This caterpillar-to-butterfly story started with a 1908 Seattle Foursquare that was heavily remodeled in 1959 - complete with a pipe organ, pleather-covered bar, and shag carpet - that later emerged an elegant French Victorian.
LIVING ROOM & KITCHEN - BEFORE
When purchased, all of its 1959 remodel features remained including avocado shag carpeting and the tiniest of kitchens. The columns were painted steel. In the name of "modernization," its owners had removed all of the home's original 1908 charm.
KITCHEN - AFTER
The first purchase for this project was the Lacanche Cluny stove in Delft Blue, the homeowner's favorite color. Its location supplanted the wet bar and refrigerator (above). The centerpiece of the kitchen is a repurposed French antique commode with a custom cabinet made to match. The island top is a solid piece of seafoam green granite with a set-back ogee edge, featuring the original egg-and-dart pattern. Light fixtures are all refurbished antique fixtures. Surrounding countertops are honed Calacatta marble.
KITCHEN - BEFORE
The original kitchen was both awkward and small, showcasing 1950's textured amber-colored glass, fluorescent lighting, and faux-stone linoleum flooring. Apparently, the only thing its homeowner enjoyed about the old kitchen was peering through the window when hand-washing dishes.
KITCHEN - AFTER
The new kitchen was designed to work in "zones" rather than a standard work triangle. This area -- located in the original kitchen footprint -- became the clean-up zone. That way, the homeowner can still enjoy the view out of the window while washing dishes. The sculptural piece seen on the left above the counter is a hand-carved antique overmantel, with mermaids, that we converted into a plate rack.
LIVING ROOM - BEFORE
Shag carpet, brass, and black marble were the focal points in the original living room.
LIVING ROOM - AFTER
The French-inspired gas fireplace is surrounded by honey onyx tiles. Mahogany inlay follows the outline of the new cabinetry, designed to showcase the homeowner's collection of antiques. Victorian fishbowls are stationed in each corner. Picture rail wraps the entire room for ultimate flexibility in displaying artwork.
This view of the living room is taken from the kitchen island, looking through the dining room. To the right of the fireplace is a whimsical nook for a television, concealed with a museum-quality embroidered vestment cloth. All of the millwork was designed and built for this renovation, including the coffered ceiling and paneled wainscot. The coffered ceiling was painstakingly installed to preserve the 1908 original plaster ceiling, which had survived the 1959 remodel.
ENTRY - BEFORE
Previously, the first thing seen in the entry was a coat closet with bypass hollow-core doors.
ENTRY - AFTER
Now, you are welcomed by a bench with new paneling which matches the 1908 original.
GUEST BATH SINK AREA - BEFORE
The main floor powder room featured faux parquet flooring and cultured marble.
GUEST BATH SINK AREA - AFTER
The original 1908 toilet was re-installed, millwork restored, and a reproduction pedestal sink replaced the 1950's vanity.
GUEST BATHTUB AREA- BEFORE
The original clawfoot tub had been encased with linoleum and and the walls wrapped with a faux tile surround.
GUEST BATHTUB AREA - AFTER
A restored clawfoot tub with reproduction antique faucetry was installed. A basketweave marble mosaic was installed on the floor with a custom base tile in black as a classic white subway tile with chair rail wraps the room.
BASEMENT STAIRS - BEFORE
The basement stair was covered in commercial carpet and led to an area wrapped with black and brown linoleum and faux brick.
BASEMENT STAIRS - AFTER
The basement was renovated with hardwood flooring to match the rest of the house. A leaded glass window was salvaged and used to add light to the stairwell. The homeowner's favorite colors were used for the base trim and stairs.
LAUNDRY ROOM - AFTER
A previously unfinished basement area was transformed into a laundry room. Period light fixtures, an antique ming green cast iron sink, and restoration knobs and pulls were chosen to continue the theme of French Victorian charm.
EXTERIOR - BEFORE (AT TIME OF PURCHASE)
The exterior of the home was covered with pebble-crete and stone veneer at the time it was purchased by its current owners. The original millwork for the windows and doors had been removed, and the exposed rafter tails had been concealed in soffits.
EXTERIOR - AFTER
Although completed before the interior renovation was undertaken, the work that the homeowner had already put into painstakingly restoring the exterior, along with the touch of whimsy (see the mermaid weathervane), set the tone for the interior design.
EXTERIOR - HISTORIC PHOTO
Here you can see the home's original 1908 charm, which the previous owner's 1959 "modernization" had covered.
Whimsical details were incorporated throughout, reflecting the homeowner's unique affinities and humor. Left, a pair of carved Asian dolphins are used as corbels, mixed in with a more classic Victorian version around the corner (center). As an homage to the homeowner's favorite childhood book, a faux mouse house was created in a nook in the kitchen.