Interior designer Lisa Staton‘s clients, a family living in Seattle, loved the outdoors – they enjoyed being surrounded by nature and going on hikes. When they found this run-down but charming midcentury home, built by a Boeing engineer in the 1950s, they knew it was the perfect spot for them to put down roots. Its proximity to a lake yet connected to the city made it the ideal place for them. It was just a matter of embracing the original midcentury features while stripping away those elements that felt worse for wear.
“This house was a true diamond in the rough when our clients bought it,” Lisa explained. “Several key components that were original to the house that were important to maintain included the original double-sided stone fireplace – however, it included enormous planters and awkward hearths that needed to be re-arranged and re-worked to accommodate a modern space plan.” Gone were the old shag carpets that covered most of the 2000 square foot living area and the heavy wood trim throughout. They decided to keep the original beams, and replaced the orange rotting frame windows with a contemporary black option that had drywall wrapped corners.
The kitchen, with a closed and unfunctional layout, was opened up and completely gutted. “Wood cherry cabinets were chosen to compliment the original beams that we kept in the house,” the designer said. “Practical yet modern and stylish, concrete Caesar Stone countertops kept things crisp and clean.” Lisa brought tremendous attention to detail into the kitchen’s design: “The backsplash and the steel floating shelves in the kitchen were a custom design detail,” she said. “We chose handmade heath ceramic tiles for their warmth and texture and carefully tiled around the thin quarter-inch steel shelves, planning ahead so that the grout line of the tile begins exactly where the shelves are.” To fulfill the family’s request for a casual home with some playful doses of color, Lisa chose Muuto’s candy-colored Nerd Stools for the bar.
While Lisa selected an earthy palette of olives, dusty sage, camel leather with punctuations of black and white accents for the living room, she went dramatic and fun for the bathroom. “We chose to repeat the warm wood cabinets from the kitchen,” she said. “But the modern playful custom tiles by Popham Design for Ann Sacks are the show stopper in the bathroom. For the faucets and fittings, we chose a simple yet unexpected white finish instead of the more common chrome.”
“The homeowners really wanted to keep and showcase the original midcentury details of the house that we all loved,” Lisa shared. Throughout, she made each space feel warm, textural and cozy by including different tones of wood, such as the Tauari Brazilian Oak Floors, the Ethnicraft dining table, and the vintage African stools found at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, CA. The designer added: “Once the house was done, during the photoshoot the homeowners kept saying, ‘we can’t believe we live here.'”