Al & Mark's Colorful & Eclectic Condo

Al & Mark's Colorful & Eclectic Condo

Name: Al and Mark
Location: Capitol Hill -- Seattle, Washington
Size: 1,380 square feet
Years lived in: 7 years -- owned

A splendid view of surrounding treetops and downtown Seattle in the distance is the first thing you notice in Al and Mark's condo. Or is it the Pollock-inspired mural in the entryway? It might be the huge image of Peggy Moffitt plastered to the back of the front door. What I noticed when Al -- who is a lead interior designer behind Seattle's Salt Interiors -- opened the front door, was that I couldn't stop looking around. I felt like a kid in a candy store the moment I entered this lusciously decorated home.

From the custom Douglas Fir cabinetry -- most of which Mark, a woodworker and artist, made for each space -- to the gorgeously colorful fabrics and artwork, this is a home that, as Al says, "smiles back at you." And it's true -- I couldn't help but grin as I wandered from room to room, each more adventurous and laden with lovely details than the last.

Bright paintings depicting nudes, religious iconography, sailboats, landscapes, and flowers adorn the vibrant yellow walls (as Al points out, "in this climate, who wouldn't choose this color?"). Classic ("from any era, but always classic") and formal furniture -- such as stately cabinets with ornate details and art deco lounge chairs -- hold their own next to wild vintage wallpapers, displays of whimsical collections, and bohemian flourishes.

The kitchen's centerpiece is a luminous gas range; the custom cabinets are fitted with repurposed glass remnants, offering glimpses of the bright canned goods inside. Salt-and-pepper shakers and pottery from the 1950s fill the kitchen's various nooks and crannies. A small chalkboard has the week's menu written out -- including carbonara, minestrone and clam linguine. Feast your eyes on the photos of this ravishing home in the heart of Seattle!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: It is definitely eclectic. Being an interior designer, I [Al] am in constant contact with so many styles all day long. Classic styling is what I aim for. I dislike fads, and I choose from the best from many time periods, from Tudor Revival to Italian modern.

Inspiration: Paris has definitely inspired this apartment. We travel there at least once a year and this style is indicative of what Parisians do: They collect what they love and have acquired it over time and make it work. Surround yourself with things you love.

Favorite Element: The artwork collected over many years, much of which was acquired in flea markets in Paris and Nice. The other favorite element is a glass table from Global Views -- it is just a delight. I use it often at Salt Interiors in the custom design box for clients: it adds an unexpected punch to most rooms and provides a lot of bang for the buck!

Biggest Challenge: Stripping the paint from all the woodwork, doors and moldings took approximately eight months.

What Friends Say: The best compliment we receive is that our home is so warm and welcoming.

Biggest Embarrassment: The front entry hall was the last to be completed and was simply plaster walls and a bare bulb dangling from the ceiling for over five years before Mark got around to the mural!

Proudest DIY: The entire apartment! We completed the entire remodel with exception to plumbing and electrical ourselves. I still have nightmares over stripping all the paint from the woodwork.

Best Advice: Live in a space for awhile and let it tell you what it wants to be, instead of the other way around.

Resources of Note:






    Kravet Upholstery Fabrics
    • Saint Ouen Flea Market in France

Thanks, Al and Mark!

Images: Heidi Leigh Johansen

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