A Capitol Hill Remodel Reveals a Family’s Dream House

Modern meets traditional in this Capitol Hill home

By Lara Hale


December 14, 2015

This article originally appeared in the January 2016 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Although they loved their leafy neighborhood, Allie and Ted Dworkin knew the Capitol Hill house they bought in 2006, when they had three small children, was no longer a good fit. Ruby, now 15, Eliza, 13, and Louis, 9, were growing bigger and busier, but the Dworkins’ attempts at house hunting proved fruitless. Nothing they saw seemed quite right. “It took seeing other houses to make us realize that this was where we belonged,” says Allie. “It was that sense of home that convinced us to stay here.”

A pair of paintings by Seattle artist Daphne Minkoff liven up the living room’s neutral palette.

Staying put meant adding valuable living space, suitable for a modern family, to a house originally built in 1905. “It had no sense of a family home,” says Ted. “The rooms were pretty separated and smaller…and the biggest thing we wanted was the functional space we were missing, but in a coherent way, so it didn’t feel like the original house with a modern addition.” 

The dining room furniture and the kitchen table were custom made by Ballard-based Chadhaus.

The couple consulted with an old acquaintance, commercial architect Scot Carr, to help set a renovation budget and find the right firm. When they discovered Carr had recently partnered with two other architects to start Public47, a new firm that also designs residential projects, the Dworkins knew they’d made the right decision not to move.

The dining room furniture and the kitchen table 
were custom made by Ballard-based Chadhaus. 

The two-story addition, built onto the rear of the house, included a relaxed family room, a spacious eat-in kitchen and a home office downstairs. A new master bedroom, complete with an en suite bathroom, and a laundry room were created upstairs. Simultaneously, the renovation also revived some of the historic character of the house by restoring the front porch, which a previous owner had enclosed. Replacing all of the house’s windows (many of the existing ones didn’t open) and installing rift-sawn white oak flooring throughout helped blur any interior distinctions between the old and the new.

Ample storage space helps organize the home’s hallway.

Along with creating more living space, the remodel also added storage to accommodate the sports equipment, backpacks and other items that had previously cluttered the house. “Having everything in its place within a light, neutral environment really has had a big impact,” says Allie. “I find it really peaceful to be here, even when the house is full of our kids and their friends. It really offsets some of the chaos.” And while creating larger, more open spaces to help bring the family closer together may seem counterintuitive, the Dworkins believe Public47’s design did just that. “Our kids really do tend to use our house a lot as a gathering place with their friends now,” says Allie. “That’s really nice, because they’re getting older and potentially could be dispersing everywhere, but instead, it feels like they hang out here more.”

A bright master bedroom is part of the rear addition. 

The home’s rear facade reveals the open, modern layout within.

An office nook off the kitchen offers a semi-private work space that’s still close to the action.

This transformation of an early 20th century Capitol Hill home was selected by a panel of architects for the AIA Seattle Home of Distinction program in recognition of the seamless integration of new with old and the careful renewal of the original home to better support the daily needs of family life.

Public47 Architects, LLC: Jeff Boone, Scot Carr, Kevin Tabari; 206.316.2647, public47.com
Ambrose Construction: Brad Wageman, general contractor; 206.455.9110, ambroseconstruct.com
Bykonen Carter Quinn: Tom Bykonen, structural engineer; 206.264.7784, pxbyk.com
RDH Building Sciences Inc.: Michael Aoki-Kramer, building science specialist; rdh.com
Exteriorscapes, LLC: Cameron Scott, landscape consultant; exteriorscapes.com

Seattle Manufacturers and Suppliers
Furniture: Chadhaus, Ballard, 206.782.4287, store.chadhaus.com
Cabinetry: Northrop Case, Ballard, 206.782.2664, northropcase.com
Lighting: Resolute, Industrial District, 206.343.9323, resoluteonline.com


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