For the past 17 years, Erika Schuyler and her family have enjoyed all the charms of living in their 1927 Craftsman Bungalow in a part of Seattle they love. As their children have grown, however, the home’s shortcomings became apparent. In January 2020 Erika says, “We decided to update our home to make it more ours.” A friend recommended Amy Vroom of The Residency Bureau in Seattle, who offered multiple options on how to make the space friendlier for a family of five. “The dining area wasn’t in the original project,” says Amy, “but I felt it would be a missed opportunity if we didn’t incorporate it into the design.” By removing a partial wall that separated the kitchen from the dining area, she not only made the two areas more functional with better flow, but she also created an entire wall of storage where the dining table was once located. “Previously, you had to walk past an under-utilized bench on one side and the dining table on the other just to get into the kitchen,” recalls Amy.

When problems arose with the first contractor, Amy recommended Gary Timpe of BrightWork Builders, LLC, of Seattle, whose over 20 years of experience began by restoring Craftsman homes. “I had to fix a few things,” says Gary, “beginning with a week-long demo of the kitchen’s subfloor. The prior contractor hadn’t fully glued down the concrete board, which would have quickly resulted in cracking tiles.”

“A lot of care when into the design,” says Erika, who praises Amy’s decision to reorganize the spaces. “The new layout is smarter. While cooking, we can be with those in the living and dining room as well.” In place of the peeling laminate cupboards are a mix of cabinet finishes with painted above and wood below, grounded by the bold blue star tile that inspired the color palette for the design.

In keeping with the Craftsman style, Amy also upgraded the mudroom, where children’s belongings once sat in three chaotic stacks. Beneath the recently added Marvin windows, Amy specified three separate built-in benches, which Gary had to deftly install to be square and plumb in an old house that had settled over the years.

“Amy listened to what we wanted,” says Erika, who, in turn, took Amy’s advice to procure new furnishings. “It would have been terrible not to make the remodel look as good as it could after all she and Gary had done.”


BrightWork Builders

The Residency Bureau

Cherry Creek Windows & Doors

The Dixon Group

Seattle Design Center