SNOQUALMIE RIDGE, Wash. – The original thread was a single strand – a simple string of vision and possibility. Kenny really wanted to hold a Super Bowl party downstairs.
That’s the thing with threads, though. They’re so rarely self-contained.
“We decided to take over the playroom, and then we just kind of kept going,” says architect Andrew Patterson, of Patterson Ruehlmann Design + Architecture. “It was a classic sweater unraveling: If we’re going to do this, we should do this. We started downstairs and gutted. Then we decided to do the upstairs, then the kitchen, then we should do the master, too. We had the whole house finished except Kenny’s office. He calls me and says, ‘We’re going to do the office.'”
And now Kenny and Deb’s Snoqualmie Ridge home – custom-built in 2005, as “number 16 out of thousands” in the community, Kenny says – has undergone an extra-large interior remodel, starting with that downstairs media room; knitting in that new office; and even seamlessly integrating – behind a hidden door – an invigorating gym so bright, so white, so bold, “I jokingly call it the Storm Trooper room,” Patterson says.
The metaphor is strong with this one. So is the simile.
Kenny owns a land-surveying business, Terrane, “So I’m around a lot of really nice houses,” he says. “I was known for collecting magazines. One day I dumped them on Andy’s desk.” (Patterson recalls quite a stack.)
“It’s like when somebody’s a brand-new bride and has all the magazines – that’s him,” says Deb. “He had more of a, ‘I want that feel.’ “
That feel, says Kenny, was/is “a higher-end level of finish. Andy made that come to fruition.”
You can feel that feel downstairs, in the media room “that started it all,” Patterson says. “There are a lot of hidden touches on the wall. The panels open to speakers. Kenny decided to make it uber and put a giant subwoofer in here and then said we should put in another subwoofer. Once we turned it on, literally the volume in here made your eyes wobble inside your skull. To fit all this in there was like Tetris, with the projector screen and fireplace.”
Also uber (and uber-cool): a special 21-and-over touch in the adjoining space. “One of the early conversations when we started this was that his kids were still in school, but he wanted a place for him and his buddies to hang out but not let the kids get in,” says Patterson. “So there’s a drop-down liquor cabinet. He can only do it on his phone. It’s just a TV lift with the shelf upside-down. It goes up and down; the lights are RGB LEDs and pulse Seahawks colors for game day.” You have to see it to appreciate it.
Liquor bottles on shelf, reflected in a table, are shown descending but can easily be reversed, hidden from kids. The bar area is off the family’s media room where a movie screen also goes up and down.
Upstairs, Patterson says, the substantial new statement fireplace in the living room “was a really big move. The idea was to open the wall up. The floors were beat up. We did new column wraps. We realized how contemporary we were pushing it, and Kenny said, ‘Let’s ramp it up a bit.’ We put wood on the ceiling, and created a slot in the kitchen to hang pendants.”
It’s all about the details here, and the careful attention to each intricate one. Together, it’s like a hand-stitched designer sweater you want to snuggle up in every single day.
“Kenny was really pushing on the vibe: how everything should meld,” says Patterson. ” ‘Is that too Vegas? Is that too glitzy?’ When people come in, they feel welcomed, and they feel comfortable. It’s not rich, but sumptuous – especially up here, where there’s so much wind and rain. They just want to be on the couch with a hot coffee.”
It was a bit of a trek to the couch. There was a lot to unravel and, Kenny says, “a lot of stops and starts.”
“Fatigue at the 2.5-year mark was high,” Patterson says. “They moved out, and there was a big, intensive push for the master and kitchen so they could move back in, and a lot of excavation and demolition downstairs. We picked up the pace, and they moved back in. Dovetail 1/8builders3/8 came in and finished all the downstairs and put in all the finishes. It definitely was a long, passionate project.”
In the end, though it’s not quite the end, that single, original thread eventually stretched all the way through the entire home, except for their two kids’ rooms (Hannah and Colby are now in college).
“We’ll do them next,” Kenny says.