Best Practice Architecture

Best Practice Architecture

Seattle, WA


Backyard Bumpout

After living in their home for several years, one Seattle family realized they had outgrown their small, traditionally sized house. They wanted more room and open spaces that connected the interior to the woodsy backyard. And they knew one other thing for sure: They wanted to maintain the classic craftsman presence on the street front and keep as many of the large specimen trees in the front yard as possible.

Best Practice Architecture was selected for the project and was up for the challenge. Today, the classic craftsman has been transformed into an expanded modern home that honors its classic architectural beginnings. 

Best Practice began the project by exploring how to add volume while preserving the home’s classic look. It was clear that an addition in the rear of the house was the best option. It would maintain the trees and character of the home while providing opportunities for private, covered outdoor spaces in the backyard.

Originally 2,060 square feet, Best Practice was able to expand the home by 631 square feet. The new additions include an expanded kitchen, a new powder room and a large covered outdoor space (perfect for entertaining) on the main floor. On the second floor, the design team added a new master bedroom with a marble clad ensuite and private balcony. Additionally, Best Practice added a new interior stairwell from the main floor to the previously unfinished basement and transformed the lower level into a functional space for the whole family.

On the lower level, Best Practice added a new cozy family room which is sunken into a concrete floor. The open area provides space for the family to relax, as well as an elevated reading nook for the client’s son to enjoy. Wine storage, a small bar area, a three-quarter bathroom and a laundry area were also added to increase the functionality of the space. The new family room connects to the backyard with a door to the new patio space.

On the main floor, the existing kitchen was expanded to accommodate a large island with custom designed stools, a desk area and a full height pantry. Custom cabinetry with open shelving line the room and create a unique television pullout shelf that allows the client to “put away” the kitchen TV when they want more counter space. And to make the home better for entertaining, a new powder room “box” was added. The unique box is clad in light green custom powder-coated steel paneling—inspired by the mature trees in the client’s backyard—and creates a subtle buffer between the kitchen and the rest of the house.

In the living room, tropical wallpaper was installed to satisfy the client’s desire for more color within the home. By adding a unique print to one of the more traditional portions of the house, Best Practice was able to continue their theme of classic style with a modern twist. The remodeled dining area includes one-of-a-kind custom cabinets for the bar area. The room is adjacent to a large, covered outdoor living room and deck. When open, large accordion glass doors allow the outdoor entertainment area to fully connect to the home’s interior. And a new stair from the elevated outdoor space takes you down to the backyard, where a bioswale collects stormwater and a new patio sits nestled among the trees.

The remodeled stairs that lead to the upstairs were reimagined as a stylized version of a traditional stair with modern details. In the new master suite, the bathroom made up of marble and custom woodwork creates a beautiful modern space. The custom wood cabinetry continues into the closet area, where dark gray wood paneling and black leather door and drawer pulls make a one-of-a-kind walk-in closet. And in the bedroom, a private balcony offers another way for the client to connect with nature within their home. 

Outside, the volume of the new addition hangs over the basement and creates a covered entry to the lower level. The addition is clad with black-stained cedar shingles which echos the traditional texture of the craftsman home without resulting in mimicry. And light green makes another appearance on the envelope. Outside the green acts as the perfect contrast to the black siding, provides a pop of color and ties the exterior and interior together. Windows in the new addition were carefully placed to complement the original layout, capture views of neighborhood trees and maintain privacy for the residents.

Now with more space and functionally throughout their home, this Seattle family is able to enjoy the modern updates to their home without stepping too far away from the structure’s classic roots. 

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Status: Built
Location: Seattle, WA, US
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Contractor: Craftsman Builders
Interior Design: Leah Steen Interior Design
Custom Lighting: Fixture LLC
Photography: Rafael Soldi