Maria Coghill and her family enjoy an open and airy layout in what formerly was a house with lots of small rooms. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Maria Coghill and her family enjoy an open and airy layout in what formerly was a house with lots of small rooms. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Extensive redesign and remodel give new life to old house

An Everett family gets a light-filled main-floor layout, an upstairs master suite and more.

You just might be seeing Maria and Robert Coghill’s home on a future Historic Everett tour.

Their 1920 Craftsman cottage recently got a much-needed makeover without losing its historical charm.

The couple, who bought the house in 2003, took out a loan a year ago to have it renovated to create more living space. They achieved this by adding bedroom built-ins, more closets and a new pantry, and by knocking down some walls. They also refurbished the main bathroom and added another bath upstairs.

After sharing a bathroom and sleeping next to their twin boys’ bedroom for 10 years, Mom and Dad were ready to reclaim the two rooms upstairs for themselves. Their sons Jack and Andrew also now have their own bedrooms.

“We didn’t add any square feet, we just made the space more usable,” Maria Coghill said. “All four of us were living on the main floor for a long time. We were using the attic for storage and we were renting out the basement. It was tough.”

The Coghills hired Classic Remodeling NW Inc. to help remodel their home of 14 years. The Everett-based company specializes in kitchen and bathroom remodels and complete home renovations.

While they were working on a down-to-the-wall-studs remodel of the main floor, builders found a bathroom window that had been covered up by a bathtub wrap. The recovered privacy window is just one way they restored and preserved the house’s original character and architecture.

Around 1950, the home was renovated and the basement finished with a mother-in-law bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room. The house’s root cellar also was turned into a laundry room. It still has the original built-in storage bins for potatoes, carrots, turnips and beets.

Along with the storage bins, the Coghill house still has its original stairs and some windows, cedar woodwork and trim and a decommissioned chimney for an oil stove.

The upstairs was refurbished into a master bedroom with a bathroom and an office.

“The master bedroom has been my favorite part,” Robert Coghill said. “The boys are sleeping on a separate floor and we have a flight of stairs before we’re bothered.”

The Coghills put in all new floors, doors and ceiling fans and painted the interior in the renovation. They had larger windows installed to allow for more light. The kitchen was fully updated so that it now has a peninsula and bar stools instead of a breakfast nook — but the countertops are made of quartz to mimic the soapstone popular in older homes.

This is the Coghills’ first house. The couple, now in their 40s, moved in about a year after they were married.

“When we saw this one we instantly knew it was going to be our house, mostly because we both grew up in older homes,” Maria Coghill said. “We had this immediate feeling of ‘This is our home.’ It connected us to our childhoods, and we thought it would be a great place to raise children of our own.”

Theirs is one of the only 100-year-old homes in the south Everett neighborhood. That’s because the house was likely moved in the 1960s to 131st Street SE.

“Our next-door neighbors have lived in their house for some 50 or 60 years,” Maria Coghill said. “They told us our house has not always been there. I have no idea exactly where it was.”

The house has many features common in the Craftsman cottage style: one and a half stories with a basement, a full-width porch across the front and a high-pitched gable roof.

Maria, who is an operations innovation consultant for the Everett Clinic, and Robert, who is a dental technician at Seattle Special Care Dentistry, enjoy their third-of-an-acre yard next to a greenbelt. They love to garden and can their own foods, and love that their boys and pit bull-blue heeler mix, Cocoa, have a large space to play outside.

The family lived in the basement for the half -year it took to renovate the two upper floors.

“We were super grateful that we could stay there because we would not have been able to pay for renovations and pay to live somewhere else while it was done,” Maria Coghill said. “It was a reminder to me of how little you can actually live with, and reminded me of people who are less fortunate.”

The Coghills have more work to do before they even think of putting their house on the Historic Everett Home Tour: They still need to paint the exterior, refurbish the sun deck and replace the fence around the yard.

Maria also has been slowly adding vintage furnishings to match the 1920 period. So far she has installed oval beveled mirrors, subway tile, schoolhouse-style lighting and even bought old-fashioned light bulbs.

“I’m lucky that vintage is becoming hot again,” she said. “It’s easier to get the stuff than it probably was before.”

Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046 or

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