Karen & Dave's Accessible Renovation

Karen & Dave's Accessible Renovation

Heather Blaha
Apr 5, 2011

Name: Karen Braitmayer & Dave Erskine (Architect and Marine Mechanic)
Location: Magnolia — Seattle, Washington
Size: 1,800 square feet
Years lived in: 15 — owned since 1996

Working alongside Röm Architecture Studio, fellow architect Karen Braitmayer's goal was to make her family's Seattle home functional, user-friendly, and comfortable — while accommodating daily accessibility needs for two wheelchair users. The home's 1954 MCM roots evolved into a home of today — lived-in with very specific personal requirements, desires and tastes. The renovation's result: an open-air stunner!

Rather than adding any square footage, the two architects instead utilized previously unused space for accessibility features such as open knee spaces, a side-opening oven, pull-out cabinets, and various sliding doors. The renovations read just as beautiful as they are multi-functional: the curbless shower, varying installation types/heights for bathroom vanities, and streamlined curbless exterior entries and doors, all add to the home's stunning flow and purposeful living.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Clean, streamlined, colorful, a place for everything

Inspiration: Classic mid-century furnishings mixed with eclectic pieces

Favorite Element: Toss up between the master bath shower and my mixer shelf

Biggest Challenge: Our family consists of two wheelchair users of different statures and one standing adult. How to accommodate everyone's reach and comfort zone was the big puzzle.

What Friends Say: What an amazing view!

Biggest Embarrassment: How much is shoved in the few closets and drawers we have. With no basement or attic, storage is at a premium.

Biggest Indulgence: Our new powered window blinds — remote controlled means no more climbing.

Resources of Note:


    • Floor: clear-stained red oak
    • Cabinets: clear-stained white oak
    • Countertops: honed Cambrian black granite
    • Windows: Lindal
    • Exterior doors: Marvin
    • Interior doors: Simpson
    • Door levers: Baldwin
    • Sliding door, pulls: Omnia
    • Sliding door, edge pulls: Reveal Designs
    • Cabinet pulls: Mockett
    • Paint: Benjamin Moore


    • Sink: custom stainless steel by Kollmar Sheet Metal
    • Faucet: Kohler
    • Oven: Fagor
    • Refrigerator: KitchenAid
    • Cooktop: Fisher
    • Dishwasher: Miele
    • Tile: Ann Sacks
    • Light fixtures: Progress Lighting (paintable dropped cans)


    • Shower drain: Quickdrain
    • Toilet: Toto
    • Sinks: Duravit
    • Sink faucets: Cifial
    • Shower heads: Hansgrohe
    • Shower controls: Cifial
    • Tile: Statements


    • Sink: Dick's Restaurant Supply
    • Faucet: Kohler
    • Floor: Marmoleum

Thanks, Karen & Dave!

Design: Röm Architecture Studio
Images: Kathryn Barnard

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