A serene modern oasis on a small urban lot, the Ashworth House is a renovation and second-story addition over a cottage originally constructed in 1912. The owners were strongly drawn to open spaces with a modern sensibility; but they love the location and zoning constraints on this undersized property made a new structure infeasible. They were also committed to being good neighbors on this street of bungalows and small lots.
The solution was to echo the massing of the surrounding traditional houses with a modest second-story addition, emphasizing exquisitely simple lines and taut details. Seen in silhouette, the Ashworth house might almost pass unnoticed; in daylight, the minimalist intersections of walls, roof and openings leave no doubt that this is a twenty-first century dwelling. The exterior is a deceptively simple – it took a superior level of craftsmanship from general contractor Model Remodel to execute the high-precision façade that really sets this residence apart.
The main floor consists of a single loft-style room that stretches from front to back, with utilitarian spaces — mudroom/entry, stairs, powder room and pantry — tucked along the north wall. A sixteen-foot folding glass door allows the open living area to extend out to include the sunset-facing deck with views out to the Fremont Bridge and Lake Union below. Exposed ceiling beams and a massive kitchen island help define zones within the larger room.
The homeowners are gourmet cooks and love to entertain, so the expansive kitchen is the heart of the home. On the single-slab quartz island, a 48” Wolf range creates a focal point for cooking raised to the level of performance art; a custom stainless steel sink & countertop unify the functional side of the kitchen below a large window. With built in nooks for cutting boards and the array of eclectic cookbooks they own, the space is finely tailored to the owner’s needs.
The upper level is a single master suite. Carefully considered details belie its apparent simplicity: a reclaimed wood wall using floorboards salvaged from the original house; a full-height entry door that recesses fully into the wall when open; and in-wall lighting illuminating the ceiling. The playful master bath incorporates a pass-through shower and a soaking tub with a view, enlivened with a unique blend of multi-colored subway tiles and Popham Design hexagon star tiles.
The lower level is sectioned off so that family, friends or even renters could use the basement as a semi-separate dwelling unit with its own bed, bath and side door.