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Seattle remodel kept its Spanish accents.

In the West of the 1930s, the family dream house was often a two-bedroom box with Spanish accents, like the one pictured here. With their children grown, Julia Lee and Calvert Knudsen of Seattle decided to turn such a house into quarters for two. They wanted a simple remodel that retained the spirit of the original but would add a big master bedroom, an open, informal space for reading and entertaining, and plenty of light.

The 500-square-foot second-story addition made room for a master bedroom, bath, and walk-in closet. To keep this addition from overwhelming the house facade, architect David Rutherford set it back 11 feet and repeated design details from the ground floor.

Stepping back the second story allowed for a 250-square-foot deck off the bedroom. High and private, the deck is comfortably enclosed by the existing parapet. On warm summer nights, the bedroom doors open to admit cooling breezes.

With no space in the little house to put in a stairway, the design emerged for a stairwell facing the back garden. Steps just 2-1/2 feet wide go halfway up to a landing, make a 180 ]deg.[ turn, and continue to the top.

The south- and west-facing pocket between the rear of the house and protruding stairwell made an excellent spot for a ground-floor sunroom enclosed by a greenhouse window. The remodeled kitchen opens onto this 10- by 12-foot space, making plenty of room for informal entertaining and bringing ample light into the kitchen. A glass door opens to a wooden deck that steps down to the garden.

Except for the kitchen, the original house, built of concrete block covered with stucco, was left unchanged. Downstairs bedrooms are for guests. The additions are stucco over standard framing. Once construction was finished, new paint on all exterior surfaces unified old and new. Inside, the same creamy white paint covers walls and woodwork, visually enlarging small rooms and merging one space into another.
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Date:Jun 1, 1985
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