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Seattle whole house remodel - custom home builder

whole house remodel

2012 REX Award winner
2012 Professional Remodeler Design Awards Silver in Whole House Remodel category


A 3-story Seattle home nestled on a forested bluff with panoramic views of water and mountains. It's a little slice of paradise that unfortunately was stuck squarely in 1985, when it was built. The owners had recently remodeled some of the basement level rooms, but the main floor and upstairs master suite were ready for a major update, along with the exterior of the home. The design was collaborative effort between Architect Kim Goforth and Interior Designer Aubrey Michaelis. Completed 2012.

Architect Kim Goforth of Goforth-Gill Architects

project features


  • New building envelope: metal roofing and siding, new windows and doors, including a tri-fold Fleetwood aluminum door to the main deck
  • Reworking and upgrading most mechanical systems, including a tankless hot water heater, plumbing, electrical and security
  • Consistent interior finishes: Nyatoh doors, cherry cabinets, quarter sawn white oak flooring and a reglet reveal at all window sills and beam details
  • Unique finishes like blackened steel counter and buffet supports and railings

project photos


Click on the thumbnails to read the story of this whole house remodel.
Before: A cottage style entry with brassy leaded glass. Linear art crafted from mahogany. The alternating widths provide visual interest and tie in with the horizontal sidelite and door panels. Reeded glass lets in light and maintains privacy. Every project starts with solving one problem, and that was the 				kitchen.  Hopelessly outdated and with a clunky pantry closet, a big change was needed By pushing back the East wall, the kitchen gets a larger footprint.  That allows room for an elegant island with substantial storage and a bar eating area.  Bookmatched cherry cabinets define the room and a stunning track light with Onyx shades supplements the lighting plan.  The Vesuvio Oro slab required careful fabrication, yielding an interesting counter with visual depth. The bar counter supports are custom made from blackened steel.  Three of them hold up the curved 3/4 inch etched glass counter.  The same steel is used in other locations through the home. Before: Upper cabinets actually blocked the view. By rebuilding the West wall, a wall of windows is possible, with countertops that die into the sill--an inspiring place to wash dishes! Composting is made easy with the in-counter bin, finished on the top with a stainless steel plate. Cabinet hardware was carefully selected and placed. Before: the old fireplace dominated the main floor, truncating rooms with its monolithic proportions. By removing it and selecting a living room wall as the location for a new gas fireplace, the floor plan is now open.  Throughout, the short-length red oak flooring was replaced with larger-format quarter sawn white oak flooring with no stain.  It's a subtle but amazing change. The floating hearth is cast concrete and the surround is quartzite, with puc-lit niches.  The hearth is engineered to double as a seating area while entertaining, and tape light along the top edge of the quartzite surround illuminates the ceiling. With the old fireplace gone a decision to define the rooms with an open buffet/bar was made.  With the same steel detailing as the bar counter, the cabinets hang from their supports, carrying the finishes from the kitchen into the dining area. Before: Classic '80s stairs with knee walls and carpet had to go. In their place, a contemporary open-tread system that lets light into the stairwell to the basement and has a peekaboo of the entry door. After deliberating about the materials and construction of the treads, the clients settled on white quarter sawn oak to match the new 4 inch planks at the main floor. The treads are solid laminated oak, and the landing is from the same material, in 3 sections.  A cap in oak on the center wall completes the look. From the upper floor, the change is remarkable: Open railings bring in more light' 'and the steel railings and oak handrail carry the same finishes through from the floor below. Before: an institutional-style master bath that echoed like a cave. The new floating cherry cabinets with tape lighting below help create a luxurious feel.  By using lots of tile and glass, the floor plan is now completely open. The Nyatoh door installed barn door-style reinforces the contemporary look, while subtle robe hooks to the right provide function. A custom built stainless piece at the top of the door connects the factory hardware to the door. No more cold feet in the shower' the floor is heated here, along with the rest of the room.  The dual shower heads work via a diverter and the three shelves in the corner and the wall cap are made from the same material as the vanity counter, Chroma Botticino. Schluter strips trim out the tile edge cleanly in metal. Where a dated vanity once stood there is now an elegant Victoria + Albert soaking tub with a niche and hand-held faucet. The heated towel bar to the left is on a timer and shows off nicely against the tile and warm wood tones. Back on the main floor, the new powder bath shines. The cabinet floats off the floor, with tile running underneathon the wall. A Kohler sink is the counter as well, with a crackled finish. The photo doesn't do the Hubberton forge fixtures justice---these lights positively glow through their seedy glass cylinders. These Iights also appear in the stairwell. Outside the powder bath, a new mudroom cabinet is both beautiful and functional, with cubbies built to fit the baskets.  The door was originally not slated 	for replacement, but then added to keep materials and wood tones consistent. In this project there were many small details that were important to the overall look and function of the home. Touch screens control the security and music from several rooms. The decision to use reglets to create a reveal below each windowsill turned out to 	be a replicable detail in millwork throughout the project. It is hard to even remember the original finishes now that this contemporary design is so well executed throughout the home.  A collaborative approach with Architect Kim Goforth and Interior Designer Aubrey Michaelis yielded beautiful results.


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