WE’VE DROPPED IN on a few Dwell Development homes over the years. All are undeniably modern, Earth-BFF-level cool — and seriously groundbreaking:   

So you can imagine: We thought we knew Dwell pretty well. Turns out, there’s a whole new complementary shade of green coloring co-principals Anthony and Abbey Maschmedt’s portfolio of modern, sustainable milestones: historical renovations.   

Cover story: Dwell Development brings cutting-edge sustainability, and a reverence for preservation, to its renovation of 3 classic Seattle homes

For one thing, the Maschmedts live in a Victorian-style home they designed and built for themselves in 2007.  

“It has all the details: a turret, dentil work. It’s functional and comfortable from a systems standpoint, but all the detail around the windows and millwork we tried to make as period as possible,” says Anthony. “It looks literally like a 100-year-old Victorian home in Columbia City; that’s where the passion began.”  

The opportunity to try something new with something old knocked (knowing Dwell, likely on a repurposed door) about a year and a half ago, he says, when a change in the City of Seattle’s permitting process “basically put the brakes on four of our projects.”  

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Passion doesn’t run out of gas, though, so instead they veered — all the way back to 1909, to a Sears, Roebuck and Co. kit home on the market in Madrona that was in dire need of historical renovation. It was their first such project. Two more followed.    

“It snowballed,” Anthony says. “We did three of those in a 12-month period. Most of them were going to be developed, and we saved them. We felt very passionate about preserving and bringing them back to life.” 

These are the Dwell homes we’re dropping in on today. All balance period details with modern amenities and efficiencies. All are gorgeously updated and meticulously preserved. And all fit right into a mission broader than we’d imagined back when we thought we knew Dwell, but didn’t yet really know the Maschmedts.

“Sustainability can’t only be about the environment; there also has to be sustainability in communities,” says Abbey. “There’s value in ‘old,’ and communities need to sustain. Everything doesn’t have to be new.”