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A Small Space Can Make a Simple Home



The Marchewka family can feel the "lagom" of their Ballard townhouse.

PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON

 

Kate and Chad Marchewka’s Ballard townhouse may not be the biggest space, but it’s packed with personal touches and do-it-yourself projects, making it the perfect home for the couple and their 18-month-old son, Henry. The interior design of the home is influenced by Kate’s Swedish heritage, and they love that although space is limited, the three Marchewkas (and their French bulldog, Luna) have plenty of room to enjoy life together. Kate notes the influence of the Swedish word “lagom,” meaning “just enough,” adding, “That’s how we feel about our home.” 

The openness of the main floor is ideal for Sunday mornings spent sipping coffee, listening to records, and playing on the floor with Henry, while outside, they have just enough yard and patio to enjoy hosting friends on summer evenings. Chad loves being able to bike to work at Amazon via the Burke-Gilman Trail, and Henry loves standing on the balcony, watching for dogs and keeping an eye on the neighborhood. “It feels like the place we’re supposed to be, and where we truly enjoy being,” says Kate. 

Upon buying the house a few years ago, Kate and Chad made some instant updates, painting the builder’s beige walls gray, with one teal accent wall, and swapping out the carpet on the stairs for sustainable bamboo, to match the floors on the main level. They added some character with carefully chosen, modern-style light fixtures and an old piece of barn wood from their home state of Wisconsin. “We installed it over the fireplace as a mantel—there was nothing there before—and we love it,” Kate says. There were plenty of other DIY projects for Kate to tackle, including painting the legs of their stools to match the accent wall, adding a fun, custom pattern to the once-drab filing cabinet, and filling the walls with her own paintings, drawings, and photographs.

 

PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON

Henry's nursery is a space that the whole family enjoys.

 

With the arrival of Henry, Kate and Chad knew they wanted a comfortable nursery in which the whole family could enjoy spending time. Kate, a part-time elementary school librarian, wanted to make sure there would be lots of room for books—even building the shelves out of pine board herself, so they’d be just right. She added another handmade touch with a mobile she made from driftwood and felt, coupled with a cozy chair and mini library perfectly conducive to reading: “Chad and I are both always saying how happy, bright and comfortable the room is, even with its small footprint.” 

While possible upgrades may be on the horizon—Kate dreams about new kitchen counters or different carpet in the bedrooms—for now, this charming Ballard townhouse is a perfect fit.

 

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