Obsessed with Detail 

Circa-1927 bungalow in Evergreen.

All too often, a brand-new kitchen and a complete paint job are considered a "whole house" renovation. If you're lucky, they'll throw in resanded floors, too. But when you see a really thorough renovation with major additions, the difference is immediately apparent.

From the street, this classic brick bungalow doesn't appear to have undergone an extensive reworking. You do notice fresh paint, with the half-timbering in the gables nicely accentuated. A closer observer might detect that the original Craftsman multi-light front door has been stripped of 80 years of paint, revealing the old pine beneath. That's merely a hint of the marvelous attention to detail you'll find within.

The living and dining rooms appear perfectly maintained, as if just built. The dining room has tall, paneled wainscoting, as does the area above the living-room fireplace. Period-appropriate sconces and chandeliers are all rewired and gleam anew. How often do you see that?

The three original first-floor bedrooms are now two. The original bath, now serving as the powder room off the hall, was gutted and rebuilt with small, sumptuous ceramic tiles on the floor and in the new shower. The rear two bedrooms have been converted into a master suite with a new, large bath and walk-in closet.

It's when you leave the front, original rooms and enter the kitchen and new rear addition that you begin to realize the extent of this renovation. New windows are grouped, sized, and trimmed-out to match the old. Floors change from the oak of the front to the original pine in the kitchen and to a visually harmonious cork in the sunny den addition.

The kitchen has a brilliant counterintuitive layout. The custom cabinets are confined to only the exterior wall, under a pair of windows. There are no top cabinets, a popular contemporary treatment. A butcher-block-topped table adds an ell to the perimeter counters, and a freestanding, stainless-steel-topped island provides ample work space. The opposing interior wall was, surprisingly, moved forward into the space, creating a triple-doored, walk-in pantry with an appliance counter. It's a very creative and functional solution.

A large second-floor addition was built over the rear half of the house. Upstairs are two new bedrooms and a laundry room — not a closet but a spacious room with two windows. The custom, latticed handrail around the stairwell is an elegant touch.

The rear bedroom is an upstairs master with a window seat flanked by bookcases, a well-outfitted walk-in closet, and a grand bath that would even pass muster in the suburbs. Absolute black-granite counters finish the double vanity. The soaking tub is six feet long, and the shower would easily accommodate a pack of beagles. A private room off the master could be a nursery, an office, or even a meditation retreat.

A new two-car garage has two overhead doors that allow access from the front drive and the rear alley. The garage and the new second-floor addition are both sided in cedar shakes, a fine period finish you seldom see in new work. But then, that's true throughout this bungalow, where the whole renovation is nothing if not obsessed with detail. •

1689 Forrest

3,425 square feet

4 bedrooms, 3 baths; $449,333

Realtor: Crye-Leike, 854-5050

Agent: Jimmie Kay Finch, 687-2857

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