.

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography

More Recognition for Ada’s Technical Books and Cafe

Historic Seattle group shotBook and coffee lovers keep pouring into Ada’s Technical Books and Café for its wonderful atmosphere. However, customers aren’t the only ones giving Ada’s attention. The bookstore and café has now garnered recognition from a number of sources near and far.

Ada’s on May 13 received honors at the Historic Seattle Preservation Awards in the category of Preserving Neighborhood Character. The organization was impressed by the old craftsman house’s transformation. Present at the event were Danielle and David Hulton, Ada’s owners; Jeff Pelletier, Ryan Adanalian and Robert Mech of Board and Vellum, the architecture firm; and Jason Legat, Ricky Bribiesca and Matt Everett of Model Remodel. The Model Remodel staff expressed what good company they were in, both in the nice group that attended the ceremony and in the company of the other project winners.

Ada’s also received a citation from the prestigious Residential Architect Design Awards (RADA) in the light commercial category. One juror said he liked the “playfulness and quirkiness” of Ada’s, and another said it was “a very fully considered space at all levels of design.” It was a high honor for all parties involved.

Finally, the Gold Nugget Awards has recognized Ada’s, too. The project received a merit award in the category of rehab commercial/industrial project. Merit winners received the top votes by judges and are the finalists for the Grand Award, which the organization will announce June 26.

As time goes on, we at Model Remodel look forward to more industry professionals and everyday customers discovering the beauty of Ada’s Technical Books and Café.

We’re Hiring!

Model Remodel is excited to be entering our busy time of year, which necessitates more good people on staff. Please see job descriptions below and forward our link on to any qualified individuals.

We are seeking a detail-oriented, responsible, trustworthy, punctual, dedicated and hardworking team player. Green/Sustainable building experience a major plus! This position involves regular interaction with clients and therefore requires a high standard of professionalism. This position is responsible for maintaining a safe and compliant job site.

Our ideal candidate must excel in multi-tasking, which includes framing, finish carpentry, drywall, painting and all aspects of residential remodeling, from start-to-finish. They should be able to track budgets and project schedules with regular reporting to management and clients. Strong computer (including smartphones/tablets) skills, including knowledge of MS Office are required.

•    Must have at least 7 years of leader experience in remodeling.
•    Must have the ability to learn new skills, problem solve, follow protocols, take initiative and lead by example.
•    Must have general personal tools including nail bags, hand tools, saws, hammers, etc.
•    Must have a valid driver’s license with a good driving record AND reliable transportation for self and tools.

Please send a resume, cover letter and references to with the position title in the subject line. Benefits of working at Model Remodel include medical, dental and vision insurance, along with paid vacation/sick days and holidays. Model Remodel is an equal opportunity employer.

The Estimator role is a full-time position. The candidate for this position will be intimate with residential remodeling and residential new construction from pre-construction all the way to turn-key.  The Estimator role is to take project information from a client, architect or designer and produce an accurate estimate based on the information provided. The Estimator is tasked with researching and staying current on industry standards and subcontractor, vendor and square footage costs.  Applicant must be comfortable reviewing plans, negotiating subcontracts, and value engineering method. An emphasis will be placed on candidate’s ability to bring green building methodology to the company.

•    Experience in green building/remodeling.
•    5 or more years experience in residential construction estimating.
•    Detail-oriented, responsible, trustworthy, self-motivated, dedicated and hard working.
•    Ability to work with diverse personalities within our office as well as tradespeople, contractors, property owners, and architectural/design professionals.
•    Outstanding organizational skills.
•    Must be proficient in MS Excel. Should be competent in Word, Outlook and general computer skills are required. Knowledge and experience in MS Project is a plus, as well as other estimating and/or project management software.
•    Must have excellent oral and written communication skills.

Please send a resume, cover letter and references to with the position title in the subject line. Benefits of working at Model Remodel include medical, dental and vision insurance, along with paid vacation/sick days and holidays. Model Remodel is an equal opportunity employer.

Sales Director
Model Remodel is looking for a sales professional, with experience closing big ticket projects in the home remodeling and construction industry. Applicants should be known for their honesty, integrity and customer orientation, but at the same time, they should have the ability to be creative and help customers make the correct decision when it comes to their construction or remodeling projects. We are looking for people who have always been one of the top sales people in their organizations. They should thrive in an atmosphere of collaborative effort, knowing that the people they work with are professionals. Applicants must be seeking an opportunity in an organization that values contributing members of the team.

•    Must have at least 5 years of sales experience in the remodeling and construction industry.
•    In addition to closing abilities, the applicant must bring to the table significant experience in prospecting, generating and negotiating contracts.
•    Must be willing to attend networking and trade show events.
•    Must work closely with our estimating and marketing departments.

Please send a resume, cover letter and references to with the position title in the subject line. Benefits of working at Model Remodel include medical, dental and vision insurance, along with paid vacation/sick days and holidays. Model Remodel is an equal opportunity employer.