A New Second Story & Full Remodel
A second story addition featuring airy, indoor-outdoor spaces and future-proofed water views.
Adding space for the family and height to take advantage of water views were the goals of this West Seattle remodel and second-story addition. Situated on a larger-than-average hillside lot, these homeowners weren’t interested in a totally new-build. Yet, they still hoped to completely transform their simple, mid-century home into a space suited for casual family living and entertaining, where indoor and outdoor spaces could blend into one another. The result is a home full of light with strategic access to distinct exterior spaces on all sides of the home (even the top!), suited for all-season entertaining and family fun.
Throughout the home, we added large windows to let in the light, using landscaping to maintain privacy where desired. Now, large, multi-slide doors connect the living room to the generous front deck. When open, the space feels continuous and breezy; when closed, the inside stays cozy, yet bright. At the back of the home, wall-to-wall windows connect the kitchen and breakfast nook to the existing patio and pool. Altogether, the great room with both front and back exterior access makes for a great deal of flexible indoor/outdoor living.
Inside, high ceilings and versatile common spaces keep the home adaptable for both day-to-day family living and entertaining guests. Flexible features like a built-in pullout table in the kitchen island help the space adapt as needed. While hidden, there’s extra room to move throughout the kitchen and living room. Once extended, it creates a long table perfect for casual dining, formal parties, or weeknight homework.
The roof deck — a late addition to the design — offers unbeatable views to the water and a private refuge for the family. By limiting the roof deck footprint, we were able to provide access via a ladder and glazed roof hatch, rather than a traditional staircase, which reduced the impact to the interior while still getting to maximize access to views.
With so much access to the outdoors, the home’s exterior spaces also needed to reflect the updated feel. In the side yard, the homeowners wanted to add privacy without the typical heavy plant screens that would block light to the basement. Instead, we designed an elegant, modern trellis mounted outside the window wells for vines to grow on. From the basement and the first floor, the fragrant, showy flowers provide both dappled light and obscure the views to and from the neighbors. With power lines overhead, we carefully selected small-stature trees that won't grow tall enough to interfere with the lines but are still seasonally stunning. The narrow planting area between the home and driveway was perfect for espalier fruit trees filtering views of the driveway from the basement windows and providing some cultivation space.
Careful analysis of the surrounding neighborhood allowed us to the design for both current comfort and for future growth by “future-proofing” the views from the second story. Even if the surrounding homes also choose to build up, sightlines to the water remain uninterrupted from the roof deck and second floor. The simple shed roof structure brings a modern touch that left room to introduce Northwest and Craftsman details for a warm, welcoming feel.
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