Project Description

A small home is transformed into a modern retreat for a world renowned black & white photographer


This second story addition was added to a Seattle home located in a complicated LR3 zone on Queen Anne’s west slope. The previous owner/developer constructed three new townhomes behind this existing home, and did a light remodel this existing house. The townhomes blocked a portion of the water view from the main level, but it was clear a second story addition would have access to some amazing views.

The addition is almost the same footprint as the existing house below, but is divided in the middle by a new stair with metal railings and a ‘bridge’ that divides the master suite from two children’s bedrooms and a bathroom. A small laundry closet is tucked in upstairs so that laundry doesn’t have to be carried to the basement (where there is a full laundry room). Three levels of decks, including a rooftop view deck, access 180 degree views of the Sound and the Olympic mountains.

The project included a complete redo of the landscape (also designed by us). The small front garden was leveled, fenced and a small lawn installed. A new stone pathway informally crosses the lawn to a stone patio at the entry. The small back terrace was landscaped to improve privacy.

Project Info & Tips

  • An LR3 zone, and other multi-family zones, are more complicated than Seattle’s Single Family zones. Making revisions to homes in multi-family zones require analyzing the ‘parent’ lot, which means providing information on all the structures on the property
  • When second story additions can access views, it can help to increase the value of the home
  • Roof decks are a great way to capitalize on water and mountain views
  • If you want to use a roof deck for entertaining, consider how guest will access this space without going through bedrooms. We added a door at the stair landing to directly access the upper level deck and spiral staircase to the roof deck
  • To learn more, see our article on Second Story Additions
  • Level of Design Services: Full Services
  • How do I Estimate Construction Cost and Design Fees?