Located on a hilltop corner lot with sweeping eastern views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountain Range, this Seattle home by designer Michelle Mele is as charming as they come. Her clients, an active and social family of five, purchased the house in 2014 with the intention of renovating one day. Come 2021, they were ready to transform the space to better suit their needs. 

“The size of the house was not an issue, so when considering what was important, they wanted to keep the form and charm while modernizing both the interior and exterior,” Michelle recalls. “With the interior they desired a more modern aesthetic than what was existing and to create a floorplan more conducive to the flow of contemporary life.”

The kitchen was small and sequestered from the rest of the living spaces, so making this a larger, more functional space was key. They also yearned for a primary suite that would feel special and luxurious, so the designer moved it upstairs to capitalize on the view. “The first area we went to work on was general space planning and programming of these two main areas which would receive the largest transformations,” Michelle explains. “As we developed the schematic design for these spaces the clients got excited for the potential they saw, and entrusted us fully from that point on.”

To add additional charm, the designer called out some original architectural details. “The existing space had a couple of arched openings which we wanted to preserve even though some these walls were changing,” she says. “We incorporated the arch details throughout the house in other areas and in furniture where they hadn’t existed before.”

As for materials, finishes and the colors schemes throughout, it’s a mostly neutral palette in the space. “However, the client wanted pops of color and pattern throughout,” Michelle tells us. “We integrated color and pattern with lighting, wallpapers and specialty tiles which can be found in more casual spaces like the updated kids bathroom.”

The project took about 20 months from start to finish. “We started our schematic design work in March of 2020 and installed the last of the furniture and finishing touches in November of 2021,” Michelle explains. “While construction and procurement during this time was challenging, the project moved along smoothly which can be attributed to the great relationship between client, designer and contractor. And, perhaps, a little bit of luck!”

Today, the home is a Transitional Modern gem. “The aesthetic of the overall design of the house embodies clean lines and simple styling while being classic and comfortable,” Michelle reflects. “It is an unpretentious self-assured look and feel which will stand the test of time.”