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Returning Everyday Comfort to a Historic Home

Volunteer Park Residence Refresh

A top-to-bottom interior remodel of a historic home overdue for an update.

With its generous square footage and proximity to well-known Volunteer Park, this 1905 Seattle home had obvious potential. Unfortunately, its interior had been haphazardly altered over time leaving the spaces awkward and dated.

In recent years, the historic home had served as a small bed and breakfast, and it lacked functional, communal spaces. When the owners came to us, they wanted to prioritize restoring the house to a family home with a top-to-bottom remodel, paying close attention to finding effective ways to make the segmented spaces more cohesive.

At the top of their list was a remodel for the kitchen. Before, the main entry hall ended at a small door leading directly into the kitchen, which had plenty of space but an awkward layout. We took the opportunity to make the kitchen a more connected part of the home by utilizing the end of the hall for a built-in hutch and wet bar. To the left, the kitchen is now accessible through a large, cased opening.

An image of the interior of a 1905 Neoclassical home. The view is from the main entry door and focuses on the entry hall. Features detailed millwork, wood beam ceiling, hardwood floors, and a built-in winebar and cabinetry.
Formal Meets Functional

This formal entry hall also features a custom, built-in butler’s pantry with a wine refrigerator and space to display heirloom tableware. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Formal Meets Functional

This formal entry hall also features a custom, built-in butler’s pantry with a wine refrigerator and space to display heirloom tableware. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

An image of the interior of a 1905 Neoclassical home. Focuses on the built-in wine bar and cabinetry with a partial view into the chef's kitchen.. Features detailed millwork, wood beam ceiling, hardwood floors, semi-flushmount glass light fixtures and globe pendant light fixtures.
Spaces that Make Sense

Homes in traditional styles often feature many distinct, separate spaces instead of open floorplans. Thoughtful design choices, like adding a butler's pantry adjacent to the kitchen, can create cohesion between spaces. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Spaces that Make Sense

Homes in traditional styles often feature many distinct, separate spaces instead of open floorplans. Thoughtful design choices, like adding a butler's pantry adjacent to the kitchen, can create cohesion between spaces. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

This move required a rethink of the kitchen’s footprint. A previous addition adjacent to the kitchen was functioning as a garage and family room. With its natural light and access to the back deck, relocating the kitchen to this space was an easy decision.

The transitional-style kitchen ties together both the original beauty of the historic home and the more modern addition. The highly functional layout with clean lines and spacious countertops is anchored by a wide island at the center. Plentiful cabinets hide away practical necessities, making for a clean and classic impression. Bright white materials and finishes glow under abundant natural light, making this a magnetic space that draws people in and encourages them to linger there together.

Relocating the kitchen had two additional benefits. First, it made it possible to add a comfortable breakfast nook for casual dining — or even overflow during large parties — next to the kitchen and near the formal dining room. Second, the kitchen’s new location already featured access to the backyard via a small deck. Adding French doors connected the new kitchen to the outdoors, allowing for easy al fresco breakfasts and afternoons outside at the grill.

An image of the interior of a 1905 Neoclassical home. Focuses on the spacious chef's kitchen with a blue and white color palette. Features multiple skylights, hardwood floors, a large kitchen island with sink, a double oven and large gas range, globe pendant lights, and brown leather barstools.
Designing with Light

This well-appointed chef’s kitchen benefits from abundant natural light that pours in from skylights and a wall of glass doors. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Designing with Light

This well-appointed chef’s kitchen benefits from abundant natural light that pours in from skylights and a wall of glass doors. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

An image of the interior of a 1905 Neoclassical home. Focuses on the spacious chef's kitchen with a blue and white color palette. Features multiple skylights, hardwood floors, a large kitchen island with sink, a double oven and large gas range, globe pendant lights, and brown leather barstools.
Bright & Blue

The contrast between rich blue and bright white creates an optical anchor below eye-level and makes the overall space feel open and airy.Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Bright & Blue

The contrast between rich blue and bright white creates an optical anchor below eye-level and makes the overall space feel open and airy.Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

An image of the interior of a 1905 Neoclassical home. Focuses on the spacious chef's kitchen as seen from the kitchen island. Features white subway tile backsplash, a pot-filler fixture above the range, a large gas range, globe pendant lights, and brown leather barstools.
Touches of Luxury

Hints of brass and thoughtful conveniences like a filtered-water faucet for drinking water and an articulated pot filler add a subtle sense of luxury in this kitchen. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Touches of Luxury

Hints of brass and thoughtful conveniences like a filtered-water faucet for drinking water and an articulated pot filler add a subtle sense of luxury in this kitchen. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

An image of the interior of a 1905 Neoclassical home. Focuses on the spacious chef's kitchen as seen from the kitchen island. Features an undermount sink with black and brass faucets, marble countertops, stainless steel appliances, frosted glass globe pendant lights, and brown leather barstools. Includes a view of open french doors leading to an outdoor deck.
Indoor-Outdoor Entertaining

French doors connect this kitchen to a spacious deck, allowing easy access for outdoor dining and events. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Indoor-Outdoor Entertaining

French doors connect this kitchen to a spacious deck, allowing easy access for outdoor dining and events. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Another key concern for the owners was the home’s many bathrooms. During its time as a bed and breakfast, each bedroom had been given an ensuite 3/4 bath, bringing the house’s total bathroom count to six. Reverting two of these back to closets improved the livability of the bedrooms on the second floor.

The remaining hall bathroom on the second floor received a cosmetic update in a chic black-and-white color scheme with a spacious, traditional black vanity capped with a glossy natural stone countertop. On the third floor, the guest bathroom was fully remodeled in the same color scheme, visually connecting these support spaces. The new layout includes a carefully crafted custom shower that makes clever use of a tight spot under the sloped ceiling. Hidden storage pairs with the large vanity to ensure guests or residents have everything they may need close at hand.

For the owners’ primary bathroom, a warm gray color palette is accented with high-contrast fixtures. Marble makes a soft statement throughout, most noticeably in the custom spa shower with built-in bench seating, shelving, dual shower heads. Floor-to-ceiling casework takes advantage of the height of the space to provide ample storage for two. Access to a private balcony adds to the spa-like feel.

An image of the interior of a 1905 Neoclassical home. Focuses on a guest bathroom in a traditional style with a white and black color palette. Features a black, double-sink vanity cabinet with white and gray marble countertop, black and white faucets, and two black-framed mirrors. Also includes traditional styled overhead sconces, tiled floors, and a white, subway tiled shower-bath combo.
Classic in Black & White

This black and white bathroom keeps the color palette simple while delivering drama through contrasting textures and patterns. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Classic in Black & White

This black and white bathroom keeps the color palette simple while delivering drama through contrasting textures and patterns. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

An image of the interior of a 1905 Neoclassical home. Focuses on a guest bathroom in a traditional style with a white and black color palette. Features a sloped ceiling with multiple skylights, a white, single-sink vanity cabinet with white and gray marble countertop, and a white-framed mirror. Also includes traditional styled overhead sconce, black elongated hexagon tiled floors, and a white, subway tiled walk-in shower with built-in bench seat and black penny-tile floor.
Small-Space Home Spa

Despite the sloped ceiling, this guest bath feels like a spacious spa with plenty of natural light and a white-on-white aesthetic. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Small-Space Home Spa

Despite the sloped ceiling, this guest bath feels like a spacious spa with plenty of natural light and a white-on-white aesthetic. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

An image of the interior of a 1905 Neoclassical home. Focuses on the primary bathroom in a gray, white, bronze and gold color palette. Features a custom double-sink vanity with floor to ceiling cabinetry and two large, rectangular mirrors. Also includes a fully tiled, walk-in shower with built-in bench seating and glass door. Floors are tiled in a herringbone pattern. Tile are natural stone with rich gray veining.
Natural Elegance

In the primary bath, extensive use of natural stone adds visual interest and luxe texture from floor to ceiling. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Natural Elegance

In the primary bath, extensive use of natural stone adds visual interest and luxe texture from floor to ceiling. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

An image of the interior of a 1905 Neoclassical home. Focuses on the formal living room with a gas fireplace with a traditional mantel and a natural stone tile surround. Includes a crystal half-globe chandelier, modern brass and gold accent pieces including a sunburst mirror. Furnishings include two warm gray winged accent chairs, a heather gray sofa with nailhead details, and a square wooden coffee table. Also includes an open, double pocket door showing a partial view of the dining room.
Design in the Details

Even the smallest details, like the acanthus leaf corbels supporting this fireplace mantel, emphasize the Neoclassical style of the home. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Design in the Details

Even the smallest details, like the acanthus leaf corbels supporting this fireplace mantel, emphasize the Neoclassical style of the home. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

An image of the interior of a 1905 Neoclassical home. Focuses on the formal entry hall with a view of the open front door, leading out to the entry porch. Includes hardwood floors, detailed white millwork and traditional wainscoting, decorative leaded glass clerestory windows above the door, and a wooden beam ceiling.
Statement Entry Hall

Gleaming hardwoods underfoot and richly stained, exposed beams overhead create a first impression of antique elegance. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Statement Entry Hall

Gleaming hardwoods underfoot and richly stained, exposed beams overhead create a first impression of antique elegance. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Several other updates throughout the home helped to breathe new life into each space. On the main floor, parquet flooring was replaced with new, warm hardwood. This subtle update helps the main entry, sitting room, dining room, and kitchen feel connected and contiguous. Traditional millwork and the original pocket doors were repaired, light fixtures were replaced with understated crystal and glass chandeliers, and the living room fireplace was updated with a new gas insert and marble tile surround.

Remodeling such a spacious home can quickly become an overwhelming endeavor. By focusing changes in the highest-impact areas and being selective with smaller interventions elsewhere, this home received a dramatic transformation while maintaining its original identity. It’s easy to understand why this special house has survived the test of time — now, it has even more to offer its inhabitants as a stately home that will welcome generations to come.

An image of the exterior of a 1905 Neoclassical home. Focuses on the approach to the formal, main entry door. Includes a wrought-iron decorative gate, large potted plants, and a view of the main-level entry porch as well as the second-level balcony above. Features architectural elements common to Neoclassical style such as fluted and ornamented columns.
Neoclassical Curb Appeal

The large, formal front porch with its grand columns and craft woodwork beckons visitors in with warm lighting and lush plantings. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Neoclassical Curb Appeal

The large, formal front porch with its grand columns and craft woodwork beckons visitors in with warm lighting and lush plantings. Volunteer Park Residence Refresh | Photo by Baylee Reinert

Notes & Credits
Architecture and Interior Design by Board & Vellum.
This project was built by Woodmark Homes.
Photography by Baylee Reinert.

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