The Karina is not the first project that Neil and I have worked on together. The home we currently live in was the first and was completed in 2006...before we were married. The project was to design and construct a garage with an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) above it, or "mother-in-law" apartment. This was before the now allowed Detached ADU, so it had to be "attached" to the existing 800 sqft, 1930's house. I designed it so that eventually the older house could be demolished and the garage/apartment could stand alone. Our property is skinny...only 30' wide by 100' and it's on a busy street. We actually didn't max out the current lot coverage at the time, but we came close to it. Our neighbors property is about 4' or so higher than ours, so we were not concerned with blocking sunlight. My main concern was balancing Neil's wants of a large garage (lots of tools, motorcycles, work area) and maximizing the apartment size with addressing the street and wanting to bring down the scale of the addition. The new addition would be where Neil lived and he ended up renting out the older house for a couple years...until I moved in in 2008. Now my stuff lives in the older place and our day to day living is in the 500 sqft apartment.
Both Neil and I wanted to paint the house grey. Even in our grey Seattle weather, I love this shade. It's rich, yet isn't stand-outish. I really wanted the new house to fit into our surroundings. We originally thought we would use yellow as an accent, but doing these photoshop mock-ups, we realized we wanted something more subtle.