The designs evolved over the years as the family grew.

Dining Room in Seattle Craftsman by Best Practice Architecture
Rafael Soldi

Sure, renovations that seem to happen overnight can be awe-inspiring, but there’s something to be said about renovations that happen gradually. What you need in your home probably changes throughout the years—another kid, a WFH job, a grandparent that moves in… all of these things could shift your design priorities.

Living Area in Seattle Craftsman by Best Practice Architecture
The main floor was updated in phase two.

Rafael Soldi

For this home in Seattle’s Phinney Ridge neighborhood—dubbed “Bread & Butter”—renovations happened over the course of 14 years. It all started in 2009 when a young couple (both structural engineers) bought the house, which was an original Craftsman, but had been poorly updated with a lot of its charm removed.

Stairs in Seattle Craftsman by Best Practice Architecture
The staircase has an interesting paint design.

Rafael Soldi

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“After purchasing the home, our clients decided to take a collaborative approach to the renovation that could adjust to their lifestyle as they started a family,” explains Ian Butcher, AIA, Founding Partner of Best Practice Architecture. “Despite favoring contemporary design, they leaned into the idea of bringing back the original craftsman in a meaningful way.”

Porch in Seattle Craftsman by Best Practice Architecture
The front porch was remodeled shortly after the couple bought the house.

Rafael Soldi

There were three project phases, with the first phase starting shortly after the couple bought the house. This involved an entry porch remodel and a coat of gray and yellow paint.

Backyard View in Seattle Craftsman by Best Practice Architecture
The dining area opens up to the backyard.

Rafael Soldi

The next phase commenced in 2011, before the couple’s first child was born. It was a comprehensive update to the main floor—expanding and brightening the kitchen and adding a laundry room and full bathroom.

“Phases one and two targeted bringing back the original Craftsman charm but in an abstract form,” Ian says. “We balanced deliberately modified versions of traditional elements with highly contemporary interventions.”

Home Office in Seattle Craftsman by Best Practice Architecture
The home office features a skylight to bring more light in.

Rafael Soldi

In 2020, the Best Practice team and the couple embarked on the final part of the renovation, which involved a second-story addition and new garage, all built to accommodate the needs of the couple and their three young children, plus a home office for the wife’s engineering practice.

Primary Bathroom in Seattle Craftsman by Best Practice Architecture
Seafoam green tiles add color to the primary bathroom.

Rafael Soldi

“Phase three included a completed overhaul of the upper floor including about 600 square feet of additional space,” Ian explains. “We designed the expansion as a distinct and contemporary addition to the original house. It consists of two volumes that complement the scale of the original house while expressing a unique design. The new upper floor plan has a cozy but complete primary suite, a home office, three kids’ rooms, a generous landing, and a fun reading nook and play slide for the kids.”

Kids Bedroom in Seattle Craftsman by Best Practice Architecture
The kids’ rooms feature bright colors.

Rafael Soldi

While the interiors of phase three match up with the style of the main floor, the new bathrooms and the home office have a dose of color. The kids’ bath is a fun, striped space, while the primary bathroom is bathed in green.

Kids Bathroom in Seattle Craftsman by Best Practice Architecture
The kids’ bathroom is far from boring.

Rafael Soldi

Yellow Shower in Seattle Craftsman by Best Practice Architecture
Four stripes of color adorn the kids’ bathroom.

Rafael Soldi

The new garage is set up so it can have a future mother-in-law unit above, which can act as an extra income generator or a space for an aging parent. “The garage continues the theme of phase one, demonstrating our clients’ structural engineering work, with a 13-foot-tall concrete wall that acts as a beautiful backdrop to the main yard,” Ian adds.

Garage in Seattle Craftsman by Best Practice Architecture
The garage highlights the owners’ structural engineering expertise.

Rafael Soldi

Throughout the renovation process, the Best Practice team was careful to preserve the home’s Craftsman heritage, much of which was erased when the couple first bought the home. Because much of the original exterior detailing was stripped, they looked at historical photos and also relied on the team’s knowledge of Craftsman architecture to recreate details. 

“With the bones of the house re-created, we inserted deliberately modern touches that responded to a practical programmatic need or for better natural light or other ideas that complemented and enhanced the Craftsman roots by comparison,” says Ian.

Exterior of Seattle Craftsman by Best Practice Architecture
“We tried to keep the shapes somehow connected to iconic residential forms, but finished in a very contemporary look,” Ian says. “We felt it was important to let the addition be a clear distinction from the original structure but remain complementary.”

Rafael Soldi

The family is happy with how their home has evolved over the years. And Ian sees the benefit to having a lot of time to work on a renovation. “While it seems highly atypical for a project to last for so long over so many years, it’s pretty fun to revisit old projects with the benefit of time and maturity (both us as the designers and our clients as the homeowners and structural engineers),” he says. “I feel like the original design still held up as we didn’t attempt to make any changes to the original other than a fresh coat of paint.”