Oftentimes I find that the standout homes I write about aren’t the flashiest of spaces. They aren’t necessarily expensive or trendy either. The spaces I look back on most fondly are those with a backstory just as memorable as their look. Today, house in Seattle, WA is joining those ranks for me.
Cassie purchased her home eight years ago with her husband, Sol. When they first laid eyes on the fixer-upper, the property was teetering in design limbo thanks to major renovations in the 1950s and 70s. It was in such rough shape their neighbors even asked the couple when they planned to demolish it and start fresh. But Cassie and Sol wouldn’t dare! Not only did they not have the money to do so, but the previous owners had gone out of their way to pick the entire house up, move it to its current plot and had poured a new concrete foundation for it to sit on. Taking the space down to the studs was out of the question.
Keeping the bulk of the retro structure, though, meant Cassie and Sol had to put a massive amount of energy into modernizing the dated home. They renovated the bedrooms from top to bottom, worked on flipping the kitchen and added on an enclosed porch. “My husband put his heart and soul into this home. His literal blood, sweat and tears helped build everything we have,” Cassie says.
Unfortunately, Sol isn’t around to enjoy all the fruits of his labor. When Cassie was seven months pregnant with their third child, he took his own life.
In the wake of his death, Cassie’s best friend Dylan moved from Hawaii to be with her. Since then, he and Cassie have picked up where Sol left off, and together they’ve made a complementary team. They tell us they aren’t afraid to challenge one another and both constantly push for the space to be the best it can. Sol wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
For some, living amongst such visceral memories sounds impossible, and while Cassie admits it’s extremely challenging, she’s learning to cope. She tells us, “I am very thankful for every board and screw and tile in this home. It’s a reminder that Sol was here and he mattered. He lives in the walls and the materials everywhere.” —
Photography by Cassie Daughtrey
Image above: Cassie’s home was mail ordered from Sears in 1908. At the time, you could order everything from light fixtures to pre-cut wood from the store’s catalog. You could then build it yourself or hire a contractor to unpack the boxes and get to work. It’s a fascinating concept, and “by the time the catalog was discontinued in 1940, Sears is estimated to have sold between 70,000 and 75,000 houses,” according to .
Pendant lights – Restoration Hardware
Welcome mat – Holistic Habitat
Pouf – Abacus Threads
Leather sofa, pink chairs – Room & Board
Rugs – Rugs USA
Console table – West Elm
Pink lamps – Home Goods
Plant hanger – Holistic Habitat
Votives – Glassy baby
Rug – Rugs USA
Light – Etsy
Oven – Blue Star
Fridge – Liebherr
Dishwasher – Miele
Beverage fridge – Marvel
Backsplash – Ann Sacks
Stools – Serena & Lily
Bed – Pottery Barn
Sconces – Ballard Designs
Side table – Joss & Main
Headboard – World Market
Accent pillow – INDIEBungalow