A Remodeled 1978 Split-Level in the Pacific Northwest Has Great Tiles, Millwork, and Nature Views
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Name: Alli Devlin and Jeramey Crawford
Location: North Bend, Washington
Size: 1650 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned
We bought this property on a whim. The home sits on the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River, nestled among the trees and nearing the mountain pass, just 30 minutes due east of Seattle. As long-time urban city dwellers, the property reminded us of places we escaped to for adventure and retreat.
The home is a 1978 split-level with just one prior owner. Many of the original finishes remained in the home, like the bright orange shag carpet in the basement, and there were few modernization updates. Changing the footprint of the home was out of budget, but we enlisted local architect Sarah Merriman and general contractor Weaver Construction to modernize the interior and make something special of the builder-grade home.
Our home is 50% renovated with contractors, 25% DIY, and 25% not yet done. The last 25% will be worked on over time. Next up, projects include remodeling our downstairs fireplace, updating exterior siding and paint, finishing our below deck patio, and building a workshop shed for a better place to kick up dust for all these projects!
By day, I’m a chief of staff for a healthcare software and analytics company—and by night the duo’s head of design. Jeramey is head of data operations for a global green energy company—and by weekend the home’s head of DIY.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Contemporary with a mid-century modern influence. Our home’s color palette is black, tan, white, and jewel tones with walnut and white oak woods.
Inspiration: Pacific Northwest mid-century modern architecture has my heart, so we incorporated this style into key design elements and furnishings like our wood slat entry wall, the upstairs fireplace refurbishment, and the custom master bath vanity. I am just as inspired by interior designers like Sarah Sherman Samuel and Natalie Myers for effortlessly combining styles and modern shapes and colors into design.
Favorite Element: Living on the river! It’s why we bought the property. Nature is right out our window all the time. And the sound of the river rushing can’t be beat.
Biggest Challenge: The home has a workable footprint and a solid structure, but nearly every surface, piece of millwork, and fixture needed an update. We had to prioritize many needs and wants in the first major renovation phase and continuously prioritize time and budget for what to tackle next. Our choices might surprise some, but we are making it work for us. For example, we removed the baseboard heat throughout the home and have yet to replace with an electric heating source. Instead, we spent less now on a wood burning stove to warm the home during winter and put the saved money toward other projects.
Proudest DIY: We refurbished the upstairs fireplace for a modern yet timeless look. We worked with a masonry contract to restore the fireplace integrity, then Jeramey refaced the hearth and full-wall height surround with thin-set brick. It was his first time using a tile saw or laying brick, but his meticulous precision paid off. This was the first big DIY and we learned it can be fulfilling and save money, but takes four times longer than expected when you only have weekends free for project work. We now make balanced decisions on which DIYs we take on versus hiring out based on time and cost.
Biggest Indulgence: We decided to splurge on finishes in the master bathroom to get the look we really wanted. The depth of color and richness in the Fireclay tiles was unseen in other options, although pricier for a full-wall installation. We also went with marble floors and a cement plaster finish on the walls, also costing us more in materials and installation than alternative options. We had to balance these indulgences with less expensive choices in our home, like our hard flooring, but no regrets! The bathroom feels special in even everyday use.
Best Advice: Find your anchor inspirations, but design flexibly from there. Many of my inspirations were not achievable in our home’s footprint, so I took an element or color palette and worked it to what we had.
What’s your best home secret? Shop small in addition to shopping big box stores. And don’t be afraid to inquire about custom! Some of the best furnishing and fixtures in my home are from small shop makers, with prices that were same or lower than big stores for the same or better quality. Small shop makers also often have the flexibility to customize size, detail, or finish choices so you get exactly what you need for your home.
PAINT & COLORS
- Sherman-Williams “Pure White”
- Benjamin Moore “Soot”
- Benjamin Moore “Black Satin”