Other People’s Homes: Different Strokes

4 Nov

From our very own Mercer Island, a remodel of a house designed by our very own Fred Bassetti has won the AIA Honor Award. The remodel was done by chadbourne and doss architects and was based on the owners’ metaphor of children’s wood building blocks.

I can see similarities between their home and ours, most noticeably the heavy use of wood in the ceilings and the floors.  I think the kitchen floors are painted or deeply stained an almost black color, which contrasts beautifully with the white cabinets.

And I think this house is gorgeous. Really really gorgeous and perfect and pristine in a museum or re-touched fashion model kind of way. But I am not that gorgeous and pristine. Nor is my life. My husband and gaggle of girls would have this place looking like chaos in five minutes flat, I guarantee.

Which has me wondering, where is the Crayola or macaroni glued on construction paper artwork from school? Where is the pile of mail and magazines and coats and shoes? Where are the damn dust bunnies?

I appreciate the style and design, but it’s just not for me. It helps for me to see remodels like this as we work through our own choices. (Plus it helps that I am pretty sure we will NEVER have the kind of budget for this kind of work!) But there is great inspiration in design like this to take what would work for us.  For example, I love the carport that looks right through to the back and I love the concrete that continues out the house to the porch.

Wouldn’t it be cool to see some before pictures too?  Wonder if we can ask for those. Let me know your thoughts on renovation direction and what it means.  Does it mean be dogmatic about original style or keep to architect intention while also modernizing or just starting over?


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