This charming old farmhouse is home to a young couple with two rambunctious boys who love to garden, get dirty, pester their chickens and run around outside as much as possible. The house is located in a walkable urban village on a very tight and steep lot with challenging zoning restrictions. The owners have been focused on building up for added square footage, and looking at the roof for much needed outdoor space. There’s also an amazing view overlooking Lake Union and downtown Seattle from way up high!

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They came to us wanting to remodel, add a full new second story addition to replace the existing cramped 1/2 story, and also, if possible, to add a THIRD story bonus room with access to a large roof deck. After careful calculations around height limit regulations, we came up with an architectural design that met the challenge! We relocated the stairs so that they now become a 3-level light well between the main floor and spectacular roof deck, including a semi private family room on the new second floor, surrounded by the family’s bedrooms.  The main floor plan has been reorganized to allow for more open living, and with indoor/outdoor connection to small deck areas in side and rear yards.

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The floor plans have been dramatically opened up to accommodate an active family lifestyle; the interiors are styled to impart a rural feel but with a definite fresh, contemporary vibe.

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Getting more light into the house on this tight lot was a big goal. Spacious window seats with big windows onto small side-yard gardens create a feeling of more space and connection to the outdoors.

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Where outdoor views look into neighboring homes, the windows feature frosted glass so the room is still filled with light, yet private.

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The rooftop deck features artificial turf, which is now where the boys race around and burn off energy. The rooftop is also a great entertaining space, served by a wet bar in what we now call the “tower room”, reminiscent of western fire lookouts!

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Our owners love their neighborhood, the density, the convenience of living so close to Lake Union, and especially how they now have all this new outside space – up on the roof!

For more background story on the design of this project, see our blog!

Photos by Ed Sozinho

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