The French Family's Playful Modern Home

House Tour

Name: Tom, Melody, Logan and Max French
Location: Kirkland, Washington
Size: 2,080 sq ft
Years lived in: 9 months; own

After a lifetime of Southern California living, the French family picked up their roots and transplanted themselves to the Pacific Northwest. When looking for a place to settle, they wanted to find a home that would meet all of their family and individual needs. Well, they got exactly what they were looking for: a beautiful home surrounded by trees in a quiet neighborhood where their boys can safely run amok. They have done a stand up job creating a fun-filled family home that spotlights everyone's interests without giving up their love of contemporary style.

A few things are very evident when you enter the French residence; you can see their love of video games, robots, music, legos, electronics, art, plants, modern furniture and all things little boy. They have places set out in the house that can accommodate everyone's needs, whether that is playing video games, having a nice quiet place to relax or all piling up on the couch for family time. I love that family life hasn't stunted their sense of style, but instead they have embraced it and have made a creative, fun-loving and inspiring household for themselves and all who come to visit.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Contemporary mixed in with elements that reflect our individual personalities.

Inspiration: Our unique personalities inspire what goes in the house and where it lives. Melody finds her inspirations from plants and pop culture while for Tom, it's from music and video games. While we're both different people creatively, surprisingly we almost always agree when it comes to designs for the house.

Favorite Element: : Melody loves her plants and terrariums tucked all around the house because they bring a little joy and life to every room you find them (which is most). Tom loves his "Robo-torium" and the way it represents the majority of his life-long-love of robots but in an interesting piece of furniture that they both can be proud of.

Biggest Challenge: The closets because they're very basic and small, lacking any extra storage besides the bare minimum hanging rods. Now that they're getting closer to being filled with the stuff that belongs in them, our next step is to do some smart redesign to make the best use of the space in each one.

What Friends Say: People love our house when we entertain because whether we're serving food in the open kitchen/dining room or grilling upstairs on the patio while chatting with people relaxing in the open grassy back yard below, there's really a place for everyone to find something to keep them occupied.

Biggest Embarrassment: Easily the garage. Years' worth of furniture we have been lugging around from our old places, boxes of collectible comics, toys, and music, and everything else we packed up in a hurry to move up to Washington; all stowed away in boxes without any real storage space garage to tuck them into. The boxes are stacked up in rows so it looks kinda like the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Proudest DIY: Installing a lot of the electrical stuff ourselves; from diming switches in almost every room to the lighting fixture over the dining room table. We always felt too intimidated before to do it but, once we got started on it, we realized most of what we wanted to do was simple enough to tackle on our own.

Best Advice: It's both of your space; all of it. Even though in the living room, she might want to be fancy enough for her friends to appreciate, he and the kids are going to want to plop on the couch and play games in there. The office might be his "man-cave" filled with mechs and heavy metal inspiration but she still needs to be excited about the room rather than cringing and closing the door when she walks past. We just throw ideas out there and see what the other person latches onto. If someone doesn't like something, maybe it can be adapted or it might lead to a better idea. In the end, you all live there so make sure everyone's happy about the idea.

We also found just picking projects and doing everything "right" the first time, rather than do it all quickly but cut a bunch of corners makes us feel prouder about the things in the house that are done. I'm sure we'll change our minds about some things as time goes on, but for now at least, we're more focused on trying to make sure every room's purpose is realized and decorated to make us smile when we step into them.

Resources of Note:

ENTRY

    • Bench & Coat rack - Crate & Barrel
    • Woolly Pocket - Molbak's

LIVING ROOM

    • Chandelier Lamp - Horchow
    • Couch & Green Chair w/ ottoman - Kasala
    • Coffee table & Rug - Dania
    • Paintings - Trish Grantham
    • Cube Bots - Tweek. David Week
    • Game "stuff" boxes - Container Store

DINING ROOM

    • Dining Table - Dania
    • Chairs - Pottery Barn

MASTER BEDROOM

    • Bed - Pottery barn
    • Lingerie Chest - Horchow
    • Dresser - Antique; originally from Kansas 1900's
    • Woolly Pocket - Molbak's

KID'S BEDROOM 1 (MAX'S ROOM)

    • Chalk Board Table & Chairs - Otto
    • King Max Print - Art gallery in Santa Barbara, CA
    • Rug - Pottery Barn Kids
    • Mini-couch - Made by friend of the family
    • Bed, bookshelf, & dresser - basic unfinished furniture with bright primary color stains

KID'S BEDROOM 2 (LOGAN'S ROOM)

    • Desk - Antique; refinished recently by us
    • Headboard - DIY
    • Monkey- Painting by Brad Powell

OFFICE

    • Red Desks - Ikea
    • "Robo-torium" & Chairs - Dania Furniture
    • Cubby Shelves - Costco
    • Guitar Hangers - Guitar Center

BASEMENT/FAMILY ROOM

    • Paintings/Artwork - Farron Loathing
    • Armoir - Unknown Furniture Store
    • R-Type Arcade Game - Vintage Arcade
    • Bench - Antique
    • Couch - Found & Reupholstered
    • Chair - Vintage/Reupholstered
    • Cubby Shelves - Costco

Thanks, Tom & Melody!

Images: Alysha Findley

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Alysha is a photographer and designer living in Seattle who loves dark chocolate, tea, and all things furry. In her spare time you'll find her with paint in her hair renovating her 1919 Craftsman and sharing the process on her blog Old House New Tricks.