Laid-back California style brings a sun-kissed aesthetic to this artist’s Seattle home
Transplanted from the West Coast to the Pacific Northwest, the owner of this home sought to prove that California is more than just a place, it’s a state of mind.
The classic Craftsman home offered some inspiring features to play with, but it was up to interior designer Lisa Staton to bring in the sunshine and make it a modern, comfortable home.
“The bones of the house, including the coffered ceiling, were in place, but the house was a bit cold and sterile when our clients acquired it,” says Lisa. “We sought to infuse the home with warmth and color while remaining comfortable and relaxing.”
The client, a clothing designer and fine artist, brought his own sensibility to the project, informing the brief of the redesign of the space. “Our client is from Northern California with a real affinity for the colors and textiles of the American Southwest which we incorporated into our design choices,” says Lisa. “The client is also an active artist and her own paintings are on display throughout the house.”
Below, Lisa, founder of Design by Lisa Staton (opens in a new tab)take Liveetc during a visit to the property.
If an entry should set the tone for a home, this is it. Laid back, cozy and comfortable, it’s not just a transitional room, it’s a space designed to linger.
“It was all about layering textures and textiles here,” says Lisa. “With vintage rugs and pillows and a custom seat cushion with brass buttons, we wanted to create a space that said ‘come in and put your feet up and stay a while.’
This open-plan living room is where the California bohemian vibe that acts as a guideline in the home, really comes into play.
“The show was all about creating a relaxed, laid-back vibe,” says Lisa. Neutral, but full of textural touches and vintage finds, it’s a distinctly “cool” design, in that it feels like it’s not trying too hard. And after all, isn’t that the real thing for a real bohemian living room?
“We upholstered a vintage linen sofa and set it on a thick plush mohair wool rug,” says Lisa, “while the vintage wicker chairs were up for auction online which were white and slightly broken when we found them. We took a chance and had a local fabricator repair the wicker and stain the chairs a more neutral tone.
The coffee table is an old vintage Chinese work table, dressed eclecticly, like the fireplace, as if the coffee table decor is just a small collection of the customer’s favorite things.
For the windows, bespoke yet sheer wool curtains are hung neatly and neatly on a bespoke hand-wrought iron rod,” says Lisa. “The wool fabric helps them stay soft and ethereal.”
“The dining room continues that combination of handmade and find,” says Lisa, channeling more California influences with a surfboard sitting in the corner of the room.
The table, for example, is vintage, found at Kassie Keith Antiques, while the dining chairs were the client’s, salvaged. “The end chair cushions are made with fabric by Suay LA, a fantastic company working to reduce waste with recycled textiles,” says Lisa.
The lighting is a handmade cluster by ceramicist Heather Levine, which casts intricate patterns of light across the space when illuminated.
A space more defined by its openness to others than its own wall, indoor trees add height and texture, while a nearby console table creates a centerpiece for another collection of bohemian artifacts intriguing.
While the kitchen in this property may contain some particularly cool design tricks, it still captures that essence of simplicity that defines this home. “The brief was casual California chic for cooking,” Lisa says, “plus it had to be ready for a lot of cooking.”
The kitchen island has seating, ensuring the kitchen remains a social space, but clearly this kitchen belongs to someone who actually uses it for cooking, because thanks to clever kitchen shelving ideas, the ingredients are close at hand.
“The window shelf combo allows for sunlight while having storage,” says Lisa, “and as an avid cook, grains and nuts, herbs and garlic and dried peppers are at your fingertips It’s a practical and simple approach to an active yet stylish kitchen.
This perfectly formed small powder room showcases some of the natural charm of the home. “The sink and wall panels came with the house,” Lisa explains, “but we added layers of more found and unusual shapes with our client.”
One of the key themes in the client’s brief was letting in plenty of sunshine — “or at least as much as possible in the Pacific Northwest,” says Lisa. “Again, the master bathroom was all about the window and maximizing sunlight.”
A clever idea for a small bathroom layout was key to making this design work. “Positioning the vanity along the same wall as the window allows for a more generous vanity and sink, while still allowing natural light in the morning,” says Lisa. The double vanity allows for a mirror to be fitted above the second sink, while small soft cafe curtains maintain privacy while allowing a leafy view.
To ensure the design was practical, Lisa paired the custom steel cabinet between the sinks for bathroom essentials in handy storage, also creating crucial bathroom counter space.
At the back of the house, this second living space embraces the eclectic California look by balancing relaxed neutrals with colorful interventions. “Although her own art and textile collections are colorful, she wanted to infuse the home with the warm, calming layers that our company is known for,” says Lisa.
The owner’s artwork is a prominent feature of this space, tying in with the color and pattern of textiles from the American Southwest.
The layout of the space means that behind the sofa, a beautiful textured design, folding windows give this room a better connection to the backyard when it’s warm, adding to that lovely feeling of indoor-outdoor living.
“There’s no TV,” says Lisa, “it’s just a space in a busy city to get away from it all and relax – right next to the kitchen and opening onto the terrace and garden. ”