written by:
February 15, 2012

When the Zimmerman family settled in Seattle, Washington, in the late 1990s they bought a 1,100-square-foot Craftsman built in the 1920s. Fast-forward to today. Not wanting to leave their beloved neighborhood, but hurting for space, they enlisted the help of local design-build firm Ninebark to create a separate living area. Working from sketches that the residents had from their uncle, Gary Schoemaker, an architect in New York, Ninebark realized a refined granny flat that serves as a playroom, office, and guesthouse for visitors, complete with a kitchenette and full bathroom.

A rolling ladder made from salvaged wood and components leads to a small, yet well equipped, office.
A rolling ladder made from salvaged wood and components leads to a small, yet well equipped, office.
2 / 4
Here's a bird's eye view of the living area from the loft.
Here's a bird's eye view of the living area from the loft.
3 / 4
The kitchenette countertops are made from recycled concrete. The bathroom tile is by Pental.
The kitchenette countertops are made from recycled concrete. The bathroom tile is by Pental.
4 / 4
zimmerman residence exterior
When the Zimmerman family settled in Seattle, Washington, in the late 1990s they bought a 1,100-square-foot Craftsman built in the 1920s. Fast-forward to today. Not wanting to leave their beloved neighborhood, but hurting for space, they enlisted the help of local design-build firm Ninebark to create a separate living area. Working from sketches that the residents had from their uncle, Gary Schoemaker, an architect in New York, Ninebark realized a refined structure that serves as a playroom, office, and guesthouse for visitors, complete with a kitchenette and full bathroom.

Though the footprint of the structure is quite small, just 20' x 12', it has a remarkable number of green features, including a Warmboard radiant subfloor, tilt-turn windows and doors handcrafted from Douglas fir, reclaimed wood used for the rafters, a dual flush toilet, and is oriented for passive heating and cooling. "It was important for us to be green, but we weren't chasing LEED," says resident Jon Zimmerman. The exterior boasts a standing-seam copper and cedar rain screen.

A rolling ladder made from salvaged wood and components leads to a small, yet well equipped, office.
A rolling ladder made from salvaged wood and components leads to a small, yet well equipped, office.
The double-height space is flooded with daylight, which Zimmerman says is one of his favorite points of the design, especially considering how notoriously gloomy Seattle can be. One of my favorite aspects of the design is the rolling ladder used to access the 50-square-foot loft space that acts as an office, which is made from salvaged components.

Here's a bird's eye view of the living area from the loft.
Here's a bird's eye view of the living area from the loft.


Architect:
Gary Shoemaker, Gary Shoemaker Architects PC
Interior Finish Selection: Kim Mankoski, Ninebark Design/Build
Landscape Design: Ninebark Design/Build
General Contractor: Ninebark Design/Build
Design and Permitting Consultant: Jared Hoke, Red Oke Studio
The kitchenette countertops are made from recycled concrete. The bathroom tile is by Pental.
The kitchenette countertops are made from recycled concrete. The bathroom tile is by Pental.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

W House living room
Our best reader reactions this week.
April 29, 2016
Vineyard house illuminated at night
Rammed-earth construction fuses this Portuguese house to the environment.
April 29, 2016
vintage Scandinavian furniture Kathryn Tyler
In southwest England, interior designer Kathryn Tyler built her home around her ever-expanding furniture collection.
April 29, 2016
steel facade home Seattle
On the sandy shores of Fauntleroy Cove in Seattle, renowned firm Olson Kundig Architects crafts a subtle home with striking steel accents.
April 29, 2016
seperate piece renovated guesthouse eames storage unit cork floor tiles living room
An architect and an interior designer put the tools to the test for this impressive renovation.
April 29, 2016
Ceramics by WrenLab
Manhattan doesn’t get to have all the fun during NYCxDesign. Brooklyn is set for the return of BKLYN DESIGNS at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint from May 6-8, 2016. Here are just a few exhibitors we are excited to see this year.
April 29, 2016
n0a6974 dxo
Architect Diego Revollo refreshes an apartment with a standout kitchen.
April 29, 2016
img 8652 1
The city of San Francisco has been eagerly awaiting the reopening of SFMOMA for years—and as the May 14th opening approaches closer everyday, the anticipation continues to build for art enthusiasts both near and far. This morning, we were given the opportunity to explore the newly expanded space before the crowds roll in. After a series of speeches, remarks, and tours, we left the grounds feeling thoroughly inspired and excited to share what we discovered.
April 28, 2016
Renovation of 1967 Hamburg apartment with Vipp kitchen.
In our April issue, we showcased an apartment in Hamburg, Germany, with a striking, matte-black kitchen from Vipp. The 77-year-old company became famous for its iconic pedal trash can before venturing into kitchens and other tools for the home. This isn't the first time that the Danish company's products have graced our pages, and here we've gathered additional examples from our archive that show how the brand's minimalist black kitchens are always a win in modern interiors.
April 28, 2016
Zafra residence living room.
A man and his wife make an emotional return to an apartment building he loved as a kid.
April 28, 2016
the garden inside concrete dining pavilion indoor outdoor custom cabinets thermador dishwasher refrigerator
A skylit conservatory doubles as a verdant dining parlor in Sonoma County, California.
April 28, 2016
Details of the Calico collection.
Calico Wallpaper founders Nick and Rachel Cope showed us through their home in our March Issue, now step inside their studio.
April 28, 2016
william krisel pow 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
April 27, 2016
Dwell on Design and designjunction at ArtBeam
It's all part of Dwell on Design + designjunction's three-day event, featuring a program of talks chock-full of leading figures in design, architecture, urbanism, and beyond—coming up May 13-15 at ArtBeam in New York.
April 27, 2016
seattles mariners floating house prefab facade exterior fiber cement panels
A prefabricated floating home drops anchor in the Pacific Northwest.
April 27, 2016
royan treatment living room stone fireplace vintage new furnishings
French designer Florence Deau effortlessly mixes the old with the new.
April 27, 2016
modern netherlands 13 noordeinde schoolhouse parquet herringbone floors stove
Take a lesson from this school-turned-home.
April 27, 2016
The sidewalks of Copacabana in Rio De Janero, Brazil, designed by Roberto Burle Marx
The Jewish Museum in New York City takes it outside with a celebration of the Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx.
April 26, 2016
Waterfront home in Belvedere, California
A 1960s home infested with powderpost beetles had to be sacrificed before this this Zen-inspired house could happen.
April 26, 2016
dialogue house
At the base of Echo Mountain in Phoenix, a geometric home by Wendell Burnette opens up to the surrounding desert landscape.
April 26, 2016
street smarts kitchen full view
A creative couple transforms an old Toronto storefront in Dundas West into a home and studio.
April 26, 2016
hald strand
This architect thinks of everything for his summer escape, pizza oven included.
April 26, 2016
gans turin residence living room
Thanks to a contemporary interior that she’s been updating for a decade, modern architect Abigail Turin has learned to love her traditional 1925 San Francisco home.
April 25, 2016
131
Johannesburg-based design studio Counterspace was founded in 2014 by young architecture graduates Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers, and Amina Kaskar. Their projects are collaborative, research-led investigations into possible futures and ideas of otherness in Johannesburg.
April 25, 2016
through living room
A second-story addition and a new indoor-outdoor focus revive a nondescript house in L.A.
April 25, 2016
Modern living room with Flexform sofa and Jens Fager candelabra
An Antwerp home blurs the boundaries between art and design.
April 25, 2016
hillside haven  1
This backyard is its own modern retreat in the Berkeley Hills.
April 25, 2016
Two studios flanks a central volume at this home in Mexico
Art and life meet in the middle at a family retreat in Central Mexico.
April 24, 2016
natural instinct swedish family home kitchen table unfold pendants muuto lilla aland chairs stolab
With Alvar Aalto in mind, a renowned Swedish architect crafts a serene home on a long-held family plot.
April 24, 2016
clearing the table coffee tables boxinbox philippe starck glas italia storage
A half-century later, furniture designers are catching up to painter Yves Klein’s visionary Table Bleue.
April 23, 2016