2309 E Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98112
For many years, Kirsten and Rick lived in a very rural part of the Kitsap Peninsula, across the Puget Sound from Seattle. “We were living out in the woods,” says Kirsten. “The closest town was 25 minutes away, and gas was 25 minutes away. We loved it—it was beautiful and quiet, but a little too remote.”
The couple started looking for something closer in, when Kirsten’s oldest daughter came across a listing for a 1930s brick farmhouse on about two acres in Silverdale. The Dyes Inlet property was once an oyster farm, and the residence had the same quiet, rustic quality as the home they were leaving.
The couple were surprised at the find. “Silverdale is a community that grew up around a mall,” says Kirsten. “It has a Costco, a Trader Joe’s, and all the franchise restaurants. But we came to see the house, and it was this little corner of paradise right in the heart of Silverdale. Its original, rural nature had been preserved.”
Less paradisical was the home’s interior, which still had its original 1930s layout—complete with compartmentalized rooms, low ceilings in the upstairs bedrooms, and few windows to capture views of the inlet. Still, there was something about the brick that captivated the couple—it isn’t a common building material in the area, and it still bore the original builder’s initials in a flourish on the east facade.
After purchasing the property, Kirsten and Rick set about updating the farmhouse to suit their lifestyle. Their grown children and grandchildren come to stay for extended periods, so they needed more space and privacy than the existing three-bedroom / one-full-bathroom home offered. While researching local firms, they discovered SHED Architecture & Design, and they consulted with the firm about how to best proceed.
SHED principal Prentis Hale was struck by the uniqueness of the brick home, and thought the best approach was to preserve the integrity of the original structure while reorganizing the interior plan. “This was a 1930s brick house with some charm and character that didn’t deserve to be torn down,” says Hale. “It had been part of the fabric of Silverdale for a while, but the interior really no longer worked for the way people live these days.”
The firm came up with a master plan for the site that would convert the brick house into a guest residence for visiting family, and create a separate primary house for Kirsten and Rick. (They’ve just broken ground on the latter.)
SHED worked with Joe Gates Construction to keep the roof’s pitch, as well as the east and west facades, most of the window openings on those faces, and the OG initials. They took more liberties with the North and South facades.
On the water side, they extended the dormer all the way across to make room for two bedroom suites upstairs, and inserted new windows in the dormer to capture the views. “It neatly arranged itself in a very centralized, symmetrical (as we could make it) floor plan on the upper level,” says Hale. SHED mirrored that symmetry on the lower level, with two large sets of sliding-glass doors that align with the dormers above and connect the main living spaces to the view.
The firm also leaned into asymmetry by exaggerating the roof overhang at the rear facade to create a protected porch. Other exterior elements, like a simple steel canopy above the front door, and a metal railing, sync up with that dramatic move.
Kirsten says she wanted the interior to feel “both light and airy, but to also have the character of a farmhouse.” To hit these notes, the design team selectively applied white shiplap to the entry, kitchen, and custom cabinetry upstairs. The wood paneling also serves a functional purpose: “I like something that can get dented,” says Kirsten.
To sync the home with the surrounding landscape, the team selected deep-blue floor tile for the bathroom, and pale green upholstery for a window seat. “It’s the opposite of a rabbit warren, which is what it felt like before,” says Kirsten. “Now, everything opens to the water and sky.”
More Before & After stories:
Clever Changes Bring Out the Charm in a 1920s Seattle Bungalow
A Timeworn Midcentury Home Gets a Reverent Renovation
A Kandinsky Print Inspires a Seattle Rambler’s Radiant Remodel
Architecture: SHED Architecture & Design / @shedarchitecture
Builder: Joe Gates Construction
Structural Engineer: Todd Perbix
meet the team
We’re a team (and a dog named Evie) inspired by diverse design perspectives, innovation, technology, art, and the world around us. We live for the chance to create and disperse powerful, genuine messages that resonate.
Growing up in Seattle, Amy was always exploring the great outdoors but she found a particular thrill in traveling. During a visit to New York City at age 10, she knew that was where she wanted to live. After high school she left her home in the Pacific Northwest behind for the great unknown to attend Fordham University in the Bronx. Upon graduation, Amy received a phone call from CNN offering a job opportunity of a lifetime working in television ad sales at Manhattan's Time Warner Center. When a job opportunity in Los Angeles opened up a few years later, Amy couldn't say no to a new adventure back on the west coast. But Seattle eventually called her back home and Amy returned to pursue a Master's degree in Business Administration with the hopes of learning the skills she needed to feed her entrepreneurial spirit. Before graduating, Amy co-founded Paxson Fay with Tessa Andrews in 2015. Amy focuses on marketing strategy, public relations, social media, and partnerships.
Tessa graduated from Fordham University in New York with a dual bachelor's degree in Communications and Political Science. During her time at Fordham, she worked for an interior designer and at NBC News where she developed her love for both design and communications. After graduating, Tessa managed marketing at 3form, a pioneer in the sustainable building products industry. During her tenure, 3form was repeatedly named one of the most recognized manufacturers in the design industry among architects and designers, and the company won multiple awards for its innovative product launches. After 3form, Tessa consulted on marketing efforts with leading product manufacturers in architecture and design before starting Paxson Fay with Amy.
senior account coordinator
Claire Butwinick specializes in marketing and social media strategy, copywriting, and public relations. Formerly the Assistant Editor at GRAY Magazine, an international architecture and design publication based in Seattle, Claire brings to Paxson Fay her editorial background and a passion for all things design. In addition to her writing experience, Claire is a seasoned public speaker, moderating a number of panel discussions with IDS Vancouver and Be Original Americas, and hosting the 2019 GRAY Awards. Last year, she took her speaking skills virtual, conducting several Instagram Live interviews with designers amid the pandemic. A graduate from the University of Washington’s School of Communication: Journalism, Claire was honored with a Pioneer News Group Excellence Award for Visual Journalism, selected for the Communication department’s prestigious Career Exploration scholarship, and nominated for a Hearst National Journalism Award. Her work also appears in GRAY Magazine, Office Insight, SagaCity’s Jewish in Seattle Magazine, and more.
senior account coordinator
After graduating from Fordham University in New York City with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a handful of marketing and PR internships, Colby moved to Boston to manage marketing for a small, women-owned, creative consulting agency. While in that role, Colby managed public relations and marketing efforts for some of Boston's most prominent events and public art initiatives, including the Boston Pickle Fair and The Bulfinch Crossing Projections in downtown Boston. Colby gained experience crafting brand stories and identities through social media marketing and creative copywriting, seen through the successful launch of a premier Massachusetts adult-use dispensary and the revamp of her agency's own website. After two years, Colby decided it was time to figure out what the West Coast was all about. Looking to blend her marketing experience with her passion for design and architecture, Colby found Paxson Fay, where she focuses on social media strategy and management and public relations.
Chloe Edwards is a PNW native and recent Summa cum laude graduate from the University of Washington, where she studied Communication and Anthropology. While interning with the strategic communications firm Parsons + Co. Chloe developed skills in messaging and branding development, media outreach, and social media management. Chloe joined the Paxson Fay team as an intern in the fall of 2020. At Paxson Fay, Chloe creates social media content for a variety of client campaigns and profiles and leads engagement on several accounts, coordinates internal communications efforts, and assists with media outreach. As Paxson Fay's full-time Communications Assistant she uses her experience to achieve social media marketing, content strategy, and media relations success for clients and for the Paxson Fay brand.
digital marketing manager
Originally from Las Vegas, Ryan (they/them) graduated from the University of Washington (Go Dawgs!) and considers Seattle to be home. Ryan’s career has shifted many times - from being a campaign organizer in politics to being a professional photographer and wedding planner - but they have always gravitated towards the art of marketing and know it's their true calling. After working at multiple start-ups and building digital campaigns for companies like Google and Amazon, Ryan is excited to be a part of a team that aligns with their passions for architecture and design. Ryan is bringing years of marketing, data analysis, and social media experience to the team and is thrilled to start supporting clients in achieving their marketing goals.
what we do
We are a communications firm founded in our passion for good design. Our unique approach to marketing and public relations in the architecture and design community has elevated our clients work to the next level. We’re backed by a talented community of creatives. From copywriters to social media experts, we provide a complete package of customized services. We strive to create a personal experience with each client, integrating teams and tackling your biggest marketing and public relations challenges from a high level. Then we help execute those plans ensuring lots of reporting along the way, with lots of coffee breaks in between because we’re from Seattle and that’s what we do.
partnerships acquisition and management
media communications and outreach
awards: strategy, content development and submissions
platform strategy and management
results + reporting
budget strategy + negotiation
website and e-mail marketing
video: sourcing, storyboarding and scheduling
photography acquisition + curation
sponsorships + partnerships
Here is a little taste of who we love to work with and what we love to do.