The new living area

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Opening the front door, the Hale-Jos walk into the beautifully crafted, multifunctional living space dreamed up by Nate. "It's amazing!" Kari says. "Oh my gosh, it's amazing!"

To give Kari, Dave and the kids a spacious area to gather for meals, Nate tore down a dividing wall and opened the kitchen into the living room. He recycled the family's old dishwasher and stove. "I wanted to open up this whole space so that people could do homework. You guys could eat over here. You could eat at the table. You could all hang out," Nate says.

In the main living area, Nate added special touches to make the family feel at home. He hung a blown-up black-and-white picture of the four children on one wall and made bookshelves for Kari's books. For those cold, gray Seattle nights, the family can cozy up by the new fireplace.

Even a few days after the big reveal, Kari says she is still speechless. "I still am examining everything," she says. "It doesn't even resemble what we had before, and I don't think we knew how dark and dingy and awful it was until we were set free."

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FROM: Nate Builds a Dream House
Published on June 24, 2009

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