A Beautiful Beaux Arts Bungalow Undergoes A Magical Makeover
(Hans and Leah Juhle’s 3,616-square-foot Arts and Crafts bungalow in Beaux Arts)
If the walls of Hans and Leah Juhle’s Arts and Crafts bungalow could talk, then those glorious logs, posts, and beams would launch into a multilayered tale covering more than a century of history, change, and even fame. Their home, which easily could stunt-double for a national park lodge, certainly is no stranger to the spotlight:
• Star of a car commercial and an Eddie Bauer catalog
• Featured in Sunset magazine and the book “American Bungalow Style”
• Won the Great American Home Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1994
Fitting its celebrity status, it also has had a bit of work done: a restoration in 1989, an addition in 1992, and major renovations in 2015 that required some rather artful engineering.
(Previous owners had lightened the woodwork with paint; architect Amy Janof says she wanted to match that brightness with the renovation)
The Juhles discovered their historic home in Beaux Arts, an eclectic village on the fringe of Bellevue, two years ago, after living in San Francisco and in Seattle’s Greenlake neighborhood.
“Basically, we were trying to find a way to move to the suburbs without it feeling too suburban — no cookie-cutters,” Leah says. “The main thing about this house was its rustic charm. It had a big story and longtime presence.”
Its story also had a dark subplot: a claustrophobic kitchen saddled with 1980s cherry cabinets, low ceilings, gloomy granite, not-exactly-functional appliances, and a somewhat threatening loft overlooking the dining area from the second-floor master bedroom.
“That lack of privacy was not terribly appealing,” Leah says — and not particularly safe, given that the Juhles have two young, and age-appropriately agile, daughters.
Cue Amy Janof of Janof Architecture. After just five minutes, she envisioned a brightness that meshed with the home’s grand history and its previously painted woodwork.
“The main goal for the kitchen was to open it up. We wanted a modern functioning kitchen that didn’t look Moderne,” she says. “That was the balance.” That also was the challenge.
(Much of the Juhles’ kitchen was reframed; a supporting log post was removed and replaced with steel beams overhead, now hidden by nonstructural hollowed logs)
“It was ridiculously difficult,” Janof says. “I kept getting panicked calls that things weren’t going to fit, but we eventually squeezed everything in.”
The renovators reframed much of the kitchen, replacing an awkward but structurally critical log column with steel beams above the sheetrock (the beams are now concealed by “trick” hollowed logs), dropped the kitchen ceiling 4 inches to create room for steel purlins and “the world’s smallest LED light fixtures”, and wormed the ductwork for a nearly flush kitchen hood through an existing platform under the claw-foot tub in the master bathroom above it.
In the dining area, framed on one side by a towering stone fireplace lighted for special occasions, indirect lighting is tucked behind bits of trim, complementing the hanging rejuvenation fixtures Leah selected and the warm, natural light gushing through the home’s original paned windows.
(Leah Juhle selected the rejuvenation light fixtures)
Just looking, you’d see none of this squeezing-in ingenuity — only openness, light and whole-home cohesion, all bathed in soothing ocean greens, grays and blues; a welcome gift from previous owners who built the addition.
“There was a lot about this project that involved what you don’t see,” Janof says. “The reason it looks so pure is because you can’t see the magic of what we did.”
“This home embodies the decorating trends of 2016, embracing muted tones & patterns, wood accents, and minimalistic design. Such a beautiful home in a highly sought after Bellevue area neighborhood.” – Joseph Brazen, Owner/Managing Broker of Brazen Sotheby’s International Realty.
* Article courtesy of The Seattle Times