A 1916 Craftsman Renovation in Phinney Ridge

A Craftsman Renovation Story

This home, a 1916 Craftsman located in Seattle’s neighborhood Phinney Ridge, needed an upgrade and more space. However, renovating a house to create a more functional space while maintaining the home’s original charm can be challenging to navigate, especially for a place over 100 years old. We were happy to take on this design-build project.  

A Craftsman-style home is an American bungalow house that is often identified by its wood and brick siding, low gabled roof, and front porch with thick column supports. Like many Seattle homes of a similar age, the home and property could be considered small by today’s standards, so we had to be smart about how to use the home’s space efficiently. We reconfigured elements of the main floor to gain a better flow, with the main focus on remodeling the kitchen — one of the two rooms that, when renovated wisely, can increase a home’s resale value the most

Craftsman Renovation Project Scope 

Because the home was already undergoing a major kitchen remodel, we advised our clients to take advantage of renovating other areas to increase the functionality of other spaces, as well.  

A big frustration of the home for our clients was at the entrances. This home has a main front entrance as well as a side entrance. The front door opened immediately into the living room space, while the side door opened into the kitchen. Besides the potential awkwardness of walking into a busy room, especially for visitors, there was also nowhere to hang coats or take off shoes — a particular annoyance during Seattle’s rainy fall and winter seasons. 

Modifying the front entrance 

Per our client’s request, we enclosed the existing front porch to create a foyer and coat closet. As a result, guests no longer entered the home straight into the living room and now had a place to hang coats. Additionally, we built a new and improved front porch with a more comfortable and open seating area. 

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Before photo of front porch

Transforming a porch into a mudroom 

We also enclosed the side porch to create a mudroom, an out-of-the-way space to store shoes, outdoor accessories, and things that otherwise cluttered the kitchen and main areas of the home. This room includes built-in cubbies, a bench, and two walls with hooks for optimal storage. With the addition of a mudroom, there’s no longer a risk of tracking mud or dirt onto the home’s hardwood floors, and the side door no longer immediately entered the kitchen. 

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After photo of the front porch

Opening the floorplan

For better flow and space, we reconfigured the inside of the house to increase its footprint by redesigning the kitchen and opening it up to the living room. We removed the fireplace and chimney from the living room to create an open-concept space. 

To further open the space, we constructed a half-wall room divider between the staircase and the dining room and then rerouted the stairs around the kitchen. 

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Before photo of the fireplace and wall separating the kitchen
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After photo of the open entrance to the kitchen with the fireplace wall removed

Expanding the kitchen 

Our team also expanded the kitchen from its original L-shape to a U-shape, which gives the family twice the number of cabinets and a pantry for extra storage.  We also added a built-in bench for unobtrusive seating in the kitchen. As a result, this beautiful open-concept kitchen now has much more room for what a kitchen should always revolve around: family. 

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Before photo of the kitchen and cabinet space, as well as the side porch entrance
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After photo of U-shaped kitchen with more cabinets and counter space
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After photo of dining area and half-wall with additional cabinets 

To learn more about Harjo Construction and our projects, view our portfolio. If you are ready to discuss your project, contact us to schedule a consultation. Our innovative and experienced team will walk you through the process of a home renovation.