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The assignment: loosen up its period look, add privacy.

The assignment: Loosen up its period look, add privacy

In the '50s, the house in the "before' picture above heralded a new look in Northwest residential building: long, low, and understated. The L-shaped house spread to enclose open, informal family and entertaining spaces at one end; at the other, on the carport side, a hallway led to three small bedrooms.

Suzy and Lee Kueckelhan liked a lot about the plan as it was, but they asked architects Myrwang Associates of Seattle to loosen the house from its period look and add private spaces for a home office and a painting studio.

The design added two work areas while giving interest and a more up-to-date look to the exterior. Adding a partial second story over the bedroom wing made space for the small studio and adjacent office. Sequestered from the rest of the house, both are no-nonsense rooms where quiet reigns and in-progress work can sprawl undisturbed.

The 12-foot-square studio seems bigger because its ceiling rises all the way to the addition's hip roof. Large west-facing windows open the room to Puget Sound breezes and view. A big fan stirs stuffy summer air, and a chimney pipe stands ready for future addition of a woodstove. The arched window on the east side echoes the shape of the house's front door-- and gives the painter a look at who's coming.

Sheets of 1-inch plywood were used as flooring in the studio. Unfinished and uncovered, they absorb paint splotches. "With this floor,' says Suzy Kueckelhan, "I have a colorful and ever-changing souvenir of all my work to date. If I get tired of it, I'll sand the floor smooth and either paint it or put down tile.'

Part of the old hallway to the bedrooms became a master dressing area that shares space with the curved staircase to the upper story. Also on the new upper level are a laundry and sewing room that connect to the enclosed garage and workshop, formerly just an open carport.

Low but ample attic space added over the garage gives storage for suitcases and Christmas decorations on plywood flooring; access is through the upstairs office.

Cedar shakes on the roof and shingles on the sides of the house (and as a facing for the stone chimney and the garage door) help pull together the various angles and elevations of the remodel and lend a woodsy look. To soften the raw look of new wood, shingles were stained with a pigmented preservative. All the trim was painted dark brown.

The beamed kitchen, living, and dining areas were left open to one another, and sliding glass doors, which open onto decks with a water view, were also left as they were. "Much in the old style was workable,' says Mrs. Kueckelhan. "We wanted a remodel that appreciated what we already had.'

Photo: Before. Modern in 1955, this low house looked dated 30 years later. L-shaped plan spread from garage to open living areas, without specialized work spaces

Photo: After. Cedar-shingled remodel has a tower-like second-story studio addition and a respositioned entry

Photo: Curving stair leads up from dressing area to study (door at top) and small studio. Seen through its arched opening, studio has a view west across Puget Sound

Photo: Expanded entry has skylight and high end window. Wall cutout directs light into sunken living room
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:house remodeling
Date:Apr 1, 1986
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