Harjo Construction Honored with 2020 MBA Award

The Remodeling Excellence (REX) and Trades Remodeling Excellence (T-REX) Awards, presented by the Remodelers Council of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, is an annual event to celebrate craftsmanship and superior remodeling expertise in 11 categories.

Harjo Construction was honored to win the 2020 award for Residential Remodel Excellence – ADU & Basement for a remodel in Ravenna, designed by Andrya Cooper. Judging criteria included aesthetics, unique design solutions, quality, use of appropriate building materials, budgetary consideration, and challenges and obstacles.

The homeowner of this Seattle craftsman set out with the original goal to enclose the rear outdoor staircase to connect the kitchen with an under-utilized basement living space. The current basement was dark, poorly planned, and had 7’-0” ceilings. 

The basement included an outdated kitchen, and entertaining lounge space, plus a guest bedroom and bathroom. To plan the most open living area, we relocated the kitchen and dining area to the far end where it could utilize the full width of the floorplan. Furnace and laundry closets remained in place. In addition to a larger bedroom and bathroom, the added footprint of an enclosed staircase also resulted in an extra bonus room and storage closet.  

Ceiling height was a major constraint in the quest for a bright, comfortable living area. In many ways, it would have been simpler to build up a second story. However, a major value shared by the client and designer was to maintain the original character and street scale of the 1913 bungalow.  

“Another owner could have built a second story or even demolished the old home to start over, but we wanted to honor the original 1913 structure and keep the scale of this special neighborhood.” – Homeowner  

Digging out the additional height from the basement maintained the appearance at the front of the house, which was enhanced with new siding, windows, and porch railings to tie in the addition scope. The new back stairwell, with full-height exterior windows, now floods daylight through the back side of the upstairs kitchen as an added benefit.  Downstairs, increased ceiling height allowed for taller windows where grade allowed.  

Digging approximately 18” down required a new concrete foundation slab. Rather than layer on additional materials, we finished the concrete floor in a natural warm grey stain with subtle sheen to reflect as much light as possible.  White walls maximized natural light reflection, and steel blue cabinets add subtle color and contrast. Glazed concrete tiles in the kitchen and bathroom in traditional brick and hexagon shapes were a nod to both the concrete floor and period of the original home.  

White nickel gap paneling introduced texture and scale to the new vaulted stairwell enclosure, offset by geometric black and white concrete floor tiles. We incorporated the wall paneling throughout the rest of the remodeled living space at foundation walls, creating a purposeful ledge around the perimeter. The existing fireplace foundation was also clad in paneling and capped in a walnut slab to highlight the media lounge focal point.  

Oil rubbed bronze hardware, an antique mirrored bar back, and exposed brick chimney column again brought contrast to the mostly white palate and introduced patina appropriate to the 1913 period of the home.  

Andrya Cooper Interiors

Based on Bainbridge Island, we at Andrya Cooper Interiors are inspired by the exceptional craftsmanship and coastal influence of Pacific Northwest design. In every project, we strive to celebrate the beauty of our natural surroundings and focus on sustainability through careful planning and quality investments. We thrive on helping clients bring together their dreams and ideas into cohesive, well thought solutions that stand the test of time.  

A graduate of Washington State University’s accredited interior design program, Andrya first designed commercial interiors with one of Seattle’s largest architecture firms, later joining a boutique residential studio designing high-end custom homes. After moving to Bainbridge Island, she has continued a passion for residential design founded on creating strong relationships with clients and trade partners. Andrya is NCIDQ Certified and LEED Accredited.