Golden House by SHED Architecture
The house sits toward the back of a large lot with territorial views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula. Although the house had good bones, modifications adapting the original layout for use as an adult living facility combined with deferred maintenance had tarnished the structure inside and out. The team took on the challenge of rejuvenating the home for a family of five and of restoring the aura of the Golden House.
The primary aim of the project was to rehabilitate the structure from an adult care facility to a home for a family of five. To achieve this, the main level of the house needed to be transformed along with lower-level bedrooms and a bathroom. On the main level, walls and built-in casework were removed and program elements reshuffled. A buried galley kitchen was unearthed and re-formed around a central island overlooking dining and living spaces, allowing access to light, views, and the deck. Moving the kitchen made possible a new functional core consisting of a home office, powder room, back pantry, and coat closets, all with direct access to both the kitchen and carport. Space was not added but instead creatively re-apportioned to transform the kitchen and support spaces. Two main floor bedrooms and bathrooms were combined to form a master suite, while a third bedroom was repurposed as a TV and flex room.
On the lower level, changes were required to suit three children and associated hobby and play spaces. Here, a small lower-level bathroom was cleverly reconfigured into a multi-functional vanity, powder, and shower space to accommodate multiple users. A storage room was turned into a shared bedroom while the family room was turned into a kid’s craft and entertainment room. On the exterior, along with deferred maintenance, the team removed an ADA entrance and driveway to re-establish the lawn.
The design solution leveraged the house’s good bones — the existing post and beam structure and stopped in glazing — to create a unified main level where new elements are in harmony with the old. Although the structure was re-engineered to work with the revised floor plan, the post and beam structure was retained as a principle organizing system and integrated into the design. To replace the original casework, a low soffit was framed at the back of the living room to proportion the room while also defining the circulation space. In the living room, special attention was paid to the redesign of the fireplace which was faced with ground face CMU blocks and a cast concrete bench. To complete the space, low built-ins and a DJ station frame a large section facing the fireplace and view west. A limited palette of materials was used throughout the main level: cork flooring, rift sawn white oak paneling and casework, and white sheetrock walls are framed by wood structure and trim painted black to unify the space. As a nod to the past, the original natural slate tile and metal railing were preserved in the entryway. As a way of connecting the room to the view, large mirrors were integrated into the window wall to reflect the horizon into the living room.
Unique experiences were created in other areas of the main level, from built-in entry benches to workspaces in the kitchen for kids to do their homework. In the master suite, grasscloth and oak paneling unify the suite, the center of which is a bathroom covered in black and white terrazzo tile. White Oak was used once again as a connecting datum behind the mirrors, wrapping around the tub to create a spot for an accent light and plant shelf. In the powder room, a mirror and coral dragon wallpaper play with patterns and reflections. On the lower floor, plywood bed cubbies were designed for two kids, leaving a shared work and play space. Plywood casework and yellow plam countertops were used in the kid-friendly bathroom.
In addition to landscaping, new entry walls and a bench reframe the front door of the main entrance while screening the back door from view and concealing an exterior hot tub garden adjacent to the master bedroom. The ADA ramp that cut through the front lawn was removed for a firepit area, landscaping, and large lawn for family gatherings and neighborhood games.
Photography courtesy of SHED Architecture
Visit SHED Architecture- by Matt Watts