Stuffy Seattle mansion fetches $3.35 million


Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood is known for its trendy bars and restaurants, but it’s also home to a historic mansion district and a block known as Millionaires Row, named after the wealthy citizens who built homes there in the early 1900s. 1900s. This neoclassical house, built in 1905, is technically located one block east of Millionaires Row, but it fits right in with the architectural gems of the area.

The property’s previous owners made a good investment when they bought it for $1,775,000 in May 2020. The spacious home was in dire need of updating, so they set to work on a dramatic interior makeover . Less than a year later (in March 2022), they sold the 5,500 square foot home for $3.35 million, almost double what they paid.

While the remodeled kitchen was probably the main feature that made the home attractive to buyers, other design choices also considered the home’s aesthetic and financial success.

Below, before and after photos of the home, along with some expert observations, illustrate how the right changes helped sell this impressive property.


One of the main rules in home improvement: recognize the charm when you see it and don’t spoil it!

Instead of revamping this dream space, the previous owners focused on a few small changes, like installing new flooring, to bring it up to date.

“The change in flooring was a welcome addition. The floor is out and has been for some time. Hardwood floors would be the #1 choice for a study. The owner made the right choice by going with a medium rich stain,” says the real estate agent Bill Gassetfounder of Maximum Real Estate Exposure in Hopkinton, MA.

New windows and clever staging also helped transform this heavy study into a sleek office ready for display.

The living room

From sultry to elegant, the living room gets a contemporary upgrade that feels true to the house’s historic roots. By choosing to keep the unique pocket doors, the previous owners were clearly aware that modernizing a house does not mean losing its charm.

“The living room has a much more modern feel with the light gray paint and matching colors of the fireplace. The room has gone from an 80s vibe to a style more in line with what today’s buyer wants says Gassett.


Arguably the most significant upgrade to this home, the kitchen has gone from a confusing, distracted layout to a cohesive cooking space suitable for an ambitious chef.

The mix of Shaker-style white and blue cabinetry helped bring the room together, says Gassett. He adds that the addition of the stainless steel appliances and pot filler, which are luxury upgrades, suit this upscale kitchen.

Suzanne Serra, a certified kitchen designer based in Huntington Station, NY, notes the abundance of natural light. The previous owners made the smart decision to keep the existing skylights to accentuate the space.

“This kitchen design has maximized cabinetry for all storage needs, has ample counter space, and includes professional-sized appliances that any serious cook would love to use,” says Serra. “Multiple workstations and a large island provide space for efficient cooking and invite visitors to gather comfortably,” Serra explains.

Breakfast corner

There are very few buyers who wouldn’t be charmed by a lunch nook. By removing a wall of cabinets and appliances (which were moved to another part of the kitchen), the previous owners had enough space to build this cozy sitting area.

“The area is fantastic! It has an interesting rustic feel with warm blue paint adorning the wainscoting,” says Gassett.

“A breakfast nook is always a good idea,” says Serra. “Its configuration is conducive to conversation. It’s comfortable and great for kids who like to cram together, but it can also be used as a home workstation. The blue hue of the banquette is delightful and the vertical wall panels add a sense of height, which is always a desired effect.

wet bar

This strange space gives way to a luxurious wet bar. While open floor plans are all the rage, the previously open area looked like a weird kitchen extension. Now clearly delineated from the rest of the kitchen, the bar is a space with a purpose.

“It ties in perfectly with the kitchen theme. The coffered ceiling was a good idea; it adds a warm feeling to the space,” says Gassett.

“The cabinetry built into the molding creates a stunning, custom design,” says Serra, noting that the glass doors and brass hardware add a nice touch of formality to the space. She also likes the practical touches like a centered sink and built-in wine fridge.


Bringing this bathroom into the 21st century is just one of the effective design moves we see in this home. The owners have done the right thing by removing the dated brown tiles on the walls and floor and replacing them with clean, white drywall and geometric floor tiles.

“The work took a tired space and made it more modern and popular. The mix of black cabinetry with the white and gray of the counters and flooring is tastefully done,” says Gassett.

The double sink and rain showerhead also add major value to the room.


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