Monday, September 28, 2020

The Room Where It Happened

We've remodeled the lower level of our family home in Brier, Washington, a northern suburb of Seattle. We want to live more simply now, with less space and no stairs. Our son James did all of the work except the electrical, and my husband Art did that part, in two trips from Tucson during the summer.

My requirement was "light and bright and warm and welcoming." And minimalist. Art's requirement was a functional kitchen. Actually, it's against the Brier municipal code to have a "kitchen", which is defined to include a stove and venting. So instead we have a "wet bar", with a countertop oven/toaster, a two-burner hot plate and a microwave. Everything else in the room looks just like a kitchen.

The footprint of the room hasn't changed from before the remodel. We divided up a larger guest room into the wet bar and a smaller bedroom, and enlarged the bathroom slightly while making the laundry room a bit smaller. We share the laundry room with the tenants upstairs - currently our son Jason and his family.

Here's how it went. I struggled with the photos, so there are a few out of place and one duplicate.

Art's design



Framing the kitchen

Moving the door, adding a slider

New slider


Wiring for the kitchen and new bedroom

Dimming lights

Tearing out the old vanity

New bathroom vanity

Kitchen cabinets

Flooring going in

Barn door to bedroom

Small bedroom

Waiting for kitchen countertops

Completed kitchen

The apartment deck

Joining the new deck to the old

Now we're settling in to the room where it happened. We have a lot of work still: buying what we need, letting go of years of things now stored in the garage. But it is our own place, with no stairs. Just right for who we are now - from May to October.

Grateful, grateful!


Olga said...

No stairs is a major consideration for my next place. I think you have a good plan for downsizing.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

What a nice transformation. It is something we all have to think of in our later years.

DJan said...

It looks great! I know you will be happy there, and I love your "kitchen" area very much. Congratulations on making it all work so well. :-)

Maebeme said...

Very nice! It's wonderful that your husband and son were able to do all of the work. You've got everything you need and family too.

DUTA said...

No stairs, minimalism, downsizing, de-cluttering - these are the key words that should guide us in our retirement. We should definitely stick to them.

Sheila said...

That's beautiful. Love the barn door. Should be perfect for summers in the Seattle area.

Meryl Baer said...

I missed something. Municipal codes don't allow a kitchen? You are renovating a...?
Anyway, good luck in your new home!

Joanne Noragon said...

It sounds perfect, especially the no stairs.

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Linda Reeder said...

I have enjoyed watching the progress of this project on Facebook. Happy homekeeping in your new part time digs.

Laurie Larson-Doornbos said...

This is 'age in place' with a delightful twist! Congrats on your "new" place 🙂

Allison said...

It looks great. Congratulations on having a summer place to be with no stairs.

Sue said...

Dear Linda, stairs! The ones here are narrow, and before i painted the walls white, it was rather dark there - this house is a century old. What were people in the old days thinking? Maybe they didn't think...beyond a young boy's size 8 foot. My husband used to get upset at how i'd run up and down those steps, in that not-too-lit staircase. How time flies. i no longer bound up and down those steps.

Joared said...

Wise changes you’ve made for aging and thriving in place. Important to think ahead for potential requirements needed. I’m glad I gave some thought to it all long before my husband and I retired at quite different intervals. When he became ill I could make minor adjustments, then determine if I could manage on my own as I’ve aged after his death and my needs have increased too. Living alone without family nearby, friends eventually moving away, dying or both adds a new unexpected dimension. Life is unpredictable. My one story floor plan, no stairs, easy access to exterior, location with proximity to basic shopping needs, medical, alternative transportation when needed, other senior support, all matter. The offerings via the internet and now pickups and deliveries due to the virus facilitate life. You are well positioned for your AZ/Wash. alternating life.