Beautiful Basement Remodel







08062 Pedersen Final Pics 09-07-06 003

I was fortunate to participate in this beautiful basement remodel of a lovely 1909 house on Capitol Hill, in Seattle.  The owners wanted to make this new  basement just as lovely as the rest of their house. I think they succeeded!


Home Remodels and New Houses

Welcome to my blog on Home Remodels and New House Design.  You can look at home remodels I have done in the Seattle area, and ask your questions about your own house.  I look forward to hearing from you.
-Alan Ness (zenArchitect)
PS: I teach meditation in Ballard on Tuesday nights.  More information is at or  And feel free to ask about meditation as well. -AN

Phinney Home Show

At our booth (Alan on left)

At our booth (Alan on left)

I am just back from the Phinney Home Show today. It was a great success with a lot of homeowners who are serious about remodeling this year, despite the economic backdrop.  My raffle for 4-hours of  design services had 35 people signing in.  And the Winner is…..Jeff J. in zipcode 98125. I look forward to consulting with Jeff about his kitchen remodel.

Raffle Drawing by impartial administrator

Raffle Drawing by impartial administrator

-Alan Ness,

Ten Directions Design

Remodeling for Accessibility: Bathrooms


Hospital-style private bathroom

Hospital-style private bathroom

As I like to say, a home remodel is not a medical emergency.  Because that is true, a lot of remodels are “on hold” as people watch the economy and look for signs of recovery.  But it turns out that some remodels do have an urgency to them, sometimes medical. 

I recently reviewed some work I have done on accessibility: ramps, accessible bathrooms, wheelchair lifts, and door widening.  These have all had some urgency, because they were done for residents returning to their homes, or preparing a house for an older parent to move in. 

Accessible bathroom

Accessible bathroom

I have received 2 inquiries lately along these lines. One was a problem-solving session for a couple, where the man has developed greater disability to mount the stairs to his house. We concluded that a ramp from sidewalk to front door would be the best solution.  The other call was for an addition to a house for a parent who is getting seriously unable to walk.  The addition would include both a bedroom and accessible bathroom.





I am teaching meditation in the Ballard (Seattle) neighborhood every week (see  We started with the theme of ‘making friends with yourself.”  This is a great summary of the purpose of meditation.  There is something about us that craves entertainment and escape.  But the greatest satisfaction seems to be looking at and accepting ourselves.  There is something about constantly judging that comes in to play, creating a lot of dissatisfaction. 

The second theme is “bravery.”  This is the counterpart to craving escape.  It takes real bravery to sit down with ourselves, even for 10 minutes a day. I salute the class for making this effort.  It is curious how it seems easier to sit for 30 minutes with the group than for a few minutes by oneself. The class offers this kind of support.


Brilliant sunshine today
They say mind is luminous
But can I find it?

Looking forward to your comments,   -Alan


Weatherization Class:Come to the NW Eco-Building Guild class on Weatherization, featuring two great presenters with lots of practical advice.  January 28 from 7 – 9 PM at the Phinney Center, 6532 Phinney Avenue N.  See:

Meditation Class: I am teaching meditation for beginners in Ballard (Seattle) at 1423  NW 70th Street. The class is every Tuesday at 7:30 – 8:30 PM.  See:

PNA Home Remodel Fair: I will be exhibiting at the Phinney Fair on Sunday Feb. 8 from 10 AM to 4 PM.  See:

Free Design Services: There will be a raffle for free design services for your home at the Phinney Fair. All you need to do is sign in.