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Shipshape and Refreshed: A Considered Renovation of an 1898 Cabin on Maury Island

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Shipshape and Refreshed: A Considered Renovation of an 1898 Cabin on Maury Island

July 3, 2023

This week we’re combing through the Remodelista archives for some of our all-time favorite summer stories. Here’s one:

Maury Island, in Washington’s Puget Sound, is small. You’ve likely never heard of it before, but you may have heard of its larger neighbor, Vashon Island, to which it’s connected via an isthmus built by local homeowners in 1913. (Before then, the two islands were linked only during low tide.) Both are accessible only by ferry, the inconvenience of which has kept commercial growth at bay—and that’s how its residents like it, including designer Tim Pfeiffer (of Seattle-based architecture and interiors firm Hoedemaker Pfeiffer) and his partner, Matt Carvalho.

The two had been searching for a vacation home on the rural island for years when they finally spotted potential, under a layer of peeling linoleum flooring and pink plywood walls, in a former shipbuilder’s cabin from the late 19th century. Over the course of a year, Pfeiffer’s design team led a gut renovation of the home, stripping layers of various misbegotten decorative styles from the 1,900-square-foot home and adding back in historical charm—or, to put it succinctly, “eradicating a 1960s rambler vibe out of an original 1898 house,” says Pfeiffer.

In a nod to the cabin’s original owner, the interiors now also allude to its roots: The couple’s home is peppered with nautical references—from the subtle (brass hardware in the kitchen, a focus on the color blue) to the straightforward (artwork of coastal life and portraits of sailors).

Join us for a tour.

Photography by Thomas J. Story, courtesy of Hoedemaker Pfeiffer.

a blue front door references the waterfront views just behind the house. 14
Above: A blue front door references the waterfront views just behind the house.
pfeiffer&#8\2\17;s favorite room, the living room with its library wall. th 15
Above: Pfeiffer’s favorite room, the living room with its library wall. The design team sourced a mix of antiques and primitive nautical objects for the interiors.
the cedar paneled walls in every room were painted a soft white for cohesivenes 16
Above: The cedar-paneled walls in every room were painted a soft white for cohesiveness.
Above: Expert layering is evidenced in every corner. An early 19th-century set of croquet pegs makes for a sculptural display.
the only element that survived the renovation? the \1950s kitchen cabinets, now 19
Above: The only element that survived the renovation? The 1950s kitchen cabinets, now painted a gray-blue and appointed with brass hardware for a nautical feel. Formica countertops (new) further the old beach-cottage story.
salvaged douglas fir planks from second use make up the floors. 20
Above: Salvaged Douglas fir planks from Second Use make up the floors.
the couple and their dogs lounge in the sun room. note the wood panels laid at  21
Above: The couple and their dogs lounge in the sun room. Note the wood panels laid at an angle in this room.
the primary bedroom with an ensuite bath. the home&#8\2\17;s reclaimed door 22
Above: The primary bedroom with an ensuite bath. The home’s reclaimed doors are from Second Use.
also from second use: the circa \19\20s tub in the primary bath. a pair of sign 23
Above: Also from Second Use: the circa-1920s tub in the primary bath. A pair of signal flags found in Provincetown make charming curtains.
the hardworking mudroom, complete with sturdy hooks; a round porthole like mirr 24
Above: The hardworking mudroom, complete with sturdy hooks; a round porthole-like mirror; a nautical cleat door handle (and improvised leash holder); and industrial nautical sconces. (See Nautical Hardware: 7 Cleats for Home Use.)
the couple added a window to the original front porch to make it an all season  25
Above: The couple added a window to the original front porch to make it an all-season sitting area.
unbeatable views from their multi tiered deck. 26
Above: Unbeatable views from their multi-tiered deck.

For more island style, see:

N.B.: This story is an update; the original post ran on July 6, 2020, and is reappearing here as part of our Summer from the Archive issue.

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Frequently asked questions

Who designed the Maury Vashon Island House?

The Maury Vashon Island House was designed by architectural firm Hoedemaker Pfeiffer.

Where is the Maury Vashon Island House located?

The Maury Vashon Island House is located on Vashon Island, Washington, USA.

What type of architecture is the Maury Vashon Island House?

The Maury Vashon Island House features a traditional farmhouse style of architecture.

What is the design concept behind the Maury Vashon Island House?

The design concept behind the Maury Vashon Island House is to create a modern farmhouse that blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings.

Who were the interior designers for the Maury Vashon Island House?

The interior design for the Maury Vashon Island House was done by Hoedemaker Pfeiffer in collaboration with the homeowners.

What are some notable features of the Maury Vashon Island House?

Some notable features of the Maury Vashon Island House include its open floor plan, large windows that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape, and a spacious outdoor patio for entertaining.

Is the Maury Vashon Island House available for rent or purchase?

The availability of the Maury Vashon Island House for rent or purchase is not mentioned in the article.

Can visitors tour the Maury Vashon Island House?

It is unclear whether visitors can tour the Maury Vashon Island House. It is recommended to contact the homeowners or the architectural firm for more information.

Are there any sustainability features in the Maury Vashon Island House?

The article does not mention specific sustainability features in the Maury Vashon Island House.

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