Located in Seattle’s picturesque Phinney Ridge neighborhood, Bread & Butter is the culmination of a fourteen-year relationship between the clients and Best Practice Architecture. It began in 2009 when the young couple, both practicing structural engineers, purchased a craftsman-style house in their dream neighborhood. The new space was just steps away from sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains but was poorly updated over the years; stripped of its original charm. Despite favoring contemporary design, the couple leaned into the idea of bringing back the original craftsman in a meaningful way. They decided to take their time remodeling and find an architect amenable to a collaborative approach—a strategy that would accommodate changing priorities and future children. The couple worked closely with Best Practice in their engineering work but never before as clients; they knew they were the firm for the job.
Phase one commenced with an entry porch remodel and a coat of grey and butter-yellow paint shortly after the couple bought the house. Before the arrival of the couple’s first child in 2011, Best Practice returned for phase two: a comprehensive update to the main floor, expanding and brightening the kitchen, and introducing a laundry room and full bath. During phases one and two, Best Practice focused on reviving the original craftsman in an abstract form, balancing traditional elements with contemporary interventions. Fast forward to 2020, with a bustling household of three children and the need for a dedicated home office, the couple were poised for the final phase of their project.
The transformative journey concluded with a second-floor addition and a new garage. Best Practice designed the expansion as two contemporary volumes—distinct yet complementary to the scale of the original house. One volume—evoking a loaf of bread—contains the primary bedroom and a home office. The second volume features a spa-like bathroom and a spacious walk-in closet; three cleverly placed pocket doors delineate each space. A generous landing connects three children’s rooms, a second bathroom, and play areas. Best Practice created a cozy reading nook and lookout loft linked by a built-in slide. The interiors echo the craftsman style of the main floor infused with a colorful twist—seafoam green tile graces the primary bathroom while the children’s boasts an array of hues. A dip of gray paint adorns the central stair.
The garage highlights the family's structural engineering expertise, boasting a 13-foot concrete wall as a backdrop to the main yard. Best Practice designed the handsome yet utilitarian structure to allow for a future mother-in-law unit above, offering flexibility for additional income or support for an aging family member.
Bread & Butter stands as a testament to the enduring partnership between the couple and the creative team at Best Practice. From the interpretation of traditional elements to the introduction of modern design, each phase unfolded with precision and purpose, resulting in a vibrant family home that celebrates a thoughtful approach to urban living.