The first time I visited Dave’s home was for a summertime party that he and his housemates hosted. The house was filled with people laughing, enjoying cocktails and relaxing. It’s easy to relax in such a comfortable space that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The colorful rooms showcase photos from Dave’s extensive travels and unique mementos from his life. Each detail contains a great story, and it’s a house where you can’t help feeling right at-home.
Dave bought his house almost three years ago; it’s located in a great neighborhood, near transit, parks, and some of Seattle’s best restaurants. The house was in good shape, but there were opportunities for updates and improvements. Every room got a fresh coat of paint, and Dave found ways to let the Craftsman details really shine. For example, the floor-to-ceiling drapes in the living room beautifully frame the bay window and help emphasize the high ceilings. He also remodeled the upstairs bathrooms, removing outdated fixtures and adding tile, paint, and another shower to make everything clean and fresh.
In terms of decorating, the details in each room speak of Dave’s personality and history and really bring the place together. Dave used to work for T-Mobile and assisted Google during the initial creation of their Android mobile operating system. From a tech blog, he discovered an artist who collaborated with Google to make small, plastic figures of the Android robot mascot and bought one for his desk at work. Since that first green robot, the collection has grown into an eclectic display and conversation piece, encircling Dave’s office. Another big part of the house is the collection of photographs from Dave’s travels and life—a colorful and captivating medley.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I love a mix of different styles and looks and have decided that all my various tastes will live side by side in my home, some coordinated, some eclectic. I’m a fan of mid-century modern aesthetic; so much of my furniture tends that way, with plans for more over time. However, I also like more current items and colorful photography, so that’s a lot of what’s on my walls and generally around. Sometimes, I think these two things can be a bit of a disconnect with the Craftsman house’s natural style, but I like them both and so my house will just have to deal.
Inspiration: I’m lucky to have numerous friends with disparate, fantastic, sometimes weird design tastes, and much of that has rubbed off on me over the years. I also like to inject design elements and artifacts of things I’ve seen during my world travels.
Favorite Element: A few things come to mind for this one. Definitely, the entryway into the living room complete with original columns and tons of surrounding period trim. I also love the creaky, all-original Douglas Fir softwood floors upstairs. Then, there’s the kitchen; I like to cook so this updated, spacious, and well-designed room was what sold me on the place when I first saw it. I’ve since painted the kitchen a bold green—my favorite color—which I think really pops.
Biggest Challenge: Overall, I love my house, though a few things do come to mind that I’d like to change up. I’d like to better balance the lighting in the main room and to reduce the amount of floorspace the media components take up. The bigger project I plan to tackle sometime is a full build-out of the basement (not photographed for this profile.) It’s currently partially finished and is mostly used for storage, which nicely keeps the rest of the house uncluttered. Once done, this will add a new usable floor with a large rec/movie room, full bar, additional bedroom, and bathroom to the current mix.
What Friends Say: Everyone who comes over just loves the place and tells me so—this is really nice to hear since I made a lot of my own design changes when I moved in. Frequent comments have to do with the color choices of the walls, the sheer number of large photos prompting conversations, and the qualities inherent in an updated older house. And the kitchen—everyone loves the kitchen.
Biggest Embarrassment: I wouldn’t call it an embarrassment, but I have never liked the chandelier that hangs above the dining room table and supplies most of the light to the combo living room/dining room. It really needs to go!
Proudest DIY: I’m also a photographer and so most of the photos found around the house were shot and framed by me and they’re everywhere I can squeeze them. I love to travel, so many are either portraits or scenes from my travels—largely around Asia and Europe. People come over and love spending time looking at them all, asking what the story is behind each.
Biggest Indulgence: The floor-to-ceiling drapes in the living room are over the top, far too expensive, and custom-designed to fit the curvature of the bay windows along that wall—and I love them. The idea to show off the high ceilings in this way came from a friend when I first moved in and I decided to just go for it and am thrilled how well it turned out.
Best Advice: Don’t be afraid to just try different designs, colors, artwork, layouts, seating—all of this is pretty easily changed and doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are great websites now to help with ideation and execution in home design—my favorite is Houzz (and, of course, Apartment Therapy.) I’ve also found that by continuing to move things around and change wall art over the years, it keeps it interesting.
Dream Sources: Ligne Roset, Design Within Reach, BoConcept, EQ3, Hive Modern, All+Modern, vintage original Mid-century modern pieces from wherever I can find them. I’m also a tech guy, so any new, innovative smart home elements which blend, yet add to the experience and efficiency of my home, are a must!
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