Room for Everyone

A tiny, outdated kitchen gets a big makeover, perfect for entertaining

Story by Schraepfer Harvey
Photography by Sam Van Fleet Photography

The Challenge

Worn vinyl flooring, a tiny double sink, outmoded cupboards and small counters made this West Seattle kitchen too small for two, according to design-build remodeler Donna Shirey of Shirey Contracting, Inc. With the fridge around the corner from the kitchen, by the back door, “you could either use the door or use the fridge, not both,” says homeowner Jessica Scheibach. It was a one-function-at-a-time kitchen. “They needed more counters,” Shirey says. “They needed more room.”

The Solution

To open up the kitchen, Shirey moved a set of basement stairs and tore down walls. She replaced one wall with a custom glass-and-steel bar next to a new Wolf gas range and modern ventilation hood. A stainless steel sink and counters reflect overhead and under-cabinet lighting. New cabinets hang about a foot below the plaster ceiling, which was raised to make the kitchen appear larger. Recycled, eco-friendly 3form panels, the sliding doors of new decorative and storage shelving, enliven the kitchen with fresh colors. Hardwood replaced vinyl for floors that now match neighboring rooms and make the kitchen feel like part of the house. The new kitchen is “great for entertaining,” Scheibach says. “Friends can hang out in the living room and be a part of the kitchen activities.”

Design Details

Shirey Contracting Inc.
(425) 427-1300

Then and Later

A dining room featured in SH&L in October of 2002 gets a playful update for 2006.

Story by Emily Wermel
Photo courtesy of JAS Design Build


On the cover of the October 2002 issue of Seattle Homes & Lifestyles, David Updike and Michael Nelson’s Capitol Hill dining room featured chartreuse walls, an ornate Venetian chandelier and a painting by Northwest artist Alden Mason. Contemporary art, formal furniture and antique accents set a formal tone. But as the years—and style—progressed, it was time for an update.


The homeowners updated the space by keeping favorite elements such as the chandelier and adding playful new ones. A banquette provided additional seating for frequent dinner guests and “allowed us to lounge around,” Michael says. A wool rug softens the stone floor, while a custom four-color laminate table mounted on wheels can easily be rolled onto the deck for alfresco dining. Walls were repainted powder blue. “We had seen a lot of blue and brown and really liked that combination,” Michael explains.

How they did it:

  • Light blue paint sets a cool, modern tone.
  • Offering dining and lounge seating, the banquette is comfortably upholstered and accented with throw pillows.
  • A custom wool rug adds texture and warmth to the modern d»cor and defines the center of the room.
  • A square table mounted on wheels expands the color palette and provides versatility for entertaining.

Design details

JAS Design Build
(206) 547-6242

Small Space, Big Punch

A cramped bathroom’s calculated makeover adds extra space and style.

Story by Jacqueline Jensen Ryan 
After photographs by Perspective Image


With the owners’ wish list including more storage, a shower stall and a tub for relaxing with a magazine and a glass of wine—all with a contemporary European look—“Every inch counted,” says interior designer Holly Van Biene. Getting the owners all they wanted while retaining comfort and function would be difficult, given less than 57 square feet of space, a sloped ceiling and an original 1930s window and toilet stack that could not be changed.


Van Biene created more storage with a custom vanity. She had studs in the wall turned on their sides so a standard tub would fit. The vanity and the tub deck were notched to maintain walking space and form a design element. The pivotal element, Van Biene says, is a glass, hinged half-door that rests over the tub deck when bathing but swings into the middle of the tub to create an enclosed stall for showering. A curtain or a regular shower door would have broken the room’s open feeling.

Notches in the vanity and tub deck serve as both aesthetic design elements and spacemakers.

The glass, hinged half-door creates an enclosed shower stall and an open-feeling tub.

The floral-patterned window shade adds a youthful feel and hides the original window.

Turning wall studs on their sides made room for a larger tub.

The mirror’s top edge was kept low to avoid bringing attention to the sloped ceiling.

Design Details

Interior Designer  Holly Van Biene, Van Biene Interiors, LLC, (425) 646-9009
Contractor   Tim Buell, Finely Finished Construction, (425) 444-8000
Custom Cabinetry  Jake Jacobson, Jacobson Design, (206) 431-5386

Kitchen Haiku

This redesigned poetic kitchen makes us feel positively Zen-like.

Story by Jacqueline Jensen Ryan 
After photographs by
Brian Francis


True to its 1970s split-level styling, this tiny 200-square-foot kitchen was walled off from the dining and living areas, leaving all three areas pinched and aesthetically unfulfilled. Designer Rick Baye says his client, Dave Anderson, wanted a beautiful light-filled kitchen in its place, with all appliances sight-unseen. Fortunately, Anderson found exactly what he wanted in Baye’s own kitchen—so he asked for a carbon copy.


Flattered, Baye adapted his own construction drawings to Anderson’s needs, reproportioning and resizing everything. Baye “cleaned up” the kitchen by hiding the refrigerator, freezers, oven, microwave and pantry behind a full wall of cabinet doors. Lost counter space was regained on an island that replaced the two interior walls. (Anderson did the demolition himself, bringing in friends to tear out the walls.) The key to the kitchen’s beauty is clean lines, consistency of volumes and large proportions. “People need to look at what they’re using and how they use it every day—
[then] edit it down to the very basics,” Baye
advises. “If I had to do it all over again,
would do exactly the same thing,” says
his satisfied client.

Design Details

Interior Designer: Rick Baye, Rick Baye Design, (206) 721-7981

Eco Savvy

This Seward Park resident was always environmentally aware, but his remodel took “eco” to the max

Story by Kathryn Renner
Photo courtesy Brian Francis

Midlife crisis or renaissance? Michael Huffman isn’t sure what led him to take time off and travel around the world, but when he returned, he found himself totally—and unexpectedly—committed to simple, green living.

Perhaps it was his short stay in a bare and basic Thai hut that rang the resounding bell. Or visiting a neighborhood in Copenhagen built on a former dumpsite, now restored with windmill energy and recaptured water. Or maybe hiking through an Australian rain forest, where he met a fellow building a 100 percent sustainable house.

“Throughout my career, I’ve been encouraging corporations to be economically as well as environmentally effective,” says the part-time financial audit consultant. “Some listen and some don’t, and now I wanted to do more—do something bigger than me.”

That something was launching Just Green, a new showroom at Seattle Design Center that represents new home materials—byproducts of scrap and surplus from all over the world.

While Huffman thinks globally to find innovative, green products, he acted locally when he remodeled the kitchen in his Seward Park home. It was the time to push the green envelope, he decided. With the help of his partner, Kyle Smoot, he demolished the original dark, cramped space and hauled old cabinets and drywall to a King County recycling station. He salvaged only one piece of varnished pine, previously a bar counter, to cut and use as shelves for living-room stereo speakers.

But recycling wasn’t enough. Huffman also curbed what he considered to be avoidable consumption. Rather than push out walls to add light and square footage, he worked within the kitchen’s slight 10-foot-by-15-foot footprint. Even the major hurdle of refitting old in-floor ductwork for the new Thermador gas stove did not deter him.

Huffman’s environmental choices on everything but the kitchen sink paid off. (“The sink came from Home Depot; at the time, I couldn’t find a recycled one the right size,” he says.) The space is hip, stylish, easily workable. And its cost to the planet? Minimal.

For the full text of this article, see the June 2007 issue of Seattle Homes & Lifestyles, on newsstands now.

Family Friendly

0707_home_indexLike the shingle-style architecture of the home, this award-winning kitchen is workable, beautiful and blends into its environment

Written by Lindsey Rowe
Photographs by Michael Jensen

Wallingford-based J.A.S. Design-Build specializes in merging the functional and the aesthetically pleasing, and it’s this specialty that the judges recognized when they chose one of the company’s designs as the winner of Seattle Homes & Lifestyles’ first annual Kitchen of the Year contest.

The talents of designers Kim Clements, her husband, Joe Schneider, and their team of craftsmen took a kitchen in a 1907 shingle-style house—last remodeled in a high-end early-1980s décor with gray walls, pink granite counter tops and highly polished finishes—and turned it into a room that seamlessly integrates traditional and modern styles as well as the personality of the family that lives in it.

  • Locally reclaimed Madrona wood from Urban Hardwoods tops the kitchen island and adds a touch of Northwest warmth and texture.
  • Instead of 3-by-6-inch white subway tiles, Clements chose hand-cut, hand-glazed, platinum-colored 4-by-6-inch tiles.
  • D-pulls, from Rejuventation, on drawer mimic the original pulls on the windows. Cupboard latches, also from Rejuvenation, on large cabinets add a subtle touch of class.
  • Hiding a Viking microwave drawer in the island frees up counter space and gives the kids easy access for making popcorn.
  • Clements placed the custom cabinets and kitchen windows at different heights for variety.
  • A Sub-Zero refrigerator marks the division between the kitchen and an adjacent office area.
  • The color of the C2 paint on the walls is called Kazoo, available at Daly’s Home Decorating Center.
  • The Viking range, rangehood and oven were purchased at Albert Lee Appliance in Seattle.
  • Clements chose soapstone for the counter tops because the soft material takes a lot of hits. “The more hits it takes, the better it looks,” she says. J.A.S. carved a drainboard into the stone next to the sink for easy dish drying.
  • Hand-made brackets under the cabinets echo brackets in the entertaining room in another corner of the house.
Cleaning House

Two empty-nesters remake their small, midcentury Bellevue house into a colorful, fun and efficient next-stage home.

Written by Allison Lind
Photograph by Alex Hayden

The Challenge:

Nick and Katherine Stojkovic have given a whole new meaning to the term “empty nesters.” After the couple’s son fled their 3,800-square-foot coop in Edmonds, the Stojkovics opted to downsize to a 1,200-square-foot ’50s-style rambler in Bellevue. They completely gutted and remodeled the house and in the process decided to ditch nearly all their belongings and start anew—with a truly empty nest.

Starting with a blank slate gave the Stojkovics room for creativity, but the limited space left little room for design error. The result is a streamlined, vibrant decor with an open, airy floor plan that feels larger than its square-footage.

The entryway leads into an open space that encompasses the living room, dining area and kitchen. But the eye is immediately drawn past the room to the backyard. Lush with unexpected and easy-to-maintain plantings (such as bamboo, shark ferns and palms), a unique water feature (originally sketched by Nick on a restaurant napkin), and entertaining spaces (including a cabana), the yard was designed so that even on the rainiest of days, “it wouldn’t feel so dreary, so Northwest,” Nick says. To best utilize their limited space, the Stojkovics installed glass sliders that span the length of the house, creating the illusion that outside and inside are one. “When we open those sliders in the summer, that’s our living room out there,” Katherine says.

When it came to the kitchen, the couple opted for openness over extra cabinets. Bright, funky finds float on display shelves above the airy island, dramatically set off against the strikingly subdued iridescent tile backsplash of silver, brown, black and bronze, with hints of purple and blue. “We wanted that to be a piece of artwork, so we chose tile to specifically capture the eye,” Nick says.

This once self-professed “beige-and-gray” couple continued the colorful theme throughout their new home. In the living room, a rich, mink-colored couch splashed with turquoise and “orangeade” provides ample seating, and a comfy, vibrant-orange chair serves as a functional piece of art in the corner. (Though it’s a 10-year-old style from Kasala, the chair has maintained its retro appeal.)

Light wood flooring prevents the small floor plan from feeling stagnant, and rich, dark furnishings and vivid colors punctuate each room and creating synergy in the design. More unique but well-executed design aspects are found in the bedroom, where walnut doors are matted on adjacent walls. In the side bathroom, the floor and walls are covered in round, iridescent-turquoise glass tiles.

“Everything at our previous home was too high maintenance,” Katherine says. “It’s all about quality of life now.”

But—as evidenced by the vibrant décor—it’s also about fun.

“It was a change of lifestyle for us, so we needed to shake things up,” Nick says. “We definitely don’t like to do things normally.”

Allison Lind is the assistant editor for Seattle Homes & Lifestyles magazine.

Wine by Design

0506_winebydesignCustom wine cellars add elegance and sophistication to any home

Story by Tara N. Wilfong
Photography by William Wright

In the past, homeowners seeking the newest trends in home design opted for luxury additions such as whirlpool tubs, granite countertops and home theaters. Today, the newest rage among savvy buyers is custom wine cellars. “There have always been avid collectors of wine, but in the past, they have stored their collections in dark, dungeon-like spaces,” says Daniel Wible, principle of En-Lightened. “Today, homeowners are paying more attention to the presentation of their collections while adding a bit of prestige to their investment.”

Whether installing a wine cellar in a new home, or adding one to an older home, you should consider several factors before embarking on the project. Make a list of questions for your architect or builder, and make sure to include the following:

What type/style of cellar should I install?
With styles running the gamut, homeowners can choose rustic, Old World, Baroque, European or even funky, modern looks for a signature cellar. Tod Ban, owner of Home Street Builders Inc. says it’s important to have a theme, however. “Every client truly has their own style that they want to carry into their wine cellar,” he says. “It usually goes along with a hobby or collection they already have in their life.”

Where should I install it?
While any room in the house can accommodate a wine cellar (even a small closet), the ideal location is the basement, because it is the coolest space in the house.

How extensive should it be?
The size of the wine cellar is usually based on the size of the owner’s wine collection. For a few bottles, a wine rack under a cabinet is sufficient, but for collections of several hundred to several thousand bottles, larger cellars are a must.

How much space should I allocate?
Average wine cellars usually range from 4-by-5-foot spaces to 10-by-10-foot rooms. On the other hand, a cavernous cellar, replete with a tasting room, can take up an entire floor and sprawl for several thousand square feet.

What type of racks should I use?
Racking systems come in a variety of styles and are typically made of various woods, such as redwood, mahogany or oak. Because the racks hold a precious commodity, it’s imperative to consider the wood’s finish. “We always leave our woods in their natural state,” says Neil Thomas, branch manager of Apex Sauna & Wine Cellars. “There are no stains or sealers on the wood so there is nothing that can possibly contaminate the wine through the cork.”

Do I want a tasting room?
Tasting rooms are a popular complement to wine cellars, and some homeowners opt to install them inside their cellars. Keith Knupp, president and owner of Wine Designs, Inc., recommends separating the two rooms, however: “Since you are supposed to drink red wine at room temperature, I suggest making the tasting room a separate entity outside the wine cellar.”

What about a budget?
Like most areas of design, price depends on several factors, including the cellar size, type of racking, materials and installation. An average wine cellar can cost $5,000-$7,000 before refrigeration costs, while high-end cellars can cost $40,000-$50,000 or more. As part of the budgeting process, most designers and installers will provide home consultations with detailed drawings at no extra cost.

How should I regulate the temperature of the wine?
Wine must remain at a constant temperature of 55 to 60 degrees to properly age. To ensure a constant temperature, a dedicated temperature-control system, typically a refrigeration system must be installed. Masonry work inside the cellar also helps to maintain the temperature, as does an exterior-grade door with an airtight seal.

What type of lighting should I install?
Because conventional lighting emits an enormous amount of heat, Wible suggests using LED or fiber optic lighting. Both emit minimal heat, are extremely efficient and pose no danger of fire.

A Shore Thing

This Mercer Island waterfront home melds contemporary style with a perfect location

Story by Heather J. Paper
Photography by Michael Jensen

No real estate clichés here — location is everything, and this Mercer Island residence proves it. A stunning view of Lake Washington wasn’t enough for these homeowners; they knew they could settle for nothing less than a home so close to the water they could touch it.

Their interior designer, Betty Blount, first worked with the couple about 10 years ago on another house. It was then that they expressed their dream of finding a waterfront home. “When we find that, we will call you,” they promised Blount.

Ultimately, they found the perfect location and, as promised, called Blount, who helped find the one missing puzzle piece: architect Regan McClellan, with whom Blount shares office space. The couple’s last home was quite traditional, and this time they wanted something different. Blount recommended McClellan, knowing that he had a bent for contemporary design — and that she and the Harvard-trained architect made a good team.

“Right away, the location really got me excited,” McClellan admits. He knew a contemporary residence would be a perfect fit. “Contemporary design gives you so much more freedom; it allows you to respond to all sorts of needs and situations. I really appreciate the fluidity.”

For the full story and more photos of this waterfront home, see the August issue of Seattle Homes & Lifestyles, on newsstands through August 2006.

Design Details

Regan McClellan, AIA; Ross Ishikawa
McClellan Architects
(206) 728-0480

Interior Design
Betty Blount
Zena Design Group
(206) 622-9112

Landscape Design
Regan McClellan, AIA, with Lisa Pfeiffer
Pfeiffer Landscaping, Inc.
(206) 781-7113

Structural Engineer
Gary Gill, S.E., P.E.
Coffman Engineers
(206) 623-0717

Tom Jergens
Jergens Construction Co., Inc.
(206) 953-9606

For more resource information, see the July/August 2006 issue of Seattle Homes & Lifestyles.

Balancing Act

Adding color was just the first step in updating a monochromatic kitchen

Story by Stacy Williams
Photo courtesy Henderson Kelly

The Challenge: Kathy Wilson’s Seattle Highlands early ’90s home had not been updated in more than 10 years, and the kitchen’s monochromatic color scheme overwhelmed the space. The balance of the room was thrown off by a massive wall of cabinets on one side that contrasted with the large picture windows on the other. The homeowner was looking for a change. “It all felt dated—we were livening up the rest of the house, so the kitchen looked even more tired by comparison,” Wilson reasoned.

The Solution: The first step to modernize the space was adding color. Designer Sally Kelly, of Henderson Kelly, wanted to bring in the sense of balance she felt was lacking in the existing kitchen. “Color plays a large part in keeping the kitchen cohesive,” Kelly explains. “The cool and warm colors create a slight tension that adds drama.” To further open up the space, Kelly replaced solid cabinet doors with aluminum and glass, then extended the counter top, which eliminated the heaviness of a continuous wall of wood. “Floating the cabinets above the counter top helped us achieve the lightness that we were striving for.”

Design Details:

  • Warm, dark brown cabinets are balanced by a light blue glass backsplash and stainless steel fixtures and appliances.
  • The full-height back-splash over the cooktop is achieved by using back-painted glass panels delineated by aluminum inserts.
  • Light from the kitchen windows reflects off the glass tiles and brightens the space, adding to the sense of openness in the room.
  • Shallow cabinets were removed and replaced by deep cabinets, preserving storage under the extended counter top.

Interior Designer: Sally Kelly, Henderson | Kelly, (206) 343-4330
Contractor: Thomas Jacobson Construction, (206) 723-2096
Custom Cabinetry: Jonathan Paul’s, (206) 767-7971