Before & After: Two Game-Changing Kitchen Renovations by a Seattle Studio
SHED Architecture & Design does not believe in blindly following trends, preferring to allow light and space, economical and sustainable materials, and well-considered details guide their work.
Their pragmatic and innovative architects enjoy the challenge of remodeling old buildings and homes, and have rehabilitated many kitchens in Seattle. Case in point: Seward Park House and Capitol Hill Loft feature two kitchen remodels that showcase how SHED can make the most hardworking room in the house even more practical and beautiful.
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Designed by respected midcentury Seattle architect Ibsen Nelsen, this 1964 residence had exteriors that were in good condition, but a kitchen that were dark, claustrophobic, and inefficient. SHED solved this problem by redesigning the kitchen as a series of interconnected functional zones located near the windows.
These zones are linked by a continuous kitchen counter, which weaves inward from the walls to create an enclave-like space. This approach allowed the architects to increase usable space without modifying the house’s exterior. It also helped to visually connect the kitchen with the living area, while still maintaining separation via the walnut plywood cabinets and solid walnut eating counter, which serve as partitions.
Contractor Tim Pepperell installed different countertop surfaces—for example, stainless steel around the sink and cooktop, and honed limestone for the baking area—to suit the different needs of the owners. Kerf Design created and installed multi-colored FSC-certified plywood cabinets, which give the kitchen a bright and cheery feel.
For the remodel of this loft-style apartment in the award-winning, industrial-style 1310 East Union Building on Capitol Hill, SHED worked with contractor Dolan Built LCC. They used an industrial-influenced material palette—concrete brick backsplash and counter foundation, and zinc-plated pan-decking ceilings—to complement the development’s edgy facade.
The original layout of the kitchen had an exposed entryway, not enough storage, and was not ideal for its owners’ lifestyle. To address these issues, SHED extended the kitchen counter and island to create a protected entryway and expand the kitchen floor space.
To give the space a sleek and contemporary look, they replaced the owners’ old, large freestanding appliances with a single, continuous counter with integrated refrigerator, cooktop, sink counter, and cabinetry for additional storage. A section of the elongated island was designed with leg space underneath so the owners can use the counter as a dining bar as well.