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Interiorssneak peeks

A Seattle Roost Made for Savoring Childhood

by Garrett Fleming

A snow cone melting down my right hand, I’d squint – my gaze set on the still water. “It’s gotta be in there,” I’d think to myself. On the hottest of summer days, the pond in my childhood neighborhood sat so stagnant, you’d think you could walk right across it. Usually the only critters that cracked its glassy surface were mosquitos, but if you were lucky, you’d spot an alligator lurking just below. It feels like just yesterday that my three siblings and I were bopping around, getting into all sorts of shenanigans. I look back on those times with such fondness; the memories are so vivid. To this day, when I’m reminded of home, I can still feel the humidity near the pond and taste that strawberry cheesecake snow cone.

Sarah and Daniel Dupuis are also no strangers to childhood’s fleeting moments. Their three kids are growing up right before their eyes. With that in mind, the couple went about revamping their Seattle, WA home in order to keep a tight grip on their little ones’ childhood for as long as possible. The entire third floor is dedicated to crafting, riding scooters and generally just being a kid. All five family members have an artistic flair, and one of their favorite things to do is spend time together drawing and painting in the open space. With so many toys and tools, their home could easily slip into chaos. Sarah and Daniel, however, cleverly use the kids’ accessories to decorate the entire home, proving that plastic dinosaurs can be centerpieces, and finger paintings are fine art.

The home wasn’t always so cheery. It took the family a year and a half to update the century-old fixer-upper. For six months of the renovation, they even lived in the basement! Sarah says, “We set out to add on a second story with the bedrooms on the second floor, while retaining most of the first floor’s layout, but once we had demoed down to the studs, we found that the framing was pretty [uneven] and was literally just swaying in the wind. At that point, we decided to keep the foundation and footprint but otherwise start from scratch and go up.” All-in-all, their home shot up from 1,200 to 4,000 square feet.

The handy pair even tackled most of the renovations themselves after faulty contractor work left them feeling dejected. There are still some small changes that the Dupuis family want to crank out, but they couldn’t be happier with how their home currently stands. It truly is the hotbed of creativity and fun that Sarah and Daniel hoped to craft for their kids. Once you take a peek inside, I think you’ll agree that any child would be lucky to grow up in this fun family abode. Click through to take a full tour of the space. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Rafael Soldi

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Old firehouse doors separate the guest bedroom from the rest of the third floor's play space.
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"I feel like we are in this magical age right now where our kids want to be with us... and although having 3 kids under 6 is noisy and overwhelming many, many times, I keep reminding myself that they probably won't always enjoy our company... so we really need to savor this time while we have it."
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The guest room opens up to an expansive, multi-use area at the top of the home.
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With so many beds, the guest room is the perfect spot for sleepovers. The Turkish rug is from Craigslist, and the side chair was picked up at Pottery Barn.
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Sarah is still working out the decorating specifics of this space, but for now it serves as the perfect place for the family to spend time together watching movies on Fridays and working on art projects. The Pottery Barn sofa is paired with a West Elm rug, IKEA shelving and a chair from Craigslist.
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"With three super-active kids, we are finding this space indispensable in the winter time when it is too cold to get outside. The kids love riding scooters (like Max here), playing badminton, and holding impromptu dance parties up here." Max is excited about losing his first tooth and recently dressed up as Sharknado for Halloween.
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"This is the kids' art/homework area on the third level. This table came from a local school and is one of my favorite pieces in the house because it has this awesome patina and is sturdy as all get-out, which is important since our 1.5-year-old's current favorite hobby is climbing on tables!" The couple picked it up at Re/Use Salvage. The stools are from IKEA.
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Sarah and Daniel describe 4-year-old Amelia as "... the funniest kid to ever live. She looks for every excuse she can to dance and lights up every room she walks into."
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The 100-year-old home's entryway.
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This built-in storage is one of Sarah's favorite aspects of her family's home because of its "... open feeling and lightness..." It also serves as the perfect spot to display their childrens' plentiful artwork.
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Amelia calls this pretty nook the "pancake corner," because the family eats weekend brunch in the sunny spot. The Docksta table is from IKEA.
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"Our 1.5-year-old, Jager, is obsessed with dinosaurs (this is Bernard) so we keep about six of them scattered throughout the house to keep him entertained while we are cooking or doing other chores," Sarah says. Bernard sits between two candlesticks from Sarah's grandmother.
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The first floor is entirely open, which helps the couple keep an eye on their three little ones.
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Sarah used to own a home staging company. Along with Daniel, she made this table for the brand out of old bleacher boards and machine casters. The plan is to eventually use the old school ladder as a library ladder in the kitchen, but for now it adds rustic charm to the dining area. The dining chairs are from Pottery Barn.
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Sarah and Daniel's two eldest children are already bringing homework home. This IKEA desk is the perfect spot for them to knock it out before playtime.
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Open cabinetry gets a lot of flak from those concerned with resale value, but Sarah and Daniel couldn't be happier with their choice to install it. "I love the ease of putting away dishes and the lived-in aesthetic that open shelving provides," Sarah says. The butcher-block counters and Domsjö sink are from IKEA.
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"So much of our home's design evolved from finding a certain piece, buying it, and then designing around it. In the kitchen we bought the [Bertazzoni] range early on, and then the ladder, and every other choice was really working around those two elements." The red doors throughout the home were inspired by the red range.
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Eventually, Sarah will draw a giant octopus with tentacles twisting all around the vintage mirror and accessories that decorate the bathroom's chalkboard-painted wall.
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Sarah painted these old theater seats herself. Their patina complements the home's original radiator.
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This old pitchfork pairs perfectly with the symmetry of the staircase and IKEA rug. The window looks out onto the front lawn. The children love sitting here watching the neighborhood hustle and bustle outside.
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How do Sarah and Daniel keep their children's rooms so tidy? They designed the house to have ample closets so that toys can be out of sight when they aren't being played with. Fifteen-year-old prints don the bedroom wall.
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The room gets even more storage thanks to this chest of drawers – a generous gift from one of Sarah's friends.
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Six-year-old Max is a huge Star Wars fan, so Sarah and Daniel were overjoyed when they found this galactic overhead lighting at IKEA. The wall behind his bed is covered in chalkboard paint, so the plan is to draw a scene on it that depicts the bed zooming through space. IKEA furniture and vintage finds decorate his room.
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Daniel is a dentist and got his son this print from the University of Washington School of Dentistry. He also passed his childhood Star Wars toys down to Max. They sit atop a desk that Sarah and Daniel picked up on the side of the road. It offers ample storage for all of Max's treasures.
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The kids' bathroom is the happiest spot in the home, Sarah says. It's so sunny.
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Sarah searched for this sink for three years. She simply had to find the perfect "slightly-yellowed enamel" hue. Julia Rothman designed the wallpaper for Hygge & West.
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Daniel and Sarah's bedroom is small in comparison to the rest of their home, but they aren't complaining. The two love how the size keeps the room pared down to only the essentials.
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Their bed is from Restoration Hardware, and Sarah painted the piece above their headboard.
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Sarah feels a great sense of pride every time she walks into her bathroom. She and Daniel installed all of the hexagonal tiles themselves.
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The first level's floor plan.
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An aerial view of the second level.
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The third floor's layout.

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Comments

  • Love this! As a mom of 4 boys, the oldest of which is 5, so much of this home spoke to me. The kids bathroom! I’m in love! Is the sink one of a kind? Is there a source? Love the blue on several walls throughout.

  • As a mom of four kids six and under, I am totally inspired by this home. I live in an old, choppy house and so wish we had a more open, kid-friendly layout like this one. I love how every room is comfortable for kids and grownups alike. Well done!

  • Really, really cool. I love all the open space for play! What a happy place :)

    A little confused about the renovation process – it sounds like they actually just ended up tearing the house down to the foundation and rebuilding from scratch, is that correct? Or did they strip it down to the studs but keep the original framing/roof/etc?

    • Hi Kimithy,

      We did strip the main level down to the studs and we are planning on just building the second story on top, but the house wasnt structurally sound and would have required essentially re-framing around all the existing framing + a whole lot of shimming and leveling, so we decided to take it down to the foundation at that point and went up 3 levels from there. It was a sad call to make as Im a Realtor and I LOVE LOVE LOVE old houses, but it wouldnt have been the most rational decision to try to keep the original framing.

  • This whole home is wonderful! I would love to know the green paint color in the kids’ room with the twin beds.

  • I agree with everyone else–what a special, wonderful place! I’m curious about the flooring. It sorta looks like unfinished wood, but I can’t imagine that would hold up to scooters and the like. Whatever it is, it looks terrific.

  • Please tell me more about the wood flooring choices throughout the house. I didn’t see mention of it in the article, but it looks like you may have gone a route I’m considering – wide plank, diy hardwood/high-end plywood. I would love some info as I think they look great. I don’t see nails, so I’m curious what you did here.

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Sarah says the flooring is indeed plywood. Sarah, any more details you can share with us?

      Thanks!
      Garrett Fleming

  • I love this house! That entryway is fantastic, and everything is styled so nicely and feels really fresh. How on earth do they keep that couch white though with two kids?

    • Hi Jessica,

      Thank you for the sweet words.
      We actually have 3 kids, and I think IKEA couches with white slipcovers are THE BEST — the slipcovers are fairly inexpensive and you can wash and bleach them if need be. We also keep a throw blanket on the seats which wards off most of the grubby hand moments :)

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Ive received so many questions from people on the floors that I just put a post up with more details on ourikeahome.com. They are 2 different types of plywood that we ripped down and installed :)

  • I’d love to hear more about the screen in image #6. Is that a tv or some kind of video viewing screen? What are the details of the set-up and equipment?

    • Hi Kate,

      The range is a Bertazonni and its actually painted by the people who paint Ferraris, so its Ferrari red which I just find funny :)
      We bought it at a warehouse sale for Albert Lee which is a washington applliance store.

  • I love your home it’s so light and spacious, the blue birds are sweet. Your lovely kids are lucky to be brought up in such a great home .

  • How fun! It’s neat to see a wonderfully designed home that actually looks functional for a family with kids! Makes me wish I had more character to work with in my home. I love the homework space the best with the stools.

  • Hi Sarah,
    What a beautiful home you have made! I love your open shelving in the kitchen—did you build them from scratch or buy the units somewhere? Have the shelves warped at all? Any tips would be wonderful!

    • Agreed! Dying to know about the floors. Tried finding some a local Portland shop but no luck. Would you mind sharing the $/sq ft you bought at too?

  • Hi Sarah-
    Your home is an absolute beauty. You can see the love poured into it! Thanks so much for sharing. Would you mind sharing some details about the kitchen…
    1) What butcher block from ikea you used
    2) what the open shelves are made of
    3) type of subway tile used

    Thank you!
    Dani

  • Hi Sarah-
    Your home is an absolute beauty. You can see the love poured into it! Thanks so much for sharing. Would you mind sharing some details about the kitchen…
    1) What butcher block from ikea you used
    2) what the open shelves are made of
    3) type of subway tile used

    Thank you!
    Dani

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