Blue Ridge Boeing Castle Taken to New Heights

Cindy Apple Photography

Cindy Apple Photography

Location: Blue Ridge
Type: House
Year Built: 1931
Remodel Recap: Kitchen, bathrooms, stairway, mudroom
Considerations: Preserving historic charm, modernizing and opening up the space

Land originally purchased for timber by William E. Boeing, founder of The Boeing Company, was built into a neighborhood for company executives in the early 1930s. A series of five brick homes were constructed and appropriately dubbed “the castles” by local residents. With spectacular views of the Puget Sound and Olympic mountains, this home was a catch for a local family of four who purchased it mid-2015. The 3-bed, 2.5-bath boasts plenty of yard space, a grand ballroom-style living room and a carriage house. As expected from a Depression-area home, the utilities and hubs of the home (bathrooms and kitchen) needed some work. From dated to dreamy, Satterberg Desonier Dumo and our team at Model Remodel helped these Blue Ridge homeowners take their historic property to new heights with some major updates and much-needed TLC. [Read more…]

Adorable Green Lake ADU

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With her long-term renter moving out, this homeowner in Seattle’s Green Lake neighborhood decided it was time to remodel her accessory dwelling unit on her home’s second floor, to make it more stylish, functional and a stronger investment.

The biggest challenge was creating a beautiful, functional, airy ADU kitchen, in a roughly 90-square-foot space with a sloped ceiling. Luckily, the homeowner and Model Remodel’s in-house designer clicked, and the two began a dialogue to transform the space. The designer listened carefully to the homeowner’s goals– an important distinction from the homeowner’s initial ideas– and selected materials that matched the client’s aesthetic and budget.

The crew took down the wall that divided the kitchen from the living space and effectively flipped the original layout. Though removing a wall lost some upper cabinet space, the designer planned a peninsula to maximize base cabinet storage, along with countertop space. In the peninsula, she added a sleek, flat-top range and a bar-top seating area. To get the most out of the small space, the designer recommended slightly-smaller-than-standard appliances and creatively added shelving in the nooks along the sloped ceiling.

The result was a bright, open kitchen—the complete opposite of the dark, closed-in look from which it began. The white cabinets, blue walls, and light grey quartz countertops create the effect of more soft, natural light. Model Remodel replaced all the fixtures with more modern ones, keeping with the cool, calming color palette.

Another design choice was keeping with the home’s 1920s character. The lines in the French doors are craftsman, the hardware on the cabinets is oil-rubbed bronze, the backsplash is a glass subway tile, the overhead light fixture is vintage, and the crew exposed the old chimney bricks. The handy homeowner- who is no stranger to construction and even filled in the brick masonry hole herself- also decorated the home with refurbishing projects from Seattle’s salvage stores.

In addition to the remarkable kitchen transformation, the team replaced the ADU’s inefficient French doors and window; added new flashing and railing to the balcony, which had fallen victim to rot; installed new durable, stain-resistant carpet for future renters; updated the electrical work; safely removed the second floor’s asbestos; and insulated the entire space. The unit now feels far less drafty and far more welcoming.

To top off a wonderful partnership, a Model Remodel friend decided to rent the beautiful Green Lake unit. It is no surprise why!

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography

Retro Capitol Hill Condo

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When this young professional moved from Chicago to Seattle, she bought her first condo in Capitol Hill. Working in Seattle’s theater community, Capitol Hill’s proximity to the city’s entertainment culture was a good fit. However, the dated appearance of the condo wasn’t. Before moving in, she called on Model Remodel to give the unit an overhaul and incorporate her fun retro taste.

In the kitchen, as the project progressed, the team together made the decision to remove one wall. This relatively straightforward change made a world of difference, creating a space that felt more open, welcoming and modern. Then, the crew took apart the kitchen and replaced the sink, countertops and appliances. The cabinets, though, got recycled. Instead of ditching them for new ones, the crew removed the old cabinets, sanded them, painted them, and reinstalled them in a slightly different layout. The grey color fell in line with the client’s retro style, and the reuse matched Model Remodel’s environmental values.

The crew incorporated reuse in other parts of the condo, too. They framed the old bathroom mirror with trim salvaged from a previous job. They also removed one of the mirrored sliding doors from the bedroom and framed it for another part of the home. The crew installed more of the leftover trim as trim itself throughout the unit.

In the rest of the condo, the crew added can lights throughout, set up new electrical systems for safety, and installed floating oak flooring. In the bathroom, they put in a heated floor, new tub, shower controls and retro floor tile. The fireplace is the centerpiece of the living room, reconstructed with 50s-inspired thin white brick—very different from the original gas insert and drywall surround.

Model Remodel’s project manager says the best part of the project was working with such a vibrant, enthusiastic client. Any time the crew presented a question or problem, she was quick with decision. Professional team work was the standout of this remodel.

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography

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 Seattle 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.

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography

Redmond Revamp

Model Remodel

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!

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

Model Remodel in 425 Magazine

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425 magPick up the spring issue of 425 Magazine and turn to the Luxury Living section, and you will see three Model Remodel projects in print. They are the winners of the Remodeling Excellence (REX) Awards from the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish County.

The awards and consequent magazine clips include

The full-page spreads include color photos, a before shot, and a description highlighting the special features of the project. Proper credit was not given to our wonderful architects, listed above, without whom the projects and recognition never would have been possible.

All About Wine in Kirkland

These Kirkland homeowners love wine. When their 800-bottle-capacity wine fridge in the garage stopped cooling properly- coupled with the fact that their kitchen was long in need of an upgrade- the family decided it was time for a remodel.

First, Model Remodel’s in-house designer made plans to remove the half-height wall in between the two structural columns. This quickly improved the flow from the kitchen to its adjacent rooms, in addition to making the kitchen feel more connected to the living room. Then, she examined why the current kitchen wasn’t functioning well. After sketching multiple options, the best solution was to modify their existing layout. By pushing out the counter a few extra feet and moving the range, it allowed more than one person to work in the kitchen comfortably and vastly improved the space’s functionality.

The designer and the clients collaborated to customize the new kitchen—adding a bread drawer, a pull-out bin for trash, textured tile, a three-sided pull-out pantry, an air switch for the garbage disposal, outlets hidden under the cabinets, a Nest thermostat, and a dual-drawer dishwasher.

Of course the main conversation piece of the house is the new and improved wine storage. The space now comprises three wine fridges that can store a total of 239 bottles of wine. (Because the family didn’t want the wine storage to feel too commercial or overwhelming to the rest of the house, they opted for creating storage for fewer bottles.) A modern waterfall countertop encloses the two short fridges. Above them is a sleek upper cabinet with an awning door to store the family’s beautiful glassware. As a bonus, the space doubles over as a staging area for parties and entertaining.

The family loves their new kitchen and even threw a party to show off the new space (and drink off the extra bottles of wine). Now that the hard work is over, the couple can sit back, relax and have a glass of wine.

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography

Wallingford Family Kitchen

The young, professional couple in this turn-of-the-century craftsman home loves to cook and had a clear sense of their priorities when they decided to remodel their kitchen. First, the family is highly committed to sustainable building and having a healthy home. Second, the couple wanted a design that would respect the traditional character of their home. Finally, they wanted a kitchen with increased functionality and storage space. As the couple had a baby on the way, they knew they would be spending a lot more time in the kitchen in the coming years.

Model Remodel in-house designer laid out a space that helped the family hit their priority list. For sustainability and a healthy home, she helped the couple pick all wood cabinets with no urea formaldehydes, LED lights, low-VOC finishes, backsplash tiles with a recycled glaze, and cork floors. In addition, they were sure to pick durable materials that would stand the test of time.

To be true to the character of the craftsman home and avoid something that felt too modern, the couple chose antique-looking cabinet pulls and light fixtures, as well as traditional inset Shaker-style cabinets. The kitchen looks as if it had always been part of the home but with all of the latest modern conveniences. At one of the first design meetings, the couple showed the designer an image of a kitchen with turn-of-the-century Parisian influence. She used that inspiration to create a warm space where she imagined the couple enjoying a lazy weekend morning together– French press coffee, flaky pastries and the Sunday Times.

Finally, for the all-important increased functionality of the kitchen, the designer created more storage space with a walk-in pantry and custom-cabinet solutions. Everything can now fit behind a closed door, which leaves the counter free of clutter. The Model Remodel crew took out a half-height and a full-height wall to open the space up to the dining room and let in light. Two of the kitchen outlets even have USB hubs, so the couple can plug their iPad in while cooking off of an online recipe.

Photo credit: Cindy Apple Photography