West Seattle Remodel Using SketchUp

I decided to use SketchUp in Katie’s kitchen remodel. As you might recall, Katie asked for a moodboard for her living room, then her dishwasher leaked, revealing a whole huge mess, and she asked me to do her kitchen remodel. Here’s a sneak peek of Katie’s kitchen progress.

She’s tearing down the kitchen wall into her living room and putting in new flooring and redesigning the living room fireplace wall, as well. She was smart and decided to just fix all of the things that bug her at once! So the kitchen remodel has morphed into a living room remodel as well.

When I got all of the measurements of Katie’s kitchen and living room, I was able to draw out walls and then turn the room into a 3D layout using this software I am learning.

We were able to take out the wall on the right shown in this Before photo below.


Katie’s kitchen, we took out the wall to the right of little baby Joss

This photo below shows the same kitchen wall from the living room.


Here’s my drawing of her remodeled kitchen.


Katie’s kitchen drawn up in 3D

SketchUp Rendering View 1.png

Katie’s kitchen rendered

Below is what we started with in the living room. The fireplace was an awkward, curved blob taking up a lot of real estate. Katie and her contractor laid out a basic design for her new fireplace and storage needs. I put it into SketchUp for visualization.


Katie’s living room before

We made the wall a little wider but a lot thinner, then added a built-in bookshelf. So I put this into SketchUp for my homework assignment and here is how the design turned out.


Katie’s “After” living room 3D drawing

Then my software has a plugin where I can render my drawing to give it lighting, shading and photo-realistic edges on the furnishings.


Katie’s living room 3D rendering

This was my first practice at rendering scenes. There is a lot of fine-tuning needed still. For example, where the floor and wall meet in the living room scenes, there is light coming through. Also these drawings aren’t exactly what Katie is going with. I had to change furniture items and finishes to look good for the photo rendering process.





This a purely therapeutic post, I really hope you don’t mind. With a house with so many projects, it’s very easy to get completely overwhelmed by the weight of what’s left to do. It gets depressing!

So to keep my spirits up, I am writing a post to focus on the positives. Here are some pretty great things we have accomplished.


Bryce designed a floating staircase for about $9000 in materials and hired labor. A local stair company wanted to charge us $100,000 to design and build it.


We built a little woodshed while I was pregnant.


We finished a master closet.


We started a front deck and had to stop construction because Bryce’s father passed away, then it was Fall and too rainy to work.


We took on a renovation of a rental, Bryce’s dad’s old duplex.

With how many balls we have up in the air, it is so easy to get overwhelmed by projects undone. I read a great article yesterday (I wish I could find it!) talking about how American culture is so obsessed with before and after. It’s all black and white. The article was about nutrition and finding a slow and steady method that works for you, not an instant fix – “Here’s me before, and now here’s my after!” Reality isn’t like that. It’s a process. This stuff takes a lot of time and a million baby steps forward and a half a million baby steps backwards.

I have to stop, put the project list down, and reflect sometimes on how much we have already accomplished. This is a huge life project and we are working on making a living out of this. Setting up something this grand is a huge endeavor.

Not to mention that through all of this, we are raising a 2 year old, a dog, 6 chickens. Bryce works full time and I am going back to school. Bryce is on a bike racing team and I am training for a triathlon. And in the middle of all of this, Bryce’s father passed away. He graciously left us a duplex in Portland, so we travel down every few weeks and put some hours in on renovating it so we can rent it out and try to make some money to put back into all of these projects.

So thanks for letting me stop and reflect to keep my sanity. This is a big labor of love. This stuff takes time. A LOT OF TIME.