hiatus

Well, hello. It’s been nearly 3.5 years since we wrote a blog post but hey…we’ve basically been snowed in for the last two weeks so why not?

The hiatus wasn’t exactly intentional. It just sort of happened. We were doing less work on the house, I had less time to blog and, like many others, I was starting to lament how the blogosphere (is that even still a real term?) was changing. We also started to feel differently about privacy and how we included our kids in the posts. (Although I still post regularly to Instagram, I opted to make my account private a few years ago.) Finally, it was starting to get to a point where we needed to get creative about content and that didn’t feel very genuine either.

But we didn’t shut things down. We just accidentally ghosted?

So, what’s changed since 2015?

For starters, we now have three kids! The girls are now 6 and 4 and we had a baby boy in September 2017!

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A few months after Arlo was born, we also lost Bailey to cancer. It was unexpected and devastating, as he’d been such an important part of lives for those 12 years. It has taken a long time to grieve his loss, although we feel that we are getting closer to adding a new dog back into our lives.

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In 2017/2018, we remodeled our old garage/carport into the Studio Zerbey workshop + office! We’ve been working out of the new space since last year which has been a welcome change from the loft! The interiors are 99% done so we hope to do a little photo shoot soon and share how the space turned out.

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We’ve made minor changes to our house, including painting it an ever darker and moodier color in 2017 (goodbye white trim!). And yes, we have three kids in our small house. (But where do you put them??) True, it often feels cozy…but it has also forced us to continuously evaluate and rethink the stuff we own and how we use our space. Is this our forever home? Probably not, but we are focused on making the most of it right now.

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Things that haven’t changed?

Well, we’re still not quite done with the house remodel. The basement bathroom and laundry room has been back-burnered in order to finish the office space (which naturally took longer than anticipated) but now that that’s done we plan on directing our efforts for that one last push. Or maybe last push? We also have (eventual) plans to add a small addition off the back that would include a powder room and mudroom space. We would then convert the existing bathroom on the main floor into a “master” bath, accessible only from our room. And then after that I suppose we start redoing the first projects we did? I had a realization the other day that our dishwasher is almost 13 years old (love that Bosch workhorse!), which means that’s how long we’ve lived in our house. WHAT?

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We’ve continued to grow Studio Zerbey as well. Our website was redesigned last year and we’ve completed many new projects. We also have an Instagram account for SZ (studiozerbeyarchitects) but it doesn’t get updated super often. Projects typically take years to complete from the initial meeting through construction, which doesn’t necessarily lend itself to regular social media content. That said, we’re brainstorming ways to contribute more to our feed while still being interesting and authentic.

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We’ll be celebrating 7 years of self-employment this summer! It’s still just Kyle and me although we have space in our new digs for a couple of employees once the timing makes sense. Our focus continues to be custom homes and remodels in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The Seattle housing market has continued to thrive the last few years as more people move into the city. Some of our clients have been newcomers to Seattle, others have been families who have been here for awhile but are trying to make their house grow with them, seeking creative solutions in a market that can make “buying up” challenging. A few of our recent remodels include a whole house renovation in Ballard, a new kitchen in the Madrona neighborhood and several others that are still in the works. Our custom homes are spread across the region. In addition to our Alaska Surf Shack, we have a project beginning construction in Hawaii and one that recently finished up in Northern CA. We’ve also continued to do work in the Suncadia development east of Seattle. Our Wing House project is also under construction and our Nelson Preserve Family Retreat wrapped up last year. In 2018 we also saw the completion of our Kingston Beach House, which had a completely different set of design challenges being on a shoreline property.

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So where do we go from here with the ol’ blog? I’m not actually sure. But it does feel good to write again. We’ve debated creating a separate blog for Studio Zerbey – a space where we can delve deeper into certain areas or simply talk more about what it’s like to work with an architect and go through the process of remodeling or building a house. This also feels like one more thing to manage. So maybe we do both here? Maybe this tiny little pocket of the internet could be a place to speak authentically and openly about everything we care about – our house, design, the business of architecture, dogs (SOON!?) and how our kids are fairing with two architect parents. (I mean, did you see that hot cocoa stand??)

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What do you think? The motivation to keep a blog is certainly greater when you know there’s a community that’s interested in what you have to say. I’m guilty of leaning more on microblogging (aka Instagram) these last few years but maybe things are starting to swing back in the other direction?

Comments

56 Responses to “hiatus”

  1. Marlena says:

    Long live the blog! Thanks for checking in, and I’d love to read your updates whenever you have them.

  2. Jo says:

    Oh, it was sooo cool to see the blog name chezerbey in my feedly today – welcome back! Honestly, I’d read just about anything of yours, anywhere (been following since the very beginning). Lovely to see pics of the home and family, and very sorry to hear the news about Bailey; God rest his wee soul. Warmest wishes, Jo

  3. Monica says:

    Agree wholeheartedly with the other commenters – it’s good to have you back! This is your space, so make it whatever feels good to you. I just love watching what you do and being inspired (and also knowing that everyone’s projects take longer than expected!)

  4. laurie says:

    I vote yes! I was very glad to see this and was super interested in seeing the place (and family!) after such a long time. I would totally be interested in a follow up to see where things have changed and delve deeper into a lot of different topics!

  5. Jessica says:

    Welcome back! As someone with a 2-bedroom bungalow in the other Washington (DC), your blog is one I will think of when I think of living small, kids sharing rooms (esp. babies and toddlers!), and making things work. So would love to hear how that’s going/where everyone is/how the toddler bed is going, etc!!

  6. southern gal says:

    Wow what a nice surprise on a snowy cold february night

    so glad to see you back and will read whatever and whenever.
    sorry about BAILEY boohoo!

  7. Britt says:

    I’ve never commented here before but it’s so nice to hear from you all! My first was born 18 months ago and I can’t tell you how often I’ve returned to your archived posts on small space kids rooms and space planning and the like. This feels like an old friend has come to visit;) Would love to have you pop up any time! Congrats on #3 and that rad hot chocolate stand and all the hearts for sweet Bailey.

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks Britt, sounds like our littlest ones are about the same age! We just recently shuffled kid stuff/toys again and it’s amazing how much it has made a difference.

  8. Emily says:

    I’ve missed the blog! I’m not picky, I’d love to read about the DADU, living small with 3 kids, hiring an architect, whatever you want to talk about. And, I know I said it already on Instagram, but I’m sorry about Bailey.

  9. Brandon says:

    Welcome back! I suspect the audiences for posts about your house, design, business, etc. would have almost complete overlap. So, I “vote” for doing it all here.

  10. Amy says:

    I’ve always loved your blog and was excited to see a post this morning! Like others have said, I’m happy to read anytime you feel the urge to write. I would love to hear/see more about how you’re making your space work with three kids!

  11. CT says:

    So excited for a Chezerbey post today and that’s quite a lot of updates – 3 kids! Wow has the time flown. I know I’d love to hear from you as little or as much as you want to share. Thank you for all the times you have invited us into your home, I love how the blog world has allowed us to virtually “meet” so many interesting people all around the country (and world). Cheers – CT

  12. JK says:

    I was also so excited to see your blog pop up in my feed (and was crossing my fingers it didn’t mean your url had been taken over by spammers). So sorry to hear about Bailey but everything else sounds wonderful. Congratulations on your growing family, house, and business! Can’t wait to read more (especially if it involves a new dog!)

  13. Keith says:

    Excited to see your post in my feedly. Welcome back. Definitely post about whatever you want here, no need to create a new blog for each part of your life, we can all be inspired by different aspects outside of our core interests. Looking forward to it!

  14. Laura S says:

    YAY! A new post! Love reading about your life and practice – instagram AND blog!

  15. Molly says:

    I was so pleased to see you post pop up in my feed reader today. Glad to get an update. Personally, I’m interested in both what you’ve been doing in your own space and your professional work. I’m also in the industry, so hearing about the design challenges you’re dealing with is great for me. When I think of Chezerby, I think of smart and careful use of space, volume, and material. I always want to see more.

    • Lauren says:

      Aww, thanks Molly! We agree that ultimately our passion in remodeling our house overlaps with our passion for what we do for others people’s homes so makes sense to talk about both.

  16. Stephanie says:

    HI! Nice to see an update here on the blog.I miss blogs in general but I follow on Instagram so see your work going on there.

  17. Daniel B. says:

    I’m down with whatever you two post.

  18. Ilaria says:

    Hi,
    I come accidentally back to check and it was nice to see your post! I haven’t been checking it in a while but I do follow you on Instagram. Although on a blog post you’re able to share more.
    You’re smart solutions have always inspired me and I love so much your architectural style. We want to renovate the basement apartment. It’s a pity that we live in Norway so far away from you and your studio. Would love some recommendations!
    Best,
    Ilaria

  19. Kaylene Simmons Rudd says:

    I was so excited to see an update!

  20. Gavin Lapeyre says:

    Yes, congratulations and time flys, great update.

  21. Jules says:

    I was delighted to see this post in my feed. I also live in an old, small house and your content has been so inspirational. The idea of staying and making your home work for you is uncommon. People assume we want a bigger house but I value the lessons a small house has taught us.

    Blogging has changed so much and I read so few of the blogs that I used to enjoy. I think you’ve managed to avoid the trap of posting for posting’s sake. I’d rather wait for good content (even years!) then lose interest because of filler content.

    Now that I have kids of my own, your journey to make your house work for three kids is something I’m interested in. What do you do with all the clothes?!

    • Lauren says:

      Thank you so much Jules! Ahh, the clothes do add up! I feel like we’re getting better at figuring out what clothes they actually need and are constantly purging/donating. The girls still have all their clothes in the IKEA wardrobe in their room and then the baby has the dresser/changing table which works great for now.

  22. carolbaby says:

    “Maybe this tiny little pocket of the internet could be a place to speak authentically and openly about everything we care about”.

    YES PLEASE!

    Like everyone else, I was delighted to see this come up in my reader – your blog is definitely one I’ve missed. I’m ever hopeful (delusional?) of a resurgence in old skool blogging.

  23. Julia Richardson says:

    So excited for this update! I’ve intermittently checked your blog for the last 3.5 years and was delighted to see something new today! I’ve been reading the blog since the beginning and now live in a petite bungalow of my own. I always enjoy seeing your solutions to thoughtfully designing and living in a small-ish space.

  24. Justine says:

    Hey there! I just found your blog via one of your fence posts from years ago – so glad to see that you updated recently! I just love your house and plan to read through your blog religiously now! My husband and I just bought our first house two years ago and have done many DIY projects, I love reading about others’ experiences. Hope you keep updating!
    -Justine

  25. Leah says:

    What a treat it was to read this post! I’ve missed your e-voice. I hope you’ll share more about the changes in your house and how your choices have held up. Is the nursery still black? I loved that room!

  26. virleen says:

    I’ve followed you since the beginning. On a whim, I check-ed in today to see…a BOY. What a surprise. Your house has withstood the test of time. Or, perhaps, it was so ahead of its time that it still looks fresh and new. We have been in our 1911 foursquare 13 years now, the longest I’ve lived at one address.
    Congrats on the home business and its success.

  27. dan says:

    Great to see you back and have your blog pop up in my rss reader!

  28. Marie says:

    Came back to get some inspo and such a happy surprise to see an update! I’ve come back to your blog again and again over the years, first as a touchstone to the PNW while desperately homesick and then when we first moved back to the area and again now that we’re in our forever home. Look forward to seeing more of your aesthetic and especially love the authenticity and practicality of your approach. However much or little you choose to share, I’m confident it will all be wonderful.

  29. Kara says:

    I am so glad you gave an updated post. I found you when trying to figure out how to make my own steel planters and am revisiting the project again. You’ve done amazing things in your life with work and family. It is inspiring. Love your new workspace.

  30. Isabelle says:

    I guess we must be thanking the heavy winter and snowfall to finally have you back here :-)))
    I am so sorry to hear about Bailey’s death. :-(((( after spotting his beauty and character in so many of your photos – and as such being an integral part of your life.
    And congratulations to Arlo’s arrival in the family and putting the boys/ girls imbalance a bit back on track ;-))))
    Happy to hear that you are all in all doing well and working on your dreams as a family and as a business.
    All the best and looking forward to getting a peek into life from time to time.

  31. Hello! I just stumbled across your blog as I was searching for ideas for pull hardware and locking mechanisms for the inside of our barn door-bathroom door – lol – that was only what/ 8 years ago for you guys?? I’m a blogger now – semi-retired from the corporate world, taking care of aging parents, finishing a 9-year enormous, energy-efficient (Passive House) renovation on our home in the Hartford, Connecticut area (my husband is the contractor – need I say more? ;-)). We are down to the last interior space – the central hall on our main floor, which leads to a guest suite, a just-renovated bathroom, a dining room and an office. The barn door for the bathroom was a must – no capacity for a pocket door and we desperately needed every square/cubic inch of additional space we could muster to help in making it truly accessible, so a barn door it shall be (where the hanging hardware is in the hall, so the bathroom is the “inside” of the door). I don’t think we’re going to have much more than 1/8″ clearance between the door and the wall and I’d love a recessed pull but with some type of pop-out (or hinge-out) handle to make “pulling” easier for someone with limited hand/arm strength (i.e my elderly father or mother, for whom pulling a heavy door open via a simple recessed pull would be a challenge). What did you end up going with for a locking mechanism, and did you see any well-designed and functional pulls along the way that incorporated a collapsing handle? Thank you so much!! I’m going to go back through your blog now- it’s so fun to find others going through their own renovation odyssey!! (you can see mine at https://fireoverfifty.com/category/hump-day-house-stuff/ :-))

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks Marcia, we ended up doing a separate lock (like this but it’s not 100% effective and can’t be used as a handle obviously. We stayed at an AirBNB recently that had something like that but I’m not sure the brand. We’ll update here if we find it!

  32. Melissa K says:

    Oh my! I happened to see a knockoff of your toilet paper roll bathroom art and figured I’d check out if there were any new updates from you guys. What a pleasant surprise! Congrats on your new(ish) additions and my heartfelt condolences on Bailey. I look forward to reading again!

  33. Leslie says:

    Whoa- glad to see some new posts! Always liked your style (writing, and design!)

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