O’Leary Kitchen Remodel


Early spring 2012 westerbeck architecture llc got a call from our friends at Newtown Builders in West Seattle who had been asked by past clients to do a small addition and full remodel on the client’s 1912 Craftsman house, but first they needed a complete design package, construction drawings and permits before the work began. At my first visit with the owners I was pleasantly surprised to see that 90% of the original Douglas Fir trim work in the house had never been painted over, but rather respectfully left to darken with age. The house had been loved and the clients requested a contemporary, but historically sensitive, remodel of the kitchen. Although the owners had remodeled the kitchen about 17 years prior, the all white cabinets and detailing didn’t match the rest of the house well. The list of changes also included adding a missing corner onto the kitchen & dining area to make what was an “L”shape into a full and more functional room. Along with a new furnace and improvements to the HVAC ducting, we rounded out the remodel brief with a re-design and re-build of the back deck that would be accessed through new double French doors with sidelites that more gracefully bridge the gap between the house above and the backyard below.

Existing conditions drawings were made in early April and the compressed schematic design process went quickly for the following month. We sprinted over the line by the end of May with construction drawings and permit in hand for an early June construction start. The construction savvy homeowners assisted Newtown on some tasks throughout the project to keep costs down, and the family was using the kitchen again by late October with just a few punch list items remaining. The project was a huge success thanks to the always upbeat owners, unsurpassed quality construction from Newtown Builders, gorgeous cabinetry and casework by Faber Knobbs Fine Woodworking and a fruitful collaboration with interior designer Holland Stephens.

A few key resources for the project: Worthwood flooring, Silestone Colorway counters, Juno pro series undercabinet lights, Liebherr refrigeration, Bluestar custom color gas range, Loewen windows & doors, Schoolhouse Electric Supply pendant lighting, Shaws fireclay farmhouse sink.