This post-and-beam home in Shoreline, Washington, has lived many past lives. It was originally built in 1959, later divided up to serve as a retirement facility, and eventually purchased by a couple with three children. The family tasked SHED Architecture + Design with converting the structure back into a single-family home (with a larger kitchen and plenty of storage)—without compromising its midcentury character. “There were some existing, beautiful textures that the owners were really drawn to,” says project architect Rebecca Marsh.
The interplay of old and new becomes apparent as soon as you walk into the living room, which showcases the home’s original structure, large windows, and cedar-lined ceiling.
Here, the firm built new white oak storage to frame an L-shaped couch positioned to take in the incredible view. One of the cabinets holds a DJ station, for when the owner wants to spin. “Both clients have a large record collection, and one DJs,” says Marsh. “So that was something that they thought would be super prime to integrate into their living room.”
The design team also tweaked the layout of the main floor to move the galley kitchen to the window wall. “Even though there were a lot of windows and glass, it was dark in the kitchen,” says Marsh. “One of our motivations was to reorganize the floor plan so that we could locate the primary family social spaces along that wall of glazing, so that everyone could have access to the natural light and the view.”
With the kitchen, dining, and living room joined together, the team defined zones with dropped ceilings—one above the kitchen island, and one over the stairwell, leading to the primary suite. “We did that to anchor those two spaces and create some separation within the larger volume, while still allowing the living room, dining, and kitchen to feel fully connected,” says Marsh.
Custom, rift-sawn white oak cabinetry by Beechtree Woodworks lines the sofa, one edge of the dining room, and the kitchen, further connecting the interior spaces. “We chose white oak, as it’s complimentary to the cedar ceiling, but also distinct, with its lighter tone,” says Marsh. The renovation also preserved other key materials—like the slate floor at the entry and the iron railing lining the staircase—while introducing honed Amazon black granite on the kitchen counters and backsplash, and new cork flooring.
In the bathrooms, the owners chose more pronounced textures and patterns—including colorful Thibaut wallpaper in a powder room and Ann Sacks terrazzo tile in the primary bath—to create surprising moments. Downstairs, the kids’ bath has bright-yellow laminate counters and colorful hex mosaic tile. The lower level also holds what the designers took to calling the “sibling lair”: a former bedroom now outfitted with two sleeping alcoves and a shared play space. “We just tried to leverage what we could from the original design,” says Marsh. “The goal was not to overpower anything that was there.”
More projects by SHED Architecture + Design:
Builder: Ambrose Construction
Structural Engineer: Todd Perbix
Landscape Design: Susan Papanikolas
Lighting Design: Sparklab Lighting Design
Cabinetry Design and Installation: Beech Tree Woodworks
Photography: Rafael Soldi
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.