Judging by the architecture of interior designer Kat Lawton‘s home, you’d think that it would be nestled in the shores of Cape Cod. But in reality, the Dutch Colonial that she shares with her husband, one-year-old son, and Alaskan Malamute, is located in Puyallup, WA, just a fifteen-minute drive from Tacoma. “We purchased our home three years ago,” she began. “Most of the house has been renovated with new paint, millwork, electrical and tile. So I was able to come in and work on the spaces by adding additional layers to the space that better spoke to our aesthetic.”

Key to make the home more their own, was to strike the right balance between old and new. Kat decided to add even more architectural interest to her home by installing millwork such as shiplap to different areas. In the dining room, she took out wallpaper with an oversized floral print and replaced it with a much more elegant and soothing toile-like option. “It felt like an appropriate selection,” she explained, “as it has a coastal sense about it, which tips its hat to the East Coast/Cape Cod bones of the house.” On the modern side, Kat decided to furnish the home with contemporary pieces: a lucite coffee table, Bertoia dining chairs, and a gray sofa that could with-stand a soon-to-be toddler and a large dog. “Since the house was built in 1923, I wanted to offset the traditional backdrop with new, modern finds. It was still important to work in some antiques to create an acquired look; for example, I mixed midcentury pieces with a late 1800’s oil painting.”

Maintaining the well-preserved shell of the home, much of the significant changes that Kat and her husband made were in the form of paint, lighting, and hardware. In the living room, for example, she made the fireplace a focal point by painting it black, contrasting it with the rest of the white millwork. Throughout the home, they chose soothing light neutral tones for the walls, except in the lounge, where they took a bit of a color risk: “We painted out the entire space in a single moody charcoal gray color,” she said. “I love the dramatic result!” Over the past year or so, Kat and her husband have been making incremental changes to their home: “Nothing in the house feels overly fussy or feminine in style and that was very intentional.”