Historic Cape Cod Style Home Remodel
Puget Sound Bluff Home
Opening up a compartmentalized floor plan to take advantage of extensive, protected water views.
With sweeping views of Puget Sound, this home, poised atop a bluff, already had a good deal going in its favor. For the homeowners, despite the existing appeal of what they describe as their forever home, some changes were needed for this house to take them through retirement and beyond. The original character and quality of their historic home absolutely had to remain, but they also longed for some modern detailing that played harmoniously with the home’s traditional forms and embellishments.
First and foremost, these homeowners wanted to maximize their unobstructed water views. To that end, the north side of the house was transformed to capture Puget Sound views from almost every room. The numerous added windows draw ample light even on the dreariest days, and two sets of French doors open to the home’s sloping yard, patio, and upper and lower fire pits.
Once a series of compartmentalized spaces, the main floor now breathes freely with a more open floor plan. The two sitting rooms, situated just-so to take in the view, feel connected yet distinct, each offering a unique attitude and experience. The finishes of the rooms channel the home’s cliff-side location: soft greys and blues accented with navy and cream play through the space, with natural elements — like wood and wicker — grounding the plush textures of the rugs, chairs, and sofa.
Before the remodel, the kitchen was tucked away, with no access to the sweeping waterfront views. Now, able to be the heart of the home, it epitomizes the luxurious blend of traditional and contemporary styles, materials, and colors so attractive to the clients. Shaker cabinets pair with the gentle curves and trim details of traditional baluster-inspired legs on the island. Crisp shadow lines, and walls clad in narrow white subway tile pair with backlit crown molding above the gently arcing enclosure of the range hood with a medallion backsplash. Above, a vaulted ceiling — the only on this level of the home — adds to the feeling that this room is a special gathering place in the home.
The otherwise bright-white kitchen is anchored by a substantial kitchen island, painted in the deep grey-blue so characteristic of the Pacific Northwest sky and water. Additional storage and four considerable balusters support the island’s two seamless quartz slabs, adding counter and gathering space to take in the peaceful view of the Sound and islands beyond.
Upstairs, the homeowners hoped to gain height and square footage for a primary bedroom and bathroom. The ceiling slope and height within their existing roofline couldn’t accommodate their dreams, so they opted to add a dormer. While a wonderful way to create more headroom without completely altering the roofline, dormers can pose their own set of complications trying to align tricky slopes to meet at clean and even points. Here, overcoming those complications was well worth it. Using the existing form and style of the home as a springboard for the design, the dormer blends seamlessly into the existing home, almost as if it were original. The newly occupiable space houses a comfortable en suite bathroom, and closet of built-ins off the primary bedroom.
Sometimes, it’s the little additions that make all the difference. The shutters, an essential accessory to the Cape Cod-style home, required a great deal of research and an eye for when less is more. Here, they are appropriately sized, so they can cover the whole window when closed — a small detail that adds a charming authenticity to the home’s exterior.
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