Sleeping in Seattle

We polluted more skies (see previous post) flying from San Francisco to Seattle to see my son, his wife, and their year-old son. They are all doing fine, thank you very much, but this isn’t about them. It’s about domiciles. Let’s start with theirs.

A few years ago, before Jason and Robin got married, they bought a house boat on Lake Union. The price was right, in part because it was small, in part because the housing market was down, and also because it needed work. Jason looks good with a tool belt on. He started by taking out the wall facing the water and putting in large windows and glass doors. Light is good, especially when reflected off the water. That was it for quite a while, but when Robin became pregnant it was clear that the interior needed to be reorganized to make good use of what little space they had(about 700 square feet, the size, or a little smaller, of many New York apartments). It was a rule in the house boat community that the footprint of the existing house could not be expanded.

A friend down the dock drew up some plans, Jason and Robin moved into a another friend’s place, and Jason started gutting his house—walls, ceilings, floors, all the way down to the logs that floated the whole thing. The floor had to be reinstalled and leveled (it hadn’t been level). Then he bought seven closets from Ikea and installed them at strategic locations. He then framed in the interior walls and installed new plumbing and wiring. Sheetrock, appliances, kitchen counters and cabinets, book shelves, bathroom fixtures, flooring, lighting fixtures and outlets and switches. Paint. Continue reading