Before & After – A “Gentle” Contemporary Update Of A 1914 Craftsman Home
SHED Architecture & Design were asked by their clients to design a gentle contemporary update for their 1914 Craftsman home in Seattle, with interiors inspired by minimalist Japanese design.
The designer’s description
The owners saw potential in this 1914 craftsman home when they bought it in 2013. The Seattle family had the intention of restoring the home’s original details while also making modern modifications to the traditional layout on the main floor. Influenced by years of living in Japan, the clients wanted a clean and simple aesthetic to suit their minimal lifestyle.
The central challenge for SHED Architecture & Design was to rework the floor plan to improve the primary flow of the space. The firm made modifications to the main floor to create a feeling of continuity from the entryway to the backyard while remaining sympathetic to the structure’s native form.
The Seattle based architecture firm manipulated and built upon existing geometry to subtly introduce a new kitchen, bath, laundry and outdoor space that compliment the home’s original bay windows, angled walls and oak floors.
Upon entry, the spaces unfold as originally designed, but now a connection through the linear hallway introduces the new kitchen and brings natural light through the home. The generous kitchen accommodates laundry space, informal dining, passage to the back yard, and acts as a center for social gatherings.
Windows were added along the counter to naturally illuminate work surfaces during the day and the large window facing the backyard provides a view of the impressive cedar tree.
The durable stainless steel counter with integral sink and white laminate plywood cabinets speak to the client’s modern aesthetic leanings while the vertical grain fir pays tribute to the home’s Pacific Northwest roots.
Behind an original 5-panel door the new powder room clad in white ceramic mosaic tile is unapologetically modern and includes an extra shower for family and guests.
The recessed shower bench with vertical window and continuous mirror add depth and light to the compact space without sacrificing privacy. The backyard was host to a protected outdoor space, but access was inconvenient and it lacked the sort of visual connection it deserved.
Now a ‘Genkan,” a traditional Japanese entryway for the removal of shoes allows for easy movement between the kitchen and a new backyard deck that provides a platform for exterior dining and covers the existing crawl space stair with an integrated hatch.
On the exterior the contemporary window configurations are trimmed out with the hundred-year-old home’s classic white trim and bead board to blend the new openings with the traditional structure.
The insertion of modern functional spaces, improved flow within and through the house, and integration of subtle original details resulted in a strategic modern intervention that sensitively assimilates itself within a classic home.
Design: SHED Architecture & Design
Contractor: Lasting Nest
Structural Engineer: Todd Perbix
Photography by Mark Woods