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A Seattle family ditches a ’60s kitchen for one that works for the whole family

Every member of the Seitz family now gets involved in the cooking and crafts in their bright and open kitchen.

Joshua Huston


Sarah and Levi Seitz made a deal when they purchased their home in the Broadview neighborhood of Seattle. The 1960s “hideous brown-on-top-of-brown” kitchen had to go. Levi, the purchase’s main proponent, made a case for the house by promising that the kitchen would eventually get the boot, making room for a modern, 21st-century dream kitchen. 


Three and a half years later, the tiny, narrow kitchen wasn’t working for the couple’s growing family, which now included two young boys (Asher, 4, and Canaan, 2). “The kitchen layout made it nearly impossible to involve the kids in any manner of cooking,” says Sarah. Her own fond childhood memories of the kitchen include cooking, making paper in her mother’s French-blue sink and making caramel with her dad. “I love cooking and dreamed of baking countless batches of sugar cookies with my boys, having them decorate them on a huge stretch of countertop, standing on stools and licking spoons of batter clean,” she says.


After researching budget-friendly kitchen remodel ideas for their 130-square-foot space, Sarah and Levi settled on a hybrid of do-it-yourself renovations: professionally customized IKEA cabinets, lighting from West Elm, Martha Stewart gold cabinetry hardware, herringbone backsplash tile from the Builder Depot, glass railings sourced locally, plus a DIY recessed broom closet, toe-kicks and crown molding. Levi handled the bulk of the renovation, including demolition, installation, tile work, plumbing and electrical (with the help of an electrician friend). They hired out some of the heavy lifting, such as installing a new gas line and drainage, hardwood flooring, drywall and installing the quartz countertops.


Though the kids are young, they definitely had an opinion on the details of the renovation. “The boys were troopers as we walked through stone yards, oohing and ahhing over the shiny granite and gold-flecked marble slabs. When it comes to design sense, these boys are fancy!” says Sarah. “The gold touches throughout the kitchen are Asher's favorite detail. Canaan was the tool man. He could often be seen close to Daddy while he was working, bringing him a screwdriver, hammer or wrench when needed.” 


The boys also are reaping the rewards of the new kitchen in a big way. They now spend almost all of their time at the dining room table, now clearly visible from the kitchen, working on craft and art projects. The new peninsula offers space for rolling out dough and decorating cookies, and has a cabinet with drawers in it, stuffed with art supplies. “The boys love being able to grab what they need and get to work without my help, and I love it too!” says Sarah. 


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