Houzz TV: Seattle Family Almost Doubles Its Space Without Adding On

Houzz TV: Seattle Family Almost Doubles Its Space Without Adding On

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Houzz TV: Seattle Family Almost Doubles Its Space Without Adding On

“Warm, modern and family,” is how Lauren Zerbey describes her 1910 home in Whittier Heights, Seattle. A lot has changed since she and her husband, Kyle, both architects, bought and began remodeling the house nine years ago. After strategically upgrading systems and reconfiguring the first floor of the home in the first six years — doing most of the labor themselves — the couple began designing another round of changes after starting both a family and their architecture firm, Studio Zerbey Architects.

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BluePrince Architectural

What a lovely house! It's clear they put a lot of work into it, and it really conveys a sense of their personalities-

'Love those open rafters!

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Alexandra
Love the kitchen!
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jpp221
Cute kids!
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llilibel03zone10bsunset24

Outstanding! It reminds me a little of Venice, Italy, where centuries old homes conceal very crisp and modern interiors. Nice work blending the ages.

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Doris Leslie Blau

Homes should be adapted our lifestyles. I can't agree more. And this home seems to serve every purpose of this lovely family.

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stlounick

Very well done!

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tombly

Craftsman and Mid-Century Modern styles mesh so well together. This house is beautiful

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tooky58

So nice to see a family of four in a smaller home & using the space wisely . Sure it's nice browsing through all of the big homes and dreaming,, but it was refreshing to see a home in a size that I'm sure the majority of us live in.

67 Likes    
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Christina Shoemaker

I love how the home is simple and highly functional with multiple options to change spaces as needed. I can see the remodeled basement filled with giggly teens in your future!

14 Likes    
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deecarlita
The exterior is stunning. I love the paint color.
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Lauri Burrier

Such a great example of living within one's means, beautifully thanks to creativity and a strong vision.

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Chris Nguyen, Analog|Dialog

I never tire of seeing this project — so many fantastic details.

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Ted Crocker

Americans forget that these small houses, often kit houses by Sears and Alladin and the like, were the norm for many families who, at that time, had very little by way of personal belongings. It is only in recent decades where bigger, mostly to accommodate all our accumulated junk, has become the acceptable norm. And while it may be nice to have lots of space, it does little for the environment. Kudos to the Zerbeys for resisting the temptation of today's trappings by keeping it simple. After all, the greenest house, is the original house.

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Shiloh F
Creative and fun house that seems to live much bigger than its size. What a lovely family
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L. B.

I "USE" to live in Washington state in Renton. The entire state is super expensive when it comes to buying a house, so I left in order to get a bigger house, and still not have to pay an astronomical price to buy a home. With this said, I perfectly understand why this couple is living within their means, and they have done a phenomenal job on making their home into a modern masterpiece. I love every bit of it!

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galyoungin

Love love love this house. Only thing I didn't understand were some of the dark walls which make for gloomy living in dark Seattle.

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Lisa M. Rogers

Love the flow and feel, great job!


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bludenz

I would like to have that style where I live. It is just not offered and I don't know why.

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R G
what kind of refrigerator is that? is it a standard size?
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abog
I like what they've done with the place. However I could do without obnoxious and judgmental comments about the sizes of homes that so many people feel compelled to make on these comment boards. While I don't necessarily need or even want one, a 5,000 sq ft home can be just as simple as a 1,200 sq ft home. It is a largely a matter of personal taste and budget. As for environmental impact, save that self-righteous nonsense for political forums.
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hestiavermont

Adorable family - and I am in love with that darling, sweet doggie.

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Christine Larsom
Warm, inviting, modernized, functional. Great family home.
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russianbaroness

Happy, happy home. Light, air & love.....very cool!

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Desirae Felix
What kind of flooring is that?
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tootsie007

Clever, creative, cute and contrary to McMansions. Don't you just love architects like these?

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hotzim

Isn't it interesting that this rather stark Scandanavian look is popular in a climate known for cloudy cool weather whereas in the south the look is much plusher and warmer?? Wouldn't it make more sense the other way around??

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maddoux

I would like more info on what color of paint and the store where you bought it.

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cluedin

Climbing up a ladder to your workspace? I don't think so. Nice house otherwise.

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Leia Arteaga

That house lost all it's original charm. If you want to have a modern house, just build one. Don't take the opportunity away from someone who loves historic and quaint homes to have an original home.

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Joan O'Brien

I lived in the Seattle area for more than thirty years, and remember many houses like this. Sometimes, real estate agents even call them 'Craftsman', but they are really small houses that were built for working class families, as someone else mentioned... They are difficult to fix up, since they are built on 25 ft lots in many cases, and the configuration of the space is awkward for our modern living. These architects have done a very good job making it livable and comfortable. Leave it to an architect if you are fixing up a house like this.

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onelife2live

Lauren & Kyle, congratulations! You've done a fantastic job and your home looks fabulous. Curious, if you have before and after pictures. Also, how long did it take you to complete the work.


Thanks in advance!

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Angie Schuster

The dowel-legged chair in the kitchen is terribly unsafe - I can't imagine anyone not tripping over the bottom feet since they stick out so far in the walkway! Love the color of the exterior and the exposed wood beams.

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kgbrn

Your home has a new, individual charm that reflects who you all are. As a fellow Seattleite who needed a bigger home for kids and had the skill to do a lot of the work ourselves, I totally understand the choice to remodel/add on. We couldn't have bought what we have now for the cost of the property and remodel in a "better" location, nor would we have gotten exactly what we wanted. Your home looks friendly, cozy and very "NW."

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janabanana

Your home is beautiful. Please describe the tall cabinet next to the fridge. Also, nice to see the sleek, narrow fridge. No need for one of those giant double fridges when living in a big city with easy access to food.

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Tiffany Weeks
I remember seeing the nursery in another article and loving it, so fun to see the rest of those! We're a family of four with a home business and living in a 1904 house with 1800 sq ft. I loved seeing the differences and similarities in how space is used!
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piecefuldays

Very nice and workable for them. I would trip over that high chair every trip past it, though! :)

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capeanner

No photos of the master bedroom or two bathrooms?? I did follow the links though and got a glimpse of the master bedroom. Very tight space with 3 curtains hanging to block the contents of the closet. Being totally non-handy it might be something I would have to do, but should think these clever and talented folks could have come up with a stylish solution.. maybe a 3 panel shoji type sliding arrangement. Perhaps in semi transparent Lucite which may be what they have on the room door (?) Having to deal with curtains would be an irritant to me.

Tried to make sense of the bathroom photo link. Is there a curtain between the sink and the toilet? Really would have liked to see what arrangement they concocted for the 2 bathrooms. Are they both on the main level?

Glad to see a window in the children's bedroom. Isn't it nearly impossible to do much in the kitchen or living room area without the children waking with loosely hanging doors? Obviously a practical space saving solution, but is it a practical solution living wise? Do the parents have to retreat to other areas when the children are sleeping?

The plans for the outbuilding look intriguing.

Re the lost charm comment above, aluminum siding, a dark interior and sitting vacant for a year don't sound very charming to me. The exterior has been tastefully improved. See no reason why they shouldn't modernize the interior if it suits them. "Just building" a new home in Seattle is probably a costly endeavor.

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nyoung10

Love the exterior paint color! Can you please let us know what color it is? The door too!

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rosemarynadeau

What is the floor surface in the kitchen? Is it terrazzo? And your sleek kitchen cabinets are from IKEA? Nice!


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dvcottage

This story should inspire people to think creatively about a small space, especially those with a growing family. Good job...

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Sheri Putnam-Cline

I have to agree with Cluedin, I don't think that attic ladder is to code for actual daily living. It's okay for unlivable attic space. I've seen people do this with remodels and it's how they keep their property taxes down by keeping down the actual living space sq. ft. Only thing is when you go to list it for sale it catches up with the homeowner. People have the ability to go to country records and check-out the original livable sq. footage and what your getting taxed on and it makes it more difficult to get Banks to finance it for the future homeowner.

   
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artsllc

I love the clear and well designed use of space in this creative remodel.

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Susan Strickland

Besides the cute house, what a sweet family.


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dsnguru1

Sorry Leia, I can't agree with you. This is a house that many people couldn't see past the original layout and condition. It's truly amazing that this couple could give new life to a derelict house and make it work for them. I think most people would have called this a tear down.

kudos to the homeowners!

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cranch01

Agreed!

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Lydia Veracruz
it's a Beautiful place, It's an intelligent design and idea
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lolaalege33

I absolutely love it. The result of their painstaking mutual effort over the years is beautiful.

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cdve

What a beautiful remodel. I think the simple lines of the clap board exterior lends itself to a modern interior. Both are very simple in style and have a certain Scandinavian look to it. Reminds me of Swedish summer houses.

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Anna Maldonado
I love this! breezy and warm, modern and classic all at once. Beautiful!
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Howells Architecture + Design

Beautifully done. From one architect living in a 1000 square foot house to another!

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Studio Zerbey Architecture + Design

Thanks to everyone for the kind and supportive comments. When we purchased the house there were 6 other bidders who were all developers looking to tear it down and build the largest house possible for the lot. The house had already been “re-muddled” at least once. The only character worth saving was the exterior which we painstakingly restored. On the interior, the only thing worth saving were the original wood ceiling joists in the living room.

@janabanana The tall cabinet next to the fridge is a pull-out pantry

@capeanner you could see some more photos of the bedrooms and bathroom on our blog or our architecture firm’s website. We also have some photos on our houzz profile page. We actually have 3 bedrooms and 2 baths plus the loft. The second bathroom is wrapping up construction, we hopeJ

1 bedroom and 1 bathroom are in the basement along with a laundry room that we are finishing out as well.

The barn doors have track guides built into the bottom so they don’t wiggle around. We installed an acoustical seal between the nursery barn doors where they meet up which did the trick.

@nyoung10 Exterior paint color is “soot” by Benjamin Moore

@rosemarynadeau Kitchen floor is through body colored cork. You can read more about this by searching for “cork” on our blog if need all the nitty gritty details.

@Sheri Putnam-Cline The loft ladder is legal in Washington state as we have a code amendment that allows ladders to spaces less than 200sf that do not contain a primary bathroom or kitchen. I don’t know any other jurisdiction where this is allowed:)

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jrt3

Fantastic home that makes great use of minimal space. Big props to keeping the TV and stereo in the pics instead of hiding in the closet for the shoot.

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capeanner

Thanks for cluing me in to look on your houzz profile page. I'm not up on all that houzz offers. Those pix really give a much better feel for your home. I'm very impressed by people who can do more with less and you have certainly done that. The low deck's access to the ground is also a nice feature. Got a kick out of Baileys prone position in most of the shots. Obviously he's happy there. Also was interested in seeing the before pix. There is no doubt the house has been vastly improved. Still curious why you chose not to have something other than curtains to close off the master closet.

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Studio Zerbey Architecture + Design

@capeanner thanks! Lots of before pics on our website and blog http://chezerbey.com/tour/

On the closet curtains, we debated making some custom panels and we might at some point, but the curtains work really well for us right now. thanks for the comments

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cdve

@ Zerbey Architecture,

Looking at the pictures on your Houzz profile I am even more impressed with your project. The attention to small details and the use of affordable (eg Ikea :-) items is very well done. Every time I look at the pictures I see something else I like.

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pattimeh

Great post! I bought a 972 sq. ft. small house which was built in 1946. I have been remodeling it for three years. Everyone told me to tear it down because it had no character and would probably be cheaper to rebuild. It will probably take me 10 years to get it where I want it since time/ money are not abundant. BUT the change, already, is amazing and I'm having a ball redoing it and love having the time to think about where it's going!

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Studio Zerbey Architecture + Design

@baharw Well we've stretched it out over many years working nights and weekends but most of the main floor remodel took place in 1 year


@RG The refrigerator is a Liebherr 30" wide x24" counter depth so it doesn't stick out into the room

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Sandra Mullikin

I knew I was going to like this house just from the outside photo. Love the girls space. Well done.

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Eve Millington

Congratulations! What a lovely, warm and functional home you have created. I'm a big fan of creating smart compact spaces for living. Wishing you many years of enjoyment.


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jackiepr

This is so gorgeous and beautifully thought out. Congratulations to two very talented people. In reply to Sheri Putnam-Cline's comment regarding code... If it isn't considered livable space by the owner the ladder is okay, just like attic storage space. By creating the loft and calling it storage, the building department cannot disagree with it. Assuming the owners furnished it after final inspection who would know? Once finalized by the building inspector they have no cause to enter the property again. Pricing a property doesn't really 'catch' up with you. For instance basements are generally not considered livable space/square footage. So one that has been beautifully finished off, a buyer would expect to pay a little more regardless. The key is disclosure when selling your property. Whether it is to code or not to code and is not considered actual living space then it is up to the buyer... The banks, I agree, will only loan on legal square footage. Serious and willing buyers can come up with the additional cash difference to what the bank will loan. Happens all the time and is no big deal. I think your ladder concern is a bit over kill really. Enjoy their beautiful creation as it is. They have made a perfect family home and something they should well be proud of.

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Ellesse Bee

Is it safe to use exterior paint on interior items? I heard there are chemicals in exterior paint that off gas toxic fumes and should only be used outside.

   
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kimjemmott

Your home looks really welcoming, lots of curb appeal. Wonderful use of space and some ideas for my own extension. You did a nice job of adding space without an addition.

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Prescott Window and Door

Flat out inspired! Some of the Tiny House plans could learn from this home. Big window in the kitchen was a hit with me. You get to enjoy that gorgeous yard inside and out.

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hhenkind

What a fabulous space. The colors are great and, even though small, nothing seems out of place. Is that for real or just for the video? We have so much clutter in our house with three kids. I would love to throw everything out and start again and have my house look like this one!

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Teresita Humilde

Well planned and well executed. I like the modern simple sophisticated architectural design and smart use of space; I especially like the big wide kitchen window. Just lovely overall!

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nickodemus

Where is the parents' bedroom?

   
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ybxhctq

Awesome job!!! Kudos for saving it and making it your own!!!

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Birdie Miller Designs

Super great journey using your skills and imagination. Congratulations. This is a must for for anyone (young or old) looking for the possibilities other than the "run of the mill" (low) standards of craetivity!!!! Bravo to you two.

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draughting studio, llc

A very nice solution in space management.

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Nida Yusuf

i love your house i live in silicon valley ca my house is 100yrs old very small and tiny its 950 square feet the negative part my house ceiling is also very low 7 foot ceiling height only in my whole house its 3 bedroom open concept kitchen and living room i want go also a white bright color for my living room and kitchen but when it time pick a color i am sure at all how much white i know bright bright but i really need help and i wanna go for modern but the problem is its almost 2 years i buy this house but we don't have more money to remodel even i want to change the outside color go for the color in your home but i don't know its look good or not any suggestions i really appreciated

   
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Virleen Carlson

I've been following the Zerbey's blog since the very early days when the first bath and roof were completed. We own a 1911 home also purchased in 2006. Now, I'm referencing the children's space as our first grandchild is soon on the scene. Babies don't need so much "stuff," witnessed here, but they do like to be where Mom and Dad are. Love this family.

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pmash

Thank you for sharing, this is a wonderful home!


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tensace

Wow! So many great decisions. Ikea would be impressed. And it puts HGTV's Tiny House to shame.

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btlantz
Kudos to these architects for taking a small gem of a house and saving it. Beautiful job! Housing costs in Seattle are insane and too often these cute Crafstmen style homes are ripped out and uber-modern monstrosities are built. Just go to Ballard to see this "gentrification" in action. Ballard is rapidly losing it's character. In general, the long time residents hate it! Yes, these original homes often need lots of work, especially electrical and plumbing, but they are historic gems and deserve saving. Not to mention that it is more environmentally friendly. I wholly applaud what these folks have done. Bravo!
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Dawn Kaestner

They did a nice job for their preferred style but I am sad to see such an old home look so modern inside:(

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Suzanne Grose

Bravo! It's beautiful, intelligent, universally appealing and above all has a happy vibe. I love it !

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bizeebees

love the use of the space, and the personal and artistic touches, also love the windows, being able to see through the ladder and the lighting.....thanks for the inspiration

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Barb NeCastro
Absolutely fabulous!!!! What very talented architects! Any architect can create a big masterpiece! The exceptional ones can create a small masterpiece that seems big! Great job and inspiration!
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Zami r

Congratulations! What a lovely, warm and functional home you have created

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lake2ocean

Very creative and livable. Well done!

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tootsie007

I've seen this house before in a magazine maybe. I'd love to see more photos but I don't like a video. It takes much longer to look at a video than to scroll through still photos. And the music is annoying. Please don't do this again. I have only so much time to look at these kinds of things.

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Jami Jenkins
Very well done!
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leamannion

A wonderful job of utilizing space to its finest and creating a wonderfully livable home for a family.

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judyrud

Re: Interior Curtains. As someone who pretty much designed and built my house (with an architect's input and lots of help from family), I am very happy with my interior curtains. I have four, all made from white semi-sheer fabric: One covers the entry to the laundry room, which is right off the main entry, one covers the entry coat closet, and two in the bathroom cover the hot water heater and cold water pressure tank with shelves above (I'm on a well and wanted my plumbing to be as centralized as possible). With a centralized heat pump/forced air system, I love that spaces aren't closed off completely; also, the curtains can let natural light through. There are no loud doors taking up space or getting in the road. Originally I planned to have sliding doors enclosing the large closet in my bedroom, but found I'm perfectly happy with nothing hiding my clothes at all. It's all personal taste, but I'll always choose practicality and a cozy homey feel over "House Beautiful" decor any day.




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smitharanga
Its whole lot beautiful.
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smitharanga
You guys inspired me to renovate my newly bought house.
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gracetedja

Love the whole house, especially the home office at the attic. So cozy and secluded, you could get a lot of things done.


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sailboatme

Beautiful home!! Can you tell me who manufactures the hardware for all your barn doors...

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Allison .
Saving all these photos for my own future remodeling.
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marialbrasil

Very nicely done throughout.

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rswsf

Question for the home owners, where did you purchase the Barn Door and Railing for the kids and bath?

   
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Alicia Mintun

Brilliant!


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Lauren Getchell

I like that the barn doors are tight against the wall so you have complete privacy. That was the one concern I had.. How did you manage that. Are the doors custom made for your home?

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Diane Thain

Ingenious use of space !

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Studio Zerbey Architecture + Design

@Igg7 - the doors are slightly offset from the wall so they can clear the base trim.

@rswsf and @sailboatme - here is specific info from our blog on the doors:

INTERIOR BARN DOORS: Paint grade doors (Frank Lumber Door Store) painted with Benjamin Moore zero-VOC Natura paint in “Thunderbird” and “Lakeside Cabin”
INTERIOR BARN DOOR HARDWARE: Henderson by Pemko (Builder’s Hardware) painted gray with an automotive primer
INTERIOR BARN DOOR HANDLES: Linnea Flush Pulls (linnea-home.com)

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Studio Zerbey Architecture + Design

@nickodemus - the master bedroom is between the bathroom and top of the basement stairs.

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Kath

Brilliant! This couple of architects have style and class annd to state the obvious talent times two! What school did you go to?

The use of your space is point on. Congratulations on a job well done.

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Kath

These two architects have style, class and talent times two. Very impressive job. Congratulations to you both. Love your work.

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Monica Hershey

This home offers form and function - very impressive design and use of space! These architects are very talented.

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moniquewilliamson

When I first glanced at the exterior of the house I guessed that it was in Seattle (where I was born and raised but I'm now in the South). I applaud you for maintaining the exterior look, using the space wiser (rather than adding on) and adding lots of windows to combat those dreary Seattle days. Lovely!

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zandile cele

that is very creative I like it, its neat and spacious

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Emily H

Love the art piece in the kids' room. So great!

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nwrabbit

Every inch of your home seems so thoughtfully designed. I LOVE it! Btw, can you tell me about your kitchen vent? I'm looking to replace my microwave/vent with a quiet vent hood that's also effective in removing food odors, and I really like the look of your kitchen hood. Thank you.

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Studio Zerbey Architecture + Design

@nwrabbit the range hood is by Vent-a-hood and we like it

   
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nwrabbit

Thank you!


   
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mjmdesign

Thank you for sharing your beautiful and creative renovation and your inspiring lifestyle! What a blessed family and skilled architects you are.

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luanna4

I love that you really put a lot of thought into this project. I get so tired of seeing the McMansions that have popped up everywhere over the years, when you have clearly shown how you can, attractively and functionally, use every square inch of space in a smaller footprint. To me, this is a really "green" project---keeping living space to a minimum. I wish more people would consider this before building the monstrosities that they do that are so "in your face" size-wise. Thank you for sharing sharing your story and your home!

   
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Phyllis Braden
I want to just see different kitchens with beautiful cabinets tks
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amrita ray parida
£~=
   
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Brittany Arnold
This is amazing- loved hearing your story!
   
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Heather Bee
awesome idea for our loft and activities space
   
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ourhousethen
I am in awe. Just amazingggg
   
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tera2001
Love what y'all have done to your house! I remember seeing it when I came to visit Caitlin probably 8 years ago!
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2323957155
Nice
   
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jstoltz96
I love ❤️ it.So sweet
   
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Natasha Shine-Zirkel
Love it!
   
From design services to cabinetry selections and floor coverings to everything in between, our impressive... Read More