Before and After: Late 60's Kitchen Brought into the 21st Century

You can see more pictures and full information for this home at:

When the current owners purchased this home it had a very quaint kitchen with the original late 60's cabinetry painted white with black checker style vinyl tile flooring. While the layout is fully functional offering a large eating area/gathering spot and family room just off the open kitchen, as the heart of the home - the finishes just didn't cut it.


Not only did the current owner want to dress the kitchen up a bit, they also wanted to reinforce a connection to the eating/gathering area for a better sense of flow in the home. They wrapped the lower cabinets around the wall to create a narrow serving counter that provides additional storage for china, but also a welcoming focal point as one enters the room.


The striped wall paper against the checkered flooring just had to go!!















Before, the kitchen merely had shelving in the far right hand corner and laminate counter tops. The 4 square checkerboard pattern on the floor was much too large for the space, making it look smaller than it was.















The owners installed custom hickory finished ash cabinetry with crown molding to the ceiling, and full extension soft close drawers. They enclosed the refrigerator, installed solid black granite counter tops and gleaming Patagonian rosewood floor. What a difference! Not only did it dress up the kitchen but changed the feel of the entire house.


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The Best Remodeling Projects to Raise the Value of Your Home

The Best Remodeling Projects to Raise the Value of Your Home

If you are like most homeowners, you probably view your home as your most important investment. Diligent homeowners often treat their homes like stock portfolios or savings accounts and always try to add value to their properties. While there are many ways to increase the value of a home, one of the most utilized methods for homeowners is the remodeling project. However, despite the remodeling successes of many homeowners, remodeling a home is not always a guarantee of added value or increased interest from potential buyers. Hence, homeowners may want to take care in how they renovate their homes, especially when there is volatility in their local housing markets. With that in mind, there are few remodeling projects that are more likely to add value to a home and allow the homeowner to recoup the costs when selling.

Based on numerous studies of the real estate market, here are the best remodeling projects to increase the value of your home and generate the most interest from prospective buyers:

  • Kitchen – As one of the most used rooms in any home, upgrades made to the kitchen are always appealing to prospective buyers. Studies show, however, that the homeowners earn the most value when performing modest upgrades including new cabinets, countertops, floors and well-priced appliances. Hence, homeowners often don’t need to worry about including luxury products when remodeling the kitchen.
  • Bathroom – In many cases, remodeling an existing bathroom can raise the value of the home as much as any other project. As bathrooms can typically be remodeled very affordably, this has long been a favorite project of homeowners looking to increase the value of their homes. Though the eventual recouped value seems to be contingent on region, most homeowners who remodeled existing bathrooms experienced better return on their investment than those that added new bathrooms to their homes.
  • Windows – Though not as visible as remodeled kitchens or bathrooms, there are few remodeling projects that improve the overall quality of a home better than new windows. For instance, smart home buyers will recognize that new windows will not only make the home more comfortable and attractive, but will also save on heating and cooling costs.
  • Siding – Though new siding and other exterior improvements may not be possible or necessary for some homeowners, no other remodeling project generates a better response from prospective buyers. Nationwide, the value recouped by homeowners that installed new siding is matched only by successful kitchen remodeling projects.

On the other hand, there are also some remodeling projects that may not provide the best value for homeowners. Real estate experts typically point to expensive additions – such as home theatres, swimming pools and wine cellars – as the riskiest remodeling projects. The key to determining if such luxurious projects will add sufficient value to the home and allow the homeowner to recoup the value lies in assessing what is right for the neighborhood. For instance, a home with two bathrooms could gain significant value when a new bathroom is added if all the surrounding properties have three or more bathrooms. Likewise, if you reside in a region where swimming pools are an expected luxury – such as the desert southwest – prospective homebuyers probably won’t see your addition as an unnecessary liability.

Most importantly, keep in mind that renovations and remodeling projects may not be as simple as they seem. It is wise to weigh the risks and to consider what is best for the local market before starting any project. If you are unsure what types of remodeling projects would add value in your neighborhood, you may want to consult a real estate agent to get a better understanding of what local buyers are looking for.

The staff at Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC writes select articles about important topics related to real estate. For more information about buying a home or selling your current property, visit today.

What is Home Staging and How Might it Help Sell My House?

What is Home Staging and How Might it Help Sell My House?

In the last few years, home staging has become an increasingly popular method of preparing a home for sale. However, home staging involves far more than the cleaning and minor repairs required to put your home on the market. The process of staging a home is actually an in depth dressing of a home to make the property seem as appealing as possible to prospective buyers. Home staging professionals use a variety of methods to help homeowners sell their properties, incorporating both amenities already inside the home and a number of special products. When preparing to sell your home, you may want to think about some of the home staging methods outlined here to help you find the right buyer.

At its most simple, home staging is about setting the right mood for prospective buyers. By decorating and arranging a home’s interior to present an ideal way of life, buyers are assisted in visualizing themselves in your home. Whether you undertake the process of staging your own home or decide to consult a professional, there are a number of different “props” that may be used around the home. For example, to add a vibrant sense of life to the home, many home staging professionals recommend using different types of potted plants and arrangements of flowers and fruit. Throughout the home, they tend to utilize soft, luxurious fabrics – such as satin, lamb’s wool and silk – to create an atmosphere of comfort. This process can also extend to the exterior of the property, where patio furniture can be added in the backyard and colorful flowers or unique accessories outside the front door.

Many home staging professionals come from interior design or art-related backgrounds. Hence, when working on staging a home for sale, these professionals utilize a number of visual tricks to capture the attention of potential buyers. For instance, furniture is always arranged very carefully to simulate the ideal living space. In living rooms, home staging professionals often use loveseats and ottomans in lieu of large couches to create the illusion of added space. Likewise, mirrors are often placed throughout a staged home to make the living area seem larger to potential buyers. In areas where you hope to focus a buyer’s attention – like a hand built stone fireplace or a remodeled kitchen – staging professionals can place unique artwork or accessories to catch the eye.

One of the most important steps in home staging is the exchange of your personal decorations with more neutral furnishings. Beyond replacing family pictures with more design-friendly items, a successful home staging will attempt to eliminate any idiosyncratic tastes and represent a living space that has broad appeal. Though this process may feel like a slight on your family’s home, you should hardly take offense. This commonly used tactic simply helps potential buyers view the property not as someone else’s home, but as something they can call their own.

Most real estate experts claim that home staging is especially important when the home is empty. Without any furniture or amenities, even a home for sale in the most attractive area can make potential buyers feel uncomfortable. If you are trying to sell your home and have already moved out, you may want to consider working with your agent to stage the home’s interior. With the assistance of your agent and a home staging professional, you could quickly transform a lifeless house into dream home.

In the end, home staging is about making the most of your home’s potential. If the staging of your home is completed effectively, it is also possible that your home may receive better offers from potential buyers and spend less time on the market. By minimizing the flaws of your home and making the living area seem larger, brighter and more appealing, home staging may be one of the most important steps in selling your home quickly and at the right price.

The staff at Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC writes select articles about important topics related to real estate. For more information about buying a home or selling your current property, visit today.

Skogen Lane - Bainbridge Islander Home of the Week

Live Everyday in a Far-away Island RetreatNantucket-Style Home on Port Madison Bay

Buy Bainbridge Island Coastal Real Estate For SaleWelcome to the private island community of Skogen Lane, whose bonfires and potlucks foster friendly neighborhood living. This custom, upscale cottage-style home is straight out of Coastal Living Magazine. Its light and airy interior capitalizes on the enchanting and ever changing view of Port Madison Bay with over 48 windows. You will appreciate the private boating easement to Port Madison Bay and the five nearby public parks and road ends with water and beach access. Built in 2007, it offers over 850 square feet of Brazilian redwood decking and 3,790+ square feet of living space. Moreover, a separate guest quarters of 820 square-foot with kitchenette flexibly accommodates a professional office, in-law quarters or media room. To see more of the home Visit:

Cottage Red shingles and lap siding trimmed in white home for  saleCottage Red shingles and lap siding are trimmed in white, true to the home’s east coast-styled front porch of white columns, Brazilian redwood decking and stainless balusters. The nautical theme that runs throughout the home is smartly introduced in frosted front door displays a marine compass etching that is true to the home’s location. Step inside onto sustainable grown Brazilian cherry hardwood flooring. Just off the entry, four bay windows define an anteroom, where guests may gather or comfortable rest in quiet moments. Distinctive detail makes this home an extra-ordinary find.

Enter the 800 square-foot great room, where a dramatic tongue-and-groove beadboard cathedral ceiling is painted Nantucket white. The ceiling slopes from nine to 14 feet high, wrapping kitchen, dining and living areas in incredible scale and trim. Abundant recessed lighting is mounted into all ceiling slopes, while 15 separate windows invite natural light on four sides. Two windows are mounted within an arch, framing the living area’s large, honed granite Heat & Glo fireplace. The fireplace chimney displays vertical board design that imitates beadboard, and a Honduran mahogany wraparound mantel provides options for seasonal décor. Cabinets hide stereo surround sound and provide ample storage for games, movies, and music.

In the dining area, pendant lighting hangs from the 14-foot ceiling to designate dining table placement. A cathedral beadboard arch rises over a grouping of two-story windows, including a full-lite door that opens to the main-story deck. Steel balusters and Brazilian redwood define a five-sided deck that looks to the covenant-protected view of Port Madison Bay. Moored yachts symbolize easy access to Puget Sound. Hot and cold water spigots and propane outlines enhance barbecue entertainment.

Everyone will gravitate to the stunning kitchen, where a cathedral beadboard arch rises above kitchen windows. Pendant lighting shines on a wraparound, honed granite island. Its upper tier serves as a serving/breakfast bar that easily seats eight. The lower tier houses a deep stainless sink, and below the sink on floor level is located an automatic dustpan. A Jenn-Air stainless dishwasher, a refrigerator, double ovens and a 48-inch wide cooktop are interspersed among copious Shaker-style alder cabinets. Deep appliance drawers automatically close and built-in trash bins offer easy disposal. The down-drafted cook top offers a grill and six burners, easily hosting large gatherings. A nearby walk-in pantry is hidden behind a magnetic/chalkboard door, which serves as a reminder of everyday activities.

Bainbridge Island Home for sale - Master BedroomAn arch off the great room opens to the away-room and full bath. Tiny tan-and-white tiled flooring complements a vanity of creamy marble and beadboard. Tiled walls rise over the custom shower that includes a tile-framed window. In the next-door guest bedroom, a rainbow of windows looks to leafy branches. An arch frames an alcove that may serve as a sitting/desk area—or this room may serve as an office or television/media room. Radiant floor heating warms the home’s flexibility with separate zones, including bedroom and recreational/workshop levels. A whole-house fan proves a heat recovery ventilator for extra energy efficiency and quiet, continuous, circulating air. A central vacuum system simplifies cleaning on all levels.

On the bedroom level, step onto cushy carpet into the connecting master bedroom, where five windows view yachts moored in Port Madison Bay. A frosted door opens to the lower deck that runs the full length of the home. Stairs descend on each side of the deck to the sunny yard, where a grove of birch trees dapples sunshine. Back inside, pocket doors reveal the deep walk-in closet with mirrored cabinet, rods and shoe racks. The adjoining master bath provides radiant floor heating in the tiled shower with two showerheads. Two circular sinks are mounted into a granite and beadboard vanity. Tiny white and grey tiles cover the floor and encase a Jacuzzi soaking tub.

Guest house and Garage with Water view home on Bainbridge Island    WashingtonA tiled full bath with marble vanity serves two more good-sized bedrooms. One bedroom views Port Madison Bay and the other bedroom views wooded serenity. The lower deck is also accessed by the attractive laundry/mudroom. Its black-and-white tiled flooring and integral stainless sink complement beadboard cabinets.

The home’s daylight lower level includes radiant-heated floors that flow throughout the recreation room and the huge mechanical/storage and workshop/storage rooms. Flexibility suggests an additional sleeping room, perfect teen hangout and even wine storage. Double doors open to the side yard, where a path leads to the separate garage/guest quarters.

The garage level includes a full bath and additional laundry area. The overhead guest quarters/office/studio features 820 square feet of light-filled living space with vaulted ceiling, skylights and bamboo flooring. A slider opens to a private sunny deck that views Port Madison Bay. The large living area accommodates a sitting area and desk; the full-sized bedroom offers a ¾ bath and large closet; and the kitchenette offers a dishwasher, refrigerator, eating bar and breakfast nook. Friends and family will appreciate this extra space that provides endless opportunity. The home also includes a newer well and newer four-bedroom septic system.

Bainbridge Island coastal living home for sale

The home: 4 bedrooms 4.75 baths, 3,794 sq. ft. plus 820 square-foot guest quarters, .71 acre, MLS 29082926

Address: 15193 Skogen Lane NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 Tour by appointment

Listing agent: Leah Applewhite, Coldwell Banker McKenzie, 10048 NE High School Road, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Direct: 206-387-0439 Email: Website: Driving directions: From Highway 305 on Bainbridge, turn west onto NE West Port Madison Road. Make a switchback right on Skogen Lane NE.

Review of Premier Architectural Tour on Bainbridge Island

Last weekend was Bainbridge Island’s first architectural tour and what a success! Gorgeous weather, incredible houses in amazing settings, talented interesting people… for the design minded, it was an inspiring two days of fun. Produced by GEM and Seattle Homes and Lifestyle Magazine, it was a thoughtful way for local architects and builders to show off their style. We were able to go inside more than twenty incredible homes and talk directly to their architects. Bainbridge has some amazing residences! Amazing attention to detail and energy saving innovation from Coates Design. (I have to say this was the most intriguing home):

Coates Design Vanity

Impressive land use strategies and flexible utility from Peter Brachvogel. (Most gorgeous garage on the island - I can’t wait to see the primary residence):

Brachvogel Compact=

Renovated boat house on Bainbridge Waterfront

Accessory Dwelling Unit designed to become future garage

Stylish modern design on the waterfront from LaRoche. (I felt like I was floating walking through this home – perhaps it was the light colored cork flooring and darker natural wood ceilings. This home was definitely a play on smooth and textured surfaces. I’ve been admiring it from the water for a couple of years now.)

The firms on the tour are just a sampling of the very talented professionals that live right here in the community. If you are remodeling or building new, I encourage you to ‘shop local’: Participants included:


Bill Chester, Williarm Chester Architect & Planner

Charlie Wenzlau, Wenslau Architects

Sean Parker, Sean Parker Architect

Ron Holsman, Ronald H. Holsman Architects

Peter O’Connor, O’Connor Architects

Marc LaRoche, Marc LaRoche Architects

Peter Manning, Manning Architecture & Planning

Julie Kriegh, Kriegh Architects

Devin Johnson, Johnson Squared Architecture

Jeb Thornburg, Indigo Architecture & Interiors

Hris Gutche, Ecosmith Architecture & Consulting

Dick Dunbar, Dunbar Architects

Dana Webber, Dana Webber Architect

Lane Williams, Coop 15

Mathew Coates, Coates Design Architects

Peter Brachvogel, BC&J Architects

Nate Thomas, Architects/Thomas

Building Contractors:

Toilsome Construction

Andrew Constan, CDB General Contractors, LLC

Port Blakely Builders, Inc

Bill Agnew/Thom Fowler

Hall Construction


Jim Bickford

Drury Construction

Brian Russell

Smallwood Design & Construction

Carley Construction, Inc.

Cratsman Building

Fairbank Construction Company

Mike Fisher Construction

Tom Salisbury

Pacific Pointe

Structural Engineers:

Swenson Say Faget, Paul Faget

Jay Oleson PE, Brain Glover SE, Arup

Quantum Consulting Engineers

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Recent Bainbridge Island homes for sale:

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