Tour the Space to Get a Newly Modern Seattle Home

Four and a half an hour. That’s how long Mary Hurlock-Murphy husband Grant Risdon, their three children, two dogs and a cat lived in an 800-square-foot, three-bedroom, 100-year-old farmhouse at Seattle before undertaking an remodel.

The couple — she works at electronic agency Razorfish; he works in biotech — adored their desired neighborhood of Queen Anne homes, and moving into a nearby home wasn’t an option, because demand had priced them from the area. So they decided to stay put and make the most of their small house and lot. Architect Chris Pardo of Elemental Architecture provided a light in the end of the tunnel. By casting the job as a remodel, regardless of the renovations being so extensive that the home would be nearly a new construct, they were able to steer clear of new house setbacks that could have yielded a ridiculously slender 5-foot-wide house.

Instead, Pardo built up and up as far as possible, doubling the square footage to 1,600. He turned two amounts into four adding a rooftop deck in a partial-daylight basement, an in-law studio apartment, which the homeowners now rent out to offset their mortgage. Pardo also fulfilled a lifelong dream of Hurlock-Murphy’s to have a home library. With such limited space, Pardo Gently divide the library into three custom-built sections throughout the home.

Despite it being a “compact home,” Pardo states, the couple is happy with their four bedrooms; this is actually the first time in years they haven’t slept on a Murphy bed.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Mary Hurlock-Murphy, her husband Grant Risdon, their three children, two dogs and a cat
Location: Seattle
Size: 1,600 square feet; 4 bedrooms
Budget: $165 per square foot

Chris Pardo Design – Elemental Architecture

This is only one of the library markets Pardo used to divide the homeowners’ book collection. The seats directly in front of it are covered in linen toile and filled with down. An sofa seat is faced by them.

Sofa: G. Romano

Chris Pardo Design – Elemental Architecture

Since the home is very close to its neighbors, Pardo built up and picked to get a reverse floor plan that place the living spaces on the third level to maximize views and light. It also gives solitude from passersby.

Cost saving was a big issue, so Pardo had to get smart with his design decisions. To give the exterior the commercial glass-storefront look he pictured, he designed a cruder variant of 2-by-4 posts wrapped in aluminum cladding. The commercial system could have run around $96,000; Pardo layout price $18,000. “It was among the biggest cost-saving items for us without diminishing the layout,” he states.

To honor Pardo’s job, the homeowners chose for their doorway color the same hue as Elemental Architecture’s emblem: Pantone 144.

Chris Pardo Design – Elemental Architecture

The master bedroom is via the doorway. “If you’re hungry in the morning, it ends up,” says Pardo. Minerit panels, also located on the exterior, constitute the floor of the dwelling spaces. Carrara marble was used for the countertops, kitchen island and the connected dining table. The Burke seats were purchased via Craigslist; they are modeled after the original designs in the starship Enterprise, with “late-’60s, early-’70s Brady Bunch gold cushions,” the homeowner says. The cabinets are walnut.

Chandelier: Design Within Reach; artwork: Todd Karam

Chris Pardo Design – Elemental Architecture

The all-glass wall and spacious floor plan permit for leafy views of the neighborhood and nearby University of Washington.

Chris Pardo Design – Elemental Architecture

Boxed tubular steel treads onto a steel beam produce a spine-like staircase. More Minerit panels constitute the floor.

Chris Pardo Design – Elemental Architecture

A very simple bed and graphic yellow bedspread — both from Ikea — brighten this kids’ space, as does a midcentury swivel chair with a burgundy Naugahyde design.

Artwork: Todd Karam

Chris Pardo Design – Elemental Architecture

Bamboo floors, a blue Ikea mattress and an opaque confetti-patterned vintage chair make an original look in another kids’ room.

Chris Pardo Design – Elemental Architecture

Pardo wanted something fairly minimalist for the toilet, with a wall-hung cupboard and glass tile to reflect light from a skylight.

Chris Pardo Design – Elemental Architecture

The claw-foot tub was original to the previous 100-year-old house. The homeowners had the once-rose-colored tub restored everywhere.

Chris Pardo Design – Elemental Architecture

An outdoor staircase contributes to a rooftop deck. The structure gobbles up the majority of the lot, so the deck is a means of having outdoor living room, with views of the University of Washington.

Daybed: Restoration Hardware; blue table: Ikea; Eames-style seats: Craigslist

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Guest Groups: Mugs to Suit Every Taste

There’s nothing like a cup of herbal tea or cocoa, especially when the snow is falling out. Since I’m still in the holiday mood, I piled up a couple fun mugs for winter. The traditional white mug is still my favorite, but the variations I found will keep things interesting. — Brittany from One Charming Party


Oregon Coffee Mug by Daily Grinder – $15

Are you feeling nostalgic or are only a fan of where you reside? This mug is available featuring every country, and you can also customize it to have your favorite town in bold.


Gold Monogram Mugs – $9.95

This mug was a gift from a friend, and it’s rapidly becoming a favorite. I love the gold detail and personalization of the monogram. Plus, it holds a complete cup of hot cocoa.


Solaria Mug – $12

All mugs do not have to be white. This cup gets rave reviews and can be a bit of art all by itself.


Monogrammed Mugs – $8

A traditional black and white monogram is always in style.


Custom Mugs by Brooklyn Rehab – $65

These custom made shape mugs are personalized according to your image. They are the ideal his-and-hers gift.

West Elm

Heart Mugs – $8

These dainty mugs are much more adorable in person. With hearts as adorable as these, they’ll be used yearlong.

Tiffany & Co..

Fifth Avenue Mug – $35

There’s something about this particular mug from Tiffany & Co. that grabbed my eye. It is whimsical and chic all at the exact same moment.


Fantastic Morning Beautiful Coffee Mug by Love Toast – $18

Who wouldn’t wish to wake up to this mug?


Graphic Red Stripes Mug – $4.95

A traditional red stripe changes from Christmas to Valentine’s Day, then back again.


Cafeware II 16-Piece Dinnerware Set – $49.95

These are, hands down, my favorite dishes, so I could not only incorporate the white mug. I have had this set for a decade and counting.


Hayes Mug – $7.95

I love this cozy gray mug. Is it wrong that I wish to keep it in the bathroom to hold my toothbrush?


Martha Stewart Collection Dinnerware Lisbon Black Mug – $12

This black and white mug by Martha Stewart is a immediate classic. I adore this design’s elegance and simplicity.

Cost Plus World Market

Chalk Talk Mug – $3.99

Chalkboard mugs are all the rage. You can even make your own using unique paints. There are tons of tutorials out there.

Contemporary Mugs – $6

The small white bird perched on the handle is a sweet addition to this simple white mug.

Pottery Barn

Mason Jar Mug, Set of 6 – $26

Mugs do not have to be used just in the winter. This Mason jar has just the right amount of old-fashioned allure.

Cost Plus World Market

Yellow Pig Mug – $7.99

I’m not typically a fan of cutesy cups, but I can not resist this clever little yellow pig.

West Elm

Enamelware Mugs – $24

I love, love retro enamelware. This black and white mix from West Elm is perfection and makes me want to snuggle up near a campfire.

Pottery Barn

Cambria Mugs, Persimmon – $32

Just for fun, I thought I’d throw in an unconventional colour. This mug has deep fall hues that are fantastic for early spring too.


Julfint Mug – $4.99

This inexpensive mug doesn’t disappoint. The gray design appears like snowflakes or flowers, depending upon the season.


Threshold Stoneware Decal Mugs With Gold Zigzag – $15.99

No collection would be complete without bold mugs in a golden pattern. These striking cups will bring out the hipster in everyone.

Next: Hot-Drink Stations Hit the Spot

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