Remodeling Excellence Awards: 2019

No doubt about it: The members of the Remodelers Council of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties do top-tier work. Every year, they submit their favorite projects to the Remodeling Excellence Awards. Here are 24 inspiring spaces that will have you looking at your home and dreaming of knocking down a wall and adding some flair anew. 

Bath Excellence

Shining Star 

Bath Excellence – Less than $35,000

Ron Palmer

Palmer Residential transformed a claustrophobic attic bathroom into a bright, airy space that the owner now considers her favorite room in the house. To open up the space, an elevated toilet platform was removed, and clear shower glass was added to bring in light. The vanity, half-wall, tile, quartz slab, and shower curb showcase work from multiple trades, all unified through design. The vanity features new sconce lighting and mirror, with tile and design choices that match the classic vintage feel of the home. Bright, colorful finishes throughout enhance the natural light from the window and make a small bathroom seem large and open. PALMER RESIDENTIAL LLC

2nd Place — Seaview | Budget Bath Revamp

Jesse L. Young Photography

This bathroom has a new lease on life with a sleek mixture of classic white subway tiles and elegant wainscoting perfect for its 1911 home. Modern touches include a heated towel rack, large shower niche, and shower diverter with a hand-held wand. J&M Remodel rotated the tub, relocated the toilet, and added a large vanity, opening ample floor space and much-needed storage while improving the overall flow of the room. Glass shelving in the shower and above the toilet as well as semi-flush-set medicine cabinets keep out the clutter. Flawless encaustic tile installation reveals exceptional attention to detail. J&M REMODEL

Attic Turned Master Bathroom

Bath Excellence – $35,000 to $60,000

Andrew Giammarco

This cramped attic was transformed into a true master suite, complete with a gorgeous new bathroom. The once-narrow, angular room is now more space-efficient with the placement of a vanity across from the shower, made even more beautiful with the addition of a bathtub, and accentuated with textured wallpaper that conceals a hidden door to the attic storage. Unique lighting fixtures and hexagon floor tiles further enhance the design. The impeccable taste of the fashion-forward clients made decorating the space easy, and the finished master bathroom has lived up to their dreams. ARMADA DESIGN & BUILD INC.

A ’90s Bathroom Refresh

Bath Excellence – $60,000 to $80,000

Irina Elston

This project marries form and function to make an old ’90s bathroom new again. Standout features include a bench discreetly tucked behind the pony wall and pivot mirrors at the vanity. Everything behind the glass is waterproof, creating a large shower room for spa-style bathing. Retaining existing windows helped achieve the classic-yet-modern look the clients wanted while keeping costs down. The free-standing bathtub was placed by a window with a lake view. An unusually angled window on the perpendicular wall creates visual flow from the ceiling-mounted shower head right down to the tub and window and then around to the lower wall-mounted shower ports. ARMADA DESIGN & BUILD INC.

Kitchen Excellence

A Bright and Shiny Kitchen

Kitchen Excellence – Less than $50,000

Photo by Rendering Space

Remod Builders transformed a space the homeowners hated into this bright-white dream kitchen. The white tile is offset by blue island cabinets, refinished red oak floors, and warmly colored brass cabinet hardware. The once-enclosed south-facing window brightens the space, while a Sub-Zero vent mounted flush above the fridge gives it a high-end look. The ceiling was raised to further open the space, and exposed vent ducting that needed concealing was boxed in. The adjacent wall was similarly boxed in to visually support the ceiling like a beam; the space within is now used for a drop-zone station. The island was built and painted to look like custom cabinetry and includes a hidden under-counter microwave on its backside for discreet reheating. REMOD BUILDERS

A Serene Family Kitchen 

Kitchen Excellence – $50,000 to $100,000

Jeff Beck Photography

This once-neglected kitchen is now a stylish showpiece with several outstanding features. The decorative hood and marble mosaic backsplash at the range create a sense of drama next to the contemporary white subway tile, while the apron front sink with matte black plumbing fixtures exudes a classic feel. The existing doors and honey oak hardwood flooring were retained due to budget, and a complementary color palette was selected for the rest of the kitchen, including dusty blue cabinets. The presence of range plumbing allowed the installation of the pot filler — a wish-list item — for just the cost of the fixture. POTTER CONSTRUCTION

2nd Place Let There Be Color

Virginia Roberts Photography

Nip Tuck Remodeling merged a white-on-white kitchen and dining room to create this colorful, inviting space, letting natural light from the dining room window into the kitchen. The flow created by the enlarged dining room is complemented by bold blue paint in the kitchen that draws the eye. Playful cabinet finishes and a splash of statement tile around the window with opposing field tile support the fun, eclectic style. Space for breakfast and display areas was created through varied cabinetry heights on the oven and pantry wall. The island offers ample cooking, storage, and seating opportunities, while recessed lighting at the sink, island, and dining area provides task lighting. NIP TUCK REMODELING  

A Cozy High-Style Kitchen

Kitchen Excellence – $100,000 to $150,000

John Wilbanks Photography

Like a spread in Architectural Digest, this kitchen is a dream come true. Creamy inset cabinetry, stunning quartz countertops, and high-end appliances transform a once-forgettable room into a memorable and stunning space. A custom Rohl clay sink and bridge faucet complement the timeless design. A small peek-a-boo window added near the range is now a favorite feature of the homeowner. This kitchen is packed with storage, and every new cabinet has a rollout tray that’s functional and easy to use. Wrapping cabinetry around the corner enlarged the kitchen and created a wine and beverage station. Custom column wraps were installed to match the cabinetry, creating space and visual appeal, while custom cabinets made specialty corners appear seamless. NIP TUCK REMODELING

2nd Place Small Kitchen Layout Swap

Cindy Apple Photography

With only 200 square feet to work with, Model Remodel created this spacious, light-filled kitchen with a U-shaped layout that makes the most of the space. Super Susan cabinets were installed in each corner, and a pantry was placed behind the refrigerator. Reflective ceramic tiles and a quartz countertop enhance the natural light, while dark gray marmoleum flooring contrasts elegantly. Oil-rubbed bronze door hardware, cabinet pulls, and light fixtures create a cohesive look, while matching tile trim, vertically aligned outlets, and pendants spaced to match the three-panel window show high attention to detail. LED undercabinet lighting adds the finishing touch.   MODEL REMODEL

Removing  Walls to a Dream Kitchen

Kitchen Excellence – More than $150,000

Nathan Supakul

Better Builders brought together a kitchen, media room, and underused formal dining room in this kitchen remodel, creating a single open and modern space suitable for social activities. The dining room has been moved next to the kitchen, where it is now regularly used, and the media area occupies the open space. The kitchen island was expanded with a single slab countertop with workspace and bar seating. Previously unused areas are now well-trafficked, and daylight floods the space. Recessed lighting provides utility and ambience. A muted palette and clean lines complement the homeowner’s eclectic furniture and artwork. BETTER BUILDERS

 Residential Remodel Excellence

Double the Fun

Residential Remodel Excellence – Addition – Less than $200,000

Sockeye Homes

Sockeye Homes created a new room for their clients’ kids to hang out in, adding ample curb appeal without breaking the bank. A septic system in the front and steeply graded backyard meant going over the existing garage. Working closely with the architect and structural engineer, Sockeye placed the entrance in an existing hallway and avoided remodeling the side of the house. New structural components were engineered to retain a part of the existing lower roof without new load-bearing posts in the garage. A gable was added for visual appeal, melding the original house and addition into one seamless structure. SOCKEYE HOMES

Inside Out

Residential Remodel Excellence – Addition – $200,000 to $500,000

Ross Anania

This sunroom addition by Crescent Builds provides the homeowners year-round space to connect to their garden. Replacing a ramshackle structure that could only be enjoyed in summer, this is an inviting, warm space to relax, entertain, and enjoy the outdoor environment. Both the ceiling cladding and the heated colored concrete slab flow effortlessly from interior to exterior. A free-standing gas-burning fireplace brings heat on cold days. During a site walkthrough, it became clear that a few structural modifications would forge a stronger connection between the existing dining room and sunroom, creating an unobstructed view of the garden and Olympic Mountains. CRESCENT BUILDS

2nd Place Historic Home Update

Azzura Photography

This update to a historic 19th-century home was a welcome challenge for Gaspar’s Construction, which transformed its dated rooms into a contemporary, functional space while still honoring its history. The kitchen now accommodates the entire family, as well as an heirloom dining table. A large, unused fireplace not original to the home was removed, and the bathroom was relocated, freeing up space and improving overall flow. Hickory floors create period-appropriate farmhouse charm. The original stained-glass window was removed from the bathroom and installed in the new window, along with Solatube lighting. All exterior changes were approved by the historic review board, and archived images were used to re-create the home’s window frames. GASPAR’S CONSTRUCTION 

Creating a Water World

Residential Remodel Excellence – Major Remodel – Less than $200,000

Sockeye Homes

This 1970s condo became an open concept with 180-degree water views. Sockeye Homes removed 10 feet of load-bearing walls and two walls separating the kitchen, living, and dining areas to do it. Cabinet panels conceal kitchen appliances, while the hood vent can be recessed to leave views unobstructed. A curved island bar offers a casual and space-conscious eating and entertaining area. A Cambria countertop brings the feeling of water and waves inside. The guest bathroom features an open linen area with storage space, a tear-drop-shaped shower deco wall, and a low-profile vessel-style sink. The rain glass-style shower tile accents, tubular faucet, and sea-salt-colored sink in the master bathroom complete the water-themed design. SOCKEYE HOMES

Dated to Dreamy

Residential Remodel Excellence – Major Remodel – $200,000 to $500,000

Cindy Apple Photography

Pathway Design & Construction turned the dated main floor of this West Seattle split-level into an airy and spacious abode, all while keeping its footprint small and green. Several windows were enlarged for more natural light, and a cramped entryway was opened up by removing most of a wall and replacing the front door. Removing a closet off the kitchen daylighted a dark hallway. A massive, unmovable fireplace between rooms was made a focal point with new tile that integrated into the kitchen design. To increase natural light and transition the low kitchen ceiling to other ceilings, parts of the kitchen and dining room were completely reframed. PATHWAY DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION

2nd Place Seward Park House Remodel

Andrew Giammarco

Armada Design & Build used the unfinished attic in this 1949 home to create a true master suite as well as high vaulted ceilings that radically altered the personality of the kitchen and family room. This involved several engineering considerations, ultimately requiring custom-made metal collar ties for structural support and aesthetic cachet. A beautiful and functional master bathroom was built in the attic with a sharply angled wall above the bathtub. Wallpaper behind the tub creates a stunning visual element while concealing a secret door to hidden extra storage space. The selection of materials and colors is a result of the clients’ exceptional taste and vision for the space. ARMADA DESIGN & BUILD INC. 

A Home for the Generations

Residential Remodel Excellence – Major Remodel – $500,000 to $750,000

Irina Elston

This three-story home built in 1993 was renovated for the multigenerational family now living there. Four walls between the entry, kitchen, formal dining, and living rooms were removed to create a more open floorplan. The home’s tall entryway was replaced with a new bedroom for children, an oversized master bath split into a hall bath, a large laundry room, walk-in closet, and a new master bath with lake views. For the family chef, a new 60-inch gas range and 66-inch hood were installed. Cohesive finishes unify and brighten the spaces in this spacious family home. ARMADA DESIGN & BUILD INC.

Historic Cape Cod Home Saved

Residential Remodel Excellence – Major Remodel – More than $750,000

Cindy Apple Photography

This 1926 Cape Cod — originally listed as a teardown — was rumored to be haunted and in a state of decay. It was restored spectacularly by Model Remodel. The old charcoal exterior was replaced with kiln-dried shingles sourced from Maine. Local and recycled materials, plus high-efficiency appliances and fixtures, were used to achieve a Built Green® 3-Star certification. Azul granite kitchen countertops and master bath slabs anchor the ocean-inspired aesthetic, while cherry wood adds warmth in the kitchen and living rooms. Marine blue is present in the reclaimed fireplace tiles, with a custom grout color to match. Nearly every detail in the home was custom-made, including a curved wood railing for the stairs and fireplace mantels. The bay window’s exterior copper base was specially fabricated and patinaed.  MODEL REMODEL

A Ballard Basement that Functions 

Residential Remodel Excellence – ADU & Basement Remodel

Dr. Dale Lang

This sleek basement remodel created a welcoming space for local Seattle Play Streets participants and the homeowners’ own burgeoning family. The laundry area was moved to make way for the new bathroom, which was built in the same corner with much of the existing plumbing. A south-facing window brings ample sunlight into the bathroom, which features a zero-threshold shower. The preteen son’s bedroom has a built-in platform bed. A Murphy bed a for frequently visiting grandma was installed in what would otherwise be dead space. The stunning new stairwell features custom stained wood treads that blend seamlessly with floating cabinets. JACKSON DESIGN BUILD LLC

A Stunning Office and Showroom 

Commercial Remodel Excellence

Azzura Photography

This beautiful and functional office and residential design showroom was once a dark, drab commercial space. Now it inspires both staff and customers. Gaspar’s Construction flooded the building with light with a new warm roof and 8-by-8 skylights. When the drop ceiling was removed, an open, airy space was created while some of the building’s industrial charm was left exposed. The ceiling in the center core was lowered to divide meeting spaces and hide HVAC, creating three distinct client presentation areas with better acoustics and increased privacy. A large custom kitchen anchors the space — a hub for gathering employees as well as a living showroom for clients. Three gorgeous bathrooms serve guests while showing off different design concepts. GASPAR’S CONSTRUCTION

Waterfront Condo Redo for Empty Nesters 

Aging in Place & Universal Design

Jeff Beck Photography Copyright 2019

This luxurious Universal Design master bathroom fulfills the dream of an empty-nest couple wishing to age in place. Potter Construction removed the dividing walls, existing water closet, shower, and an unused built-in soaking tub to create a spacious, ADA-compliant bathroom accessible for wheelchairs. The bathroom now features a curbless shower with slip-resistant tile that is wide enough for a caregiver to assist and an ADA-compliant wall-mounted fold-down teak bench. Plywood blocking was installed behind the dramatic slab shower walls for future grab bars. The homeowner worked with the remodelers to build a beautiful custom teak vanity and open cabinet shelving, creating a clean, timeless look while keeping the budget down. POTTER CONSTRUCTION

Landscape & Outdoor Living Excellence

The Secret Garden Space

Landscape & Outdoor Living Excellence – Less than $50,000

Ross Anania

This project transformed a dilapidated outdoor building into a magical private retreat for relaxing and entertaining, an inviting space that connects the interior with exterior garden area. To address a leaking roof and rotting walls, Crescent Builds removed the interior walls to restore underlying structural integrity. New interior walls were finished with shiplap cedar detail. Custom cedar-clad closets were created for extra storage space. A custom hideaway nook hidden above closet storage doors provides a touch of magic for the client’s daughter. Raw concrete floors and ceiling showcase the history, complementing the warm tones of wood interior cladding. The whole project is summed up with the NanaWall door system that seamlessly connects indoor and outdoor spaces. CRESCENT BUILDS

A Dreamy Outdoor Retreat

Landscape & Outdoor Living Excellence – More than $50,000

Nathan Supakul

This inspired design brings a pool, decks, and a studio together in extraordinary natural surroundings, fulfilling a dream of integrating an art studio into a beautiful backyard. The old pool had tilted more than 4 inches and was repaired with new concrete coping and vibrant tile accent at its edges. The existing decks were in bad shape, so a unique solution was employed that joined the elevated outdoor living spaces with the pool and art studio. Framing was repaired, and decking was replaced with ipe due to the material’s longevity and natural beauty. Ipe also caps the concrete wall, joining the pool with the art studio and coping detail in the pool. BETTER BUILDERS

A Sweet Sewing Center

Getaway Room & Specialty Space – Less than $50,000

Azzura Photography

This project transformed a dark, unfinished basement into a cheery space for hosting a growing crew of grandchildren and to indulge a love of crafting. Gaspar’s furred out the walls deeper than required to reduce a steep slope in the floor without losing too much floorspace. Stairs were reframed and covered in nonslip stair treads for safety and a fun pop of color. Gaspar’s highlighted the industrial touch of the original door with chartreuse paint and painted the ceiling a comforting blue. An exposed duct was painted to blend in and offered significant savings. A low table was installed for a sewing machine, and a much-loved vintage cabinet was repurposed as a pottery station. GASPAR’S CONSTRUCTION

A Room with a View

Getaway Room & Specialty Space – More than $50,000

Dr. Dale Lang

This gorgeous space offers fabulous views while prioritizing energy conservation and health. Bridging function with form, Kolbe Vistalux series windows were installed, ameliorating solar heat while also blending seamlessly into the home’s mid-century aesthetic. A corner cabinet elegantly displays family heirlooms behind glass to keep out dust, and the woodwork was finished with a zero-VOC product for improved air quality. After many design revisions, the window bench cabinetry was built by a woodworker the homeowner knows, with wood selected to complement a Mission-style sofa. Cherry trim and cabinetry work nicely with the walnut-clad windows. The beautiful brass hardware nods to the marine aspects of the Puget Sound. JACKSON DESIGN BUILD LLC

Design Excellence

Loaded AV Cabinetry

Specialty Details & Finishes – more than $25,000

Jill Burwell

The homeowners liked the style and color of their existing cabinetry, but the layout simply didn’t fit their delicate audio-visual equipment storage needs. In this stunning design coup, Vision Woodworks created custom cabinetry that replicated every complicated detail the homeowners wanted. Advanced custom cabinet skills were required for custom window valances that matched the cabinetry detail, and special AV requirements were accommodated. The maple wood and light stain of the previous cabinetry were matched, and the exact details of the old storage and TV center were replicated with engineered interiors to accommodate the complicated AV equipment layout. VISION WOODWORKS

Master ‘Sweet’

Architecture

Vaagsland Foto @2019

Fitch & Company combined two second-story rooms into an expansive master suite by extending the existing dormer in both directions. On one end is a full-height master bedroom featuring copious natural light, wood flooring, and a shiplap feature wall behind the bed. Soft wood tones mix with fresh white linens to create a comforting rustic space. On the opposite end is the master bathroom, which includes a double vanity, two-function shower, drop-in tub, and walk-in closet. To utilize every square inch, a romantic two-person bathtub was tucked in the existing dormer within the shower for a relaxing bathing experience. Wall-to-wall frameless glass and a curbless shower create a seamless divide, while continuous encaustic tiles between the spaces make it feel spacious. FITCH & COMPANY

Nest Refresh

Interior Design – more than $125,000

Vaagsland Foto @2019

This dramatic project offers a comfortable living space for family bonding and entertaining. After 20 years of raising children in their home, the homeowners have remodeled for the next 20. The kitchen was relocated to the north side of the home to create a single flowing space that joins the kitchen, casual nook, dining and buffet areas, and a gaming table. A buffet near the dining table features a built-in mini fridge and a full assortment of small appliances for quick snacks. The existing fireplace was updated to an Ortal gas fireplace, and framing was added for mounting a television. Custom-fit rift white oak panels were installed over an exposed I-beam to disguise it with a clean modern look. FITCH & COMPANY

European Flair

Interior Design – less than $125,000

Vaagsland Foto @2019

With a blend of midcentury and bright modern materials, this small kitchen now feels grand. European-style cabinets featuring two-tone high-gloss laminate in dark gray and bright white replaced old, sagging cabinets. Large format white glass tiles create a seamless backsplash between the white quartz counter and white cabinets. The half-wall that separated the kitchen from the living room was removed, opening space between the laundry room and kitchen. The exposed ceiling was painted white, and new track lighting was added to give brighter light. The dramatic Sputnik chandelier over the island is the spectacular focal point as soon as you enter the home’s front door. A two-person eating space was created at the end of the island. FITCH & COMPANY

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