Before & After: Grand Capitol Hill Remodel


Our recent clients, a couple working in Seattle tech, purchased this 1909 home for its spacious interior and grand features. The home, located between Capitol Hill and Eastlake in Seattle, is one of many box-style homes in the neighborhood having features such as: a dormer, covered porch and square columns. Though the home had been renovated before, the interior had more Victorian details than modern ones. With the help of local architect Board & Vellum, designer Jules Thomas of Maker Agent and our build team, the couple reimagined some of the major spaces and made quick updates to modernize others. The result is a truly stunning modern home that retains its historical grandeur. Note: The interior design of the home is currently still in progress, and we look forward to sharing updates upon its completion.



The entryway and stairs received a touch-up with new painting, flooring and a fireplace addition. The fireplace was a change that occurred during the build process, as the living room shaped up to focus on the entertainment system. So that the fireplace did not compete with the TV, the original brick fireplace was removed from the living room and a new traditional, marble fireplace was added to the family room where it becomes the focal point. [Read more…]

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…]

Wallingford Whole House Remodel


Sometimes, all an older home needs is a little TLC. We updated this 1920’s home with mechanical and electric work, new plumbing, finishes, and lead abatement, to give it the fresh appearance our clients were looking for.

We started by converting the underutilized attic space into a beautiful master bed and bath. In the process, our crew reframed the aging ceiling to improve the appearance and save the owners money in the long run. Sleek new cabinets and wood finishes added texture, while new VOC-free white paint and recessed lighting brighten the room.

One of the most unique new features of the house is the master bath in the attic, which is complete with a standalone tub and a steam room. The steam area has fold-out wooden benches for the couple to sit and melt the stress away. A hanging glass sculpture complements the elegance of this at-home spa.

[Read more…]

Camano Island Dream Cabin


Working in a unique location is always a treat for the Model Remodel crew. This past year, we worked with Baan Architects to create a one-of-a-kind, upscale cabin on the shores of Camano Island to act as a meeting place for a globetrotting family.

The beachfront cabin, which sits at the North end of the island, is brand-new right down to the foundation. It boasts an enormous La Cantina 23’ x 12’ sliding glass wall and an open plan kitchen and loft to take advantage of the spot’s gorgeous views of Puget Sound’s Skagit Bay and Whidbey Island.

The designer made some appealing choices in the finishes. The white appliances and surfaces, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, help to maximize the light in the house. But then a two-story dark gray wall and matching fireplace insert add some sophistication. The airy interior has a distinct wood against steel aesthetic that you can see in the stair and railings combination in particular. Aside from that, the homeowners decorated with a global flair, matching pieces they’ve brought back from their travels. [Read more…]

Model Remodel Snags Two More REX Awards!

For the fourth year in a row, the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties has recognized Model Remodel in its Remodeling Excellence (REX) Awards! These are the company’s 10th and 11th REX Awards in the company’s history.

Model Remodel’s 2015 wins include

  • Major Remodel Excellence for a Partial House/Addition of More than $250,000, for the Redmond Revamp, shared with Coates Design
  • Major Remodel Excellence for a Partial House/Addition of Less than $100,000, for the Fremont Houseboat

Owner Jason Legat attended the awards ceremony Saturday at the Bellevue Arts Museum and accepted the awards on the company’s behalf.

“It is always great to complete a project that makes the homeowner happy and represents Model Remodel’s attention to detail,” Legat says, “but having industry-wide recognition on top of that is icing on the cake.”

Among the crowd in Bellevue were other builders, architects, subcontractors, publishers and friends.

Model Remodel congratulates all of the night’s winners and also thanks the judges who supported the company’s work. Most importantly, though, Model Remodel recognizes all of the carpenters and subs who made the projects worthy of the awards.

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 in 425 Magazine

425 mag

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.

Model Remodel Honored at MBA’s REX Awards

Model Remodel Honored at MBA’s 2012 REX Awards

This year Model Remodel was honored for one of its completed Laurelhurst projects at the 2012 Remodeling Excellence Awards (REX) competition. They won the Major Remodel Excellence award in the category Residential Major Remodel Whole House/Rebuild – $300,000 to $400,000.

The annual competition and award ceremony, held at the Space Needle by the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, includes a variety of categories including bathrooms, kitchens, partial house remodels/additions,outdoor living spaces, and interiors.A jury of industry “who’s who” reviewed each entry that includes a project narrative – goals, construction techniques and design innovations and approaches – as well as sketches, before photos and after glamour shots. 

The narrative described the project saying, “Our sustainably built, whole-house remodel includes accommodations that will allow the Laurelhurst homeowner client to stay put forever. A grand, two-story entrance includes sweeping lake views through energy-efficient windows that capture and diffuse light. This design also repurposed and transformed the old stairway space into a functional rear entry, laundry and storage area. The expanded kitchen and sitting area is a perfect spot to sip a cup of tea with drop-in neighbors. The updated bathrooms include aging-in-place features and up-scale tile work. This project obtained a Built Green® 4-Star rating.”

Special thanks to the project stakeholders: the client (and MRM cheerleader) who was a joy to work with, the talented and always-smiling architect Laura Kraft and MRM’s own award-winning project supervisor, Rick Newell.

It takes a team of professional artisans to deliver a high-quality product that elevates the quality of life for clients and their families. Our team included:

  • Heating and Plumbing – B n J Plumbing
  • Electrical – Provident Electric
  • Cabinets – David Fin
  • Counter Tops – G & S
  • Recycling – Cleanscapes
  • Paint – Valley Painting
  • Concrete – A! NW Partners
  • Insulation – Premiere Spray Foam
  • Landscaping – Salazar’s Landscaping
  • Tile – Accent Flooring
  • HW Floors – Accent Flooring
  • Cindy Apple – Photographer

2012 REX Award Winning MRM Project: Laurelhurst Major Remodel: Before and After images featured below:

Project images by Cindy Apple Photography

Laurelhurst Whole House Remodel

Under Construction, Model Remodel Whole House Project

MRM remodel during construction featuring new entrance, courtyard and clerestory windows

Laurelhurst Remodel: Another Model Remodel Cinderella Makeover Story

Model Remodel is in the final phase of a whole-house remodel in Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood. The small 1960’s home was built with little attention to detail, design and durability. The new homeowners’ dreams combined with the architect’s vision turned this boring little box into a home that’s worthy of a double take. Raising the roof, playing with juxtaposed angles and adding new clerestory windows and steel framed doors with glazing takes this home from ho-hum to high style.

Key design / build elements include:

Layout: A reconfigured stairway and dramatic new cathedral entrance maximizes efficiency and improves traffic flow. Open family space was created by converting a small bedroom into a kitchen that adjoins the grand dining room and living room – topped off by a jaw-dropping, two-story, black granite fireplace.

Bonus Spaces: The entire lower level was reconfigured to include his-and-her offices and dedicated rooms for media, guests and projects – perfect for working on that special family keepsake or a creative school assignment. The tired carport was transformed into an enclosed two-car garage with valuated ceiling and modern steel and glass garage doors.

Size: The design maintained the home’s footprint, yet added 50 percent more livable space for a total of over 3,000 sf.

Lighting: The addition of clerestory windows invites natural daylight to diffuse the public spaces.

Windows: The upgraded metal-clad wood windows improve insulation and enhance natural lighting.

Inside/Out Integration: Continuity is enhanced by using three similar, but slightly different, black stone tiles in the interior and exterior. The once-ignored courtyard is enhanced with new plantings. New balconies run the length of the house on both levels – perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee or favorite book.

Millwork: Extensive custom millwork showcases the family’s treasures and adds significant storage options.

Insulation: Insulation was upgraded to R-38 in the vaulted ceilings, R-21 in the walls, and R-19 in the floors. An initial blower-door test revealed major opportunities for improving the home’s energy efficiency. We added insulation, sealing all walls and ceilings as well as full sealing of heating system air ducts .  We will perform another blower door test at the project’s completion.  Typical results show a minimum improvement of 50% between the first test and the final blower door test.

Green features: The team used repurposed materials, donated original items to Second Use, worked with a waste management plan and installed energy efficient appliances. Built Green® certification is pending project’s completion.

Site: This gorgeous, mature, sloped site has peek-a-boo views of Lake Washington and is conveniently located near public transportation, dining and shopping, and the University of Washington.

“It feels like we’re this home’s fairy godmother – turning a pumpkin into a dazzling coach,” says the MRM project supervisor. Of course, the real magic comes from the talented crew and outstanding collaboration among the architect, builder and homeowner.

Stay tuned for a picture portfolio of our final project to be published sometime in May 2012.