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Seattle master suite remodel

living room remodel

Split-level entries can be tricky. They can either make you feel like you're entering a warren of stairs or they can be light and bright, providing clear sight-lines to open spaces. A '90s spec home suffered from the former, and a solution had nothing to do with the entry or the stairs. It was all about the living room. Completed 2013.

Architect: LD Arch Design

project features

  • New 4-panel sliding doors at West wall
  • Relocating fireplace
  • Replacing deck and interior flooring

project photos

Click on the thumbnails to read the story of this living room remodel.
The trip upstairs from the front door used to conclude with this view of the living room: a wall of fireplace punctuated by two windows and a door. It was clear those openings were intended to bring light into the room, but not enough, particularly with the dark paint and furniture, and carpeting. The experience was like arriving in a dark basement room, not a main floor living area. By relocating the fireplace to an adjacent wall and opening that West wall to a large sliding door, the change is transformative. Not only is light from those doors clearly visible down to the home's entry, but the 4-panel sliding door opens the view of the room to the outdoors, making it feel larger. The new gas insert fireplace can now be thoroughly enjoyed, flanked by custom-built cabinets. The cabinets were designed to hold audio/ video equipment, so have panels made from fabric to all heat and sound out. Concealed lighting brightens display shelves on each side. The mantle was the only thing saved from the original fireplace--a slab of wood that had been salvaged from a local historic building many years ago. The ends required cuts, so our carpenters artistically reproduced the colors of the rest of the slab on the cut ends. This room and the adjacent dining room, kitchen and all also benefit from new poplar flooring with an unusual and colorful patina. Repainting in all rooms, in some cases with lighter-colored paint, made for a refresh of all of the main floor common areas. The final big change is at the deck. The previous insert fireplace was situated to take up nearly all of the deck space, leaving only a few feet on each side. Failing railings needed to be replaced as well. By removing that fireplace, it allowed the entire deck to be resurface and now accessed via the sliding doors. New steel stringer railings bring a contemporary upgrade and lacewood decking is a visual counterpoint to the poplar flooring inside. All of the products and design were considered with sustainability and indoor air quality in mind. The refinished space is light, bright and inviting.

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