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Our Story

Updated: Jun 29

Yes we flip houses, but our journey is probably not exactly what you would expect.


Well hello! We are Aubrey and Craig!


We have built long careers in interior design and architecture. We have designed and built spaces for some of Seattle's most well-known corporations and remodeled houses for our clients for over twenty years, but this story is about how we have used our own homes to build the life we envisioned.  


In 2015, we set out to buy a house, but our budget was a pitiful joke! We had $400k to spend, and almost no single house in Seattle was offered at or below that price. We made offers on tens of houses as the time limit on our lease more than ran out... and then there was one! It was filthy, outdated, and smelled like dog pee, BUT WE COULD AFFORD IT! We had three weeks before our lease ran out, which gave us three weeks to turn this place into something that was at least livable. 


This is when our career in house flipping began!


We did manage to make it livable in those three weeks with new flooring and paint, but completely renovating our first house was a slow and painful process. It took four years of weekends, all our vacation time, and every penny we had. We faced the biggest challenges of our lives trying to remodel this house with our own hands while working demanding full-time jobs. 


And then... we shocked everyone when we immediately sold it. When it was finished, we loved this house, but we also caught a glimpse of something bigger. We made $355k on this first project, but we also saw a path to do more of what we cared about in life and less of what we didn't. 


We loved the feeling of improving our neighborhood and extending the life of old houses. We loved the opportunity to express our design perspective and were energized by the potential to free ourselves from the 9-5 grind one day. We saw a path to spend more time with our future son and contribute something more authentic to the world. 


And so we pressed on!


We surprised everyone again when we bought the house one door down, and we moved about 15 feet from our first house to our second.


When we bought it, this house was in foreclosure and filled with trash and bugs. Its owners were seriously considering the possibility of living on the streets, so we helped them buy a new place that they could own outright and hopefully never face foreclosure again. Then, we got to work bringing the house back to life.


One more thing, we were pregnant, so we had to finish this renovation in eight months instead of four years, which we did! We brought our son home to this house, and we made lots of fun memories of him learning to walk and talk here. However, we had only been there a short time when some friends of friends saw pictures of it and wanted to buy it. We made $404k on this house, and our little side business had funding for another project. 


As we started to put in offers on a third house, we realized something. We kept getting outbid by flippers who were willing to do cheap upgrades. If we wanted to keep going, we had to aim for a more expensive house and rise above the competition. 


This time, we bought a million-dollar fixer.


In nine months, we had completed our most expensive project yet, and we got the opportunity to move into the neighborhood I had dreamed of living in since I was young. We also had a significant amount of equity in our home and a historically low interest rate.


In this house, we found our place and our people. We live in a perfect enclave of Seattle. It's minutes from downtown but also geographically divided from the city like an island. Historic homes, wide streets, clean sidewalks, and a village filled with locals all look back across the Puget Sound at the city skyline. Familiar faces emerge each morning to walk kids to school, chat with the barista, hang flower baskets down the main street, and stop into the hardware store. If a life resembling a Rockwell painting still exists in 2024, it is found in our neighborhood.


We never could have achieved the life we envisioned with our jobs alone. Flipping houses (and basically working two full-time jobs each for six years) allowed us to realize the family and community that we always wanted. It's a pretty ordinary American dream, but it has required an extra-ordinary amount of sacrifice. 


I say all this because of what was required to continue toward our passion. We had to put all of it on the line to fund our next project. 



Next, it was time for something out-of-the-box and out of the city. For several years, we passively looked at cabins near our favorite mountain lake and dreamed about building something we could share with others. We loved the idea of creating a place where other people could experience our passion for renovation and design details. We wanted to create a one-of-a-kind short-term rental, but also a cluster of cabins with small footprints that could embody what it means to build something of low impact to its environment.


At this time, the market in the Lake Wenatchee area was very competitive, and when I woke up one morning to see a log cabin with property that was zoned from small lots, we made an offer sight unseen! Finding this combination of a livable structure and property intended for small lots was a rare unicorn we had only seen once in four years of looking. 


The log cabin was the most challenging project we have taken on. This was partially due to the distance, but also the smoke we encountered that August, and maybe mostly because we lived and worked in/on it for one very long winter with our three-year-old. 


As we worked on the cabin, more challenges arose. Chelan County capped short-term rentals around Lake Wenatchee to only six in every one hundred houses, a number that defies logic in an area whose economy depends on tourism and in a neighborhood dominated by vacation homes. A move that will hurt home values, hurt people who clean and maintain vacation homes, hurt people who run local shops or work in restaurants... in fact, the only people who it won't hurt are the few retired people in the area who pushed it through without any data to back their fears about vacation rentals.



We hope this twist in our story might be a stroke of luck for your family! The Noble Fir is a one-of-a-kind log cabin, fully renovated from top to bottom. It embodies the essence of modern mountain living but doesn't forget its charming history or rich location. We spent eight months not only renovating, but also carefully curating the furniture and accessories that it was calling out for. Our vision was to make the base layer of the cabin into a fresh and clean foundation with new or refinished flooring, paint, cabinetry, countertops, and lighting. 


On top of that solid, clean layer of new finishes, we added the story that we heard the cabin telling us—a story of things collected over time from the 1950s through today, a collection of influence from independent artists, local makers, and antiques sourced from the community.


If you are interested in owning an abc modern home like none other click here to see more photos and connect to the real estate listings! We are looking forward to sharing our vision with you!





 

Whenever you're ready, I would love to help you remodel or build your dream home! Here are 5 ways we can work together:

  1. Grab my free Kitchen and Bath Design Checklist which will get you on my newsletter.

  2. My free Live Material Board Workshop is a great place to start! In just one hour, you will have the design for your dream home materializing on paper!

  3. My new Remodel Jumpstart Workbook is packed with 100 pages of valuable information and worksheets to help you create a plan for your design, budget, and team!

  4. Save yourself hours of research with my Remodel Resource Guide! I have compiled all my favorite suppliers for things like flooring, countertops, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, and hardware...

  5. When you're serious about starting your remodel or new home, come spend six weeks with me, and I will walk you through the interior design of your project using my signature interior design program!

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