Earlier this month we learned that a project we designed won a 2013 Remodeling Excellence Award! This award is given by the Master Builder’s Association in different categories ranging from smaller projects like bathrooms and basements to larger projects such as whole house remodels. Our project in West Seattle qualified for the Major Remodel for a portion of the house in the $100,000 – $200,000 range.
So one thing we’ve learned over the years is that West Seattle tends to have the funkiest homes in the City and this house was no exception (for example, the beam and posts in the kitchen – just behind the stairs in the ‘before’ photo – were completely non-structural). Due to a series of remodels by previous owners, what was a bedroom got turned into a dining room (that made sense) but instead of downsizing the adjacent bathroom it was actually expanded to include a jacuzzi tub, sauna, deluxe shower . . . and a toilet & sink. Our clients only needed the toilet and sink, and said ‘the rest can go’.
We began by fixing a bunch of structural problems in the house, and shoring everything up with a big steel beam to replace the existing bearing wall and a wood beam. This beam ties into the aesthetic of the staircase to the upper level which is one of the nicer elements in the house that our clients didn’t want to change. We added a small powder room and converted the space that previously housed the shower and jacuzzi tub into a desk area and a pantry/laundry room (with wine fridge, for those days when you’d rather not do the laundry)!
The owner is furnishing the space and we’ll go back to take final photos when they are done. The open space will be a lounge area. We framed the redesigned fireplace with a drywall soffit and infilled it with rough-sawn cedar alternating with vertical grain fir. The fir continues over the fireplace opening to create a ‘screen’ from the adjacent living area.
The opposite side of the fireplace is completely different. The top is a steel plate with a small angle below to create a reveal and then possibly the smallest tile in the world was installed on the face (source: Statements, in South Seattle). Fortunately the 3 mm x 3 mm tiles comes mounted on a larger sheet. Ventana Construction did an amazing job with the fireplace and everything else.
This is definitely one of the nicer laundry room / pantries we’ve done.
We designed this custom desk for a laptop computer on each side, which can be hidden away when company is over.
You can see all the winners of the 2013 REX Awards on the Master Builder’s Website
In September 2012, Seattle passed an emergency measure lowering the height limit for single family residences on lots of less than 3,750 square feet from 30 feet to 22 feet. The rhetoric around this measure focused on developers building tall houses in yards where the neighbors never expected a house to be at all. And despite the fact that some claimed the measure had too many loopholes, we had clients (a couple, not developers!) who were caught by it.
The measure was passed months into the design process of a new house in Madrona. We heard about it as we were finishing up the permit drawings. Particularly frustrating was the fact that there was no grace period- we had spoken to DPD and had our preliminary application for a 30 foot tall house approved months before, but because we had not yet submitted for permit, we were forced to quickly find a way to shave 8 feet off of the three story house that our clients were already happy with!
View of the originally designed 3-story house with the garage on level 1.
View of the updated 2-story design. Basement terraced garage with deck above is visible to the left of the house.
The original plans called for a small basement (basically taking advantage of the existing house’s cellar), but we were able to expand that beneath the entire house footprint, as well as out into the front yard as a terraced garage. The clients will still have a view of Lake Washington from the great room on the top floor. Unfortunately, they lose some of the view from their study, but moving the garage to the basement level makes the house seem much smaller and more similar to the neighborhood’s older houses, even if the size in square feet has not changed much.
We were disappointed when we found out that the measure would apply to this house, particularly because our clients were not developers, building a house where one had never been, but homeowners looking to get more space by demolishing their current house (which was under built for the neighborhood). After completing the redesign, though, we are just as happy with it as we were with the original design.
Motionspace Architecture + Design of Seattle, WA has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” 2013 by Houzz, the leading online platform for residential remodeling and design. The award-winning design firm was chosen by the more than 11 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community.
The Houzz “Best Of Houzz” award for 2013 is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction award winners are based on homeowner members who rated their experience working with remodeling professionals in 12 categories ranging from architects, and interior designers to contractors and other residential remodeling professionals. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the community of 11 million monthly users, also known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 124 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site, iPad/iPhone app and Android app.
“Houzz provides homeowners with an in-depth, 360-degree view of building, remodeling and design professionals through images of their work, reviews and an opportunity to interact with them directly in the Houzz community,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of community. “We’re delighted to recognize Motionspace Architecture + Design among our “Best Of” professionals for design as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”
With Houzz, homeowners can identify not only the top-rated professionals like Motionspace Architecture + Design, but also those whose work matches their own aspirations for their home. Homeowners can also evaluate professionals by contacting them directly on the Houzz platform, asking questions about their work and evaluating their responses to questions from others in the Houzz community.
According to Benjamin Moore, the Color of the Year for 2013 is going to be Lemon Sorbet (Benjamin Moore color code 2019-60). Yellow is a great color if you want a bright and cheery room, or just want to add some impact with an accent color. I’m generally not a fan of yellow on the exterior of homes though, particularly pastel yellows . . . unless your home is in Florida.
In general, we are still seeing a lot of interest in tones of grays, blacks and whites both for interiors and exteriors (I guess they say that’s what people lean to in recessionary times). Mixing in an accent color like yellow would work well with this palette, particularly if it is on a funky wallpaper or tile. Check out this example below and some other examples on Houzz.
One of our hallways was featured recently on Houzz. Hallways are often a forgotten and dark space. But they don’t have to be. By using color, a variety of materials, and lighting and natural light, they can be an interesting space to transition through. The Houzz article below outlines some other problematic areas of homes.
Motionspace Architecture + Design PLLC of Seattle, Washington Receives Houzz’s 2012 ‘Best Of Remodeling’ Award
First-Ever Survey & Analysis of More than 1.2 Million Members Reveals Top-Rated Professionals and Current Design Trends from Across the Country
Seattle, WA — March 19, 2012 – Motionspace Architecture + Design PLLC of Seattle, WA has been awarded “Best Of Remodeling” 2012 by Houzz, the leading online platform for residential remodeling and design. Motionspace, a firm that specializes in residential design, was chosen by the more than 1.2 million registered members of the Houzz community.
The Houzz “Best Of Remodeling” award for 2012 is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction award winners are based on homeowner members who rated their experience working with remodeling professionals in 12 categories ranging from architects, and interior designers to contractors and other residential remodeling professionals. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the 1.2 million members, also known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 16.5 million professional images to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site and iPad/iPhone app.
“Looking at other architect’s work is a great way to generate new ideas for your project. We’re honored to be recognized by the Houzz community for having inspiring work and having so many people add our projects to their ideabooks,” said Nazim Nice, the Principal Architect at Motionspace.
“With 3.5 million monthly unique users and 80 million monthly page views, Houzz has rapidly become the largest community of active remodelers, providing homeowners and design enthusiasts with first-hand advice from Houzzers who have been through the renovating and decorating process,” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of marketing for Houzz. “This is a real stamp of approval for Motionspace from the Houzz community and we’re thrilled to welcome them to this elite group of ‘Best Of’ winners.”
With Houzz, homeowners can identify not only the top-rated professionals like Motionspace, but also those whose work visually aligns with their own design goals. Homeowners can also evaluate professionals by contacting them directly on the Houzz platform, asking questions about their work and evaluating their responses to questions from others in the Houzz community.
The powder room in our Capitol Hill Basement Remodel was featured in an article on Houzz.com
2012 is shaping up to be an exciting year for us! We are starting this year with the greatest number of new home projects we’ve ever had, along with a number of remodels and additions. In Kent, Washington we have started the master planning of a nine home gated community. See the video below. The actual home designs have not been developed yet, so the blocky homes are just ‘placeholders’.
We’ll be starting construction soon on a home in Auburn on the Green River. This is a project that has taken several years to permit, but with such a beautiful site, I have a feeling the end results will be worth it. We’re designing two new replacement homes north of Green Lake as well as a 20′ wide modern single family home on Queen Anne (see image below).
As we progress in the design and construction of these projects we’ll be sharing more info. I hope everyone has a wonderful 2012!
- We received a 2013 Remodeling Excellence Award from the Master Builders Association
7:25 pm, August 26, 2013