When the owners of this 1961 midcentury in Seattle’s Seward Park were first considering buying the property, they toured it with SHED Architecture + Design to ensure that the purchase would be a good investment. On the walk-through, the architects could tell that the home, originally designed by Pacific Northwest architect George Lucker, had good bones, despite some anomalies in the existing layout.
As designer Prentis Hale remembers, "My initial impression was that it was quite a beautiful house that had a really bad addition. A sunroom was placed on the water side of the house, and in a very funky manner."
Before: Exterior Entry
After: Exterior Entry
The homeowners bought and remodeled the property with the goal of restoring its midcentury character and making it more adept for modern life. The firm’s ethos was a good fit for such an approach.
"This was a house that deserved to be saved and have its life prolonged," says Hale. "When we are working on those types of houses, we really try to do the minimal number of moves, plan wise. We don't view it as a tabula rasa. We view it as, ‘How do we get clever and figure out how to solve multiple problems with as few insertions or deletions as we can?’"
Before: Interior Entry
After: Interior Entry
Previously, the long volume of the main living area was chopped in half by a wall that enclosed the kitchen on one side. The division was a jarring way to separate the kitchen and dining room from the main living space, so the designers removed it to improve connection between the main living areas.
Off the kitchen and dining area, a former owner had enclosed a deck with a sunroom that Hale calls "carbuncular." It was "a greenhouse-type sunroom that got super hot in the summer, or cold in the winter, and [the homeowners] felt like it was a space they couldn't use," says designer Rebecca Marsh. "It was really an eyesore."
The team removed the addition and resurrected the deck that had been a part of the original Lucker design, creating access to it via an expansive, sliding glass door. Now light streams throughout the main floor, and lake views can be appreciated from multiple vantage points.
Before: Outdoor Connection
After: Outdoor Connection
After: Living Room
Another desire was to carve out a master suite for the homeowners. In the existing plan, the main floor had one shared bathroom in the hall. The firm's solution was to capture unused exterior space under the roof line and install a multi-functional bath, including a powder bath that can be accessed by both the master and main house. Pocket doors keep that room separate from a larger walk-in shower and vanity.
Before: Master Suite
After: Master Suite
More Before & After:
Builder: Thomas Jacobson Construction, Inc
Structural Engineer: Todd Perbix
Cabinetry: Custom Craft