Puzzle-Perfect Remodel

Great design means fit and finish, not square footage. Get ideas on how to win consumers in the West - and the rest - with these elegant elevations and intricate interiors.

September 30, 2004


The Little Things That Count
See the Winners
Blending the Old and the New
All Kitchens Great and Small
Going Beyond Big
A Simple Spa
Climbing Addition
Commercial Success
Additional Winners
A second-story addition and exterior makeover turn an ordinary ranch house (below) into a Northwest Craftsman cottage. Photos: Greg Krogstad.
Dormers give the home aesthetic symmetry and separate bedroom spaces. Located over the garage, the master bedroom features a walkout balcony to the side of the home.

Remodeler: Stone Pillar Remodeling Inc., Redmond, Wash.

Architect: Nelson Architecture, Medina, Wash.

Good projects effectively work around setbacks. Great projects turn setbacks into entirely new opportunities that give the homeowner what they asked for and then some. Case in point: on this house, the clients' initial request for a garage addition morphed into a whole-house remodel when permit restrictions would not allow the addition.

Despite the home being on a small, abnormally shaped lot in a height-restricted zone, it still increased in size from 1,800 square feet to more than 3,400 square feet (4,059 square feet if you count the garage), all without altering the footprint of the home. Instead, the existing family room became a garage. A second-story addition became the family room. The mud room became a butler's pantry. The master bedroom now occupies the space over the garage.

The satisfaction in shifting the puzzle pieces is fully realized when the picture is complete. This home stands as a strong Northwest Craftsman cottage inside and out. The essence of the accomplishment lies in the home's character - its varied roof pitches or the dormers that not only give the home aesthetic symmetry but also serve functionally to enlarge and separate bedroom space.

The exterior's cedar shingles give way to a warm, lodge-like interior, its centerpiece the wrought iron balcony over the kitchen. The balcony's cherry handrail is framed to echo the curvature of the island just below. Coupled with the vaulted ceilings throughout, these touches do more than open up the space; they work together to create memorable spaces.

"This project confirmed the one constant in every remodeling project: The certainty that you will encounter at least one thing that was both unexpected and not included in the budget," says Patty Gordon, Stone Pillar's co-owner. "The result is a testament to the benefits of maintaining your humor and meeting unexpected challenges with creativity. With a great design and a crew that was willing and able to meet each challenge with a creative solution, the remodel exceeded our expectations."


Doors: Pella, Simpson. Lighting: Hubberton Forge, Juno, Lightolier. Roofing: Elk. Windows: Pella.

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