Euzel, a senior software engineer, purchased this home in Seattle for him and his notoriously lazy yet sweet cat Zibo. The home had a lot of potential but it was dark, dated and had a few boring details that just didn’t fit Euzel’s social and witty personality. He wanted to be able to host dinners, impromptu whiskey and wine tastings, and even an occasional game night. But his home was just not giving him what he needed. He then reached out to Michelle Dirkse to make sure that his house maximized all of its design potential.

The first and most important thing that Michelle worked on with Euzel was to change the layout so as to open the living and kitchen space up. “The kitchen layout was odd due to an adjacent back porch and door,” she explained, “by incorporating 24 square feet of the porch area into the kitchen, we were able to greatly improve the kitchen’s layout and look.” Michelle chose inexpensive subway tile to combine with a luxurious quartz countertop that was designed to create a beautiful waterfall island and continuously wrap all the way around the kitchen. The walnut cabinets brought a masculine feel to the space.

Euzel and Michelle had an easy time working together: the homeowner had few requirements and left it up to the designer to make many of the design calls. But the process wasn’t without some of its challenges: the initial contractor delayed the project. Michelle, having previously worked as a construction project manager saw some red flags when the contractor was improperly finishing the oak floors and hanging the cabinets before the dry wall was completed. Immediately she notified Euzel who decided to move forward with a new contractor. “I was awed at the final result,” he said. “As soon as the project was done I cooked a huge steak and had wine to celebrate.”