Name: Seth and Maureen Conant and their cats, Frank and Lucy
Location: Seattle, Washington
Size: 2,000 square feet
Years lived in: 6 years; Owned
Walking into Maureen and Seth’s house transports you to the 1950s. In fact, just walking along their street gives you that feeling! They live in a little enclave of mid-century homes in northwest Seattle, most of which were built by the same architect, Thomas Dunstan, in the late 1950s.
When the couple were house hunting a few years ago, they were looking for an affordable mid-century house, but it took quite awhile to find the right home. In fact, when they first saw this house, they weren’t sure it was right due to the amount of work that needed to be done, but the neighborhood won them over. Plus, when they viewed the house a second time, they could visualize Dave Brubeck playing on the hi-fi!
After moving in, Maureen and Seth begin to research the history of the neighborhood. Each house on the street has a unique name, and Seth and Maureen’s home is the “Cloister Lanai” because of the large central atrium. (Other names on the street include “Rancheros,” “Wonderbar,” “The Lodge,” and “House of Entertainment.”) They were thrilled to find such a great spot with so much history and charm—and they’ve been amazing stewards in preserving the home’s history. When they purchased the house, the atrium needed a lot of work, and the couple needed to figure out how they could best use the space. They’ve created a great tropical-plant filled spot for entertaining, relaxing, and even working out.
Seth and Maureen are longtime fans of mid-century design and had a lot of great furniture before they moved into the house. However, they did want to acquire some additional pieces to fill the space, many of which were sourced from Craigslist. They even found the credenza in their living room for free on the side of the road!
They also used their creative skills to create furniture, artwork and cushions. Maureen sewed many of the cushions, Seth painted several pieces of art hanging throughout the house, and the two of them built their bed and nightstands.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Mid-Century Modern
Inspiration: The offices of Sterling Cooper in Mad Men, The Party (a film with Peter Sellers), Palm Springs leisure
Favorite Element: The atrium—the house was name the “Cloister Lanai” for its lanai in the center of the house.
Biggest Challenge: Cats = scratching and fur everywhere!
What Friends Say: “You need to have more cocktail parties!”
Biggest Embarrassment: The backyard fence—it’s on its last leg, plus it’s the ugliest on the block. We’ll tackle it this summer! (Promised three summers in a row)
Proudest DIY: The bed and nightstand tables. The bed is a copy of a George Nelson bed. Not being able to afford an original, we decided to make our own out of two solid-core doors. We routered the edges, connected them side by side, and put hairpin legs on them. We added a birch plywood headboard and a simple birch plywood box for nightstands.
Biggest Indulgence: The garage doors. We first wanted to convert the garage back into the carport (or “porte cochere,” according to the 1958 advertisement) with the circular drive as originally designed and built. The original doors were heavy and were prone to breaking. But the new doors let a lot of light in and when they are both up, it looks like the original carport.
Best Advice: Live in your home a while before making any major changes. And splurge on good quality items if you want it—in the end, you will want to spend more time at home and less time going out.
Dream Sources: Herman Miller, Nakashima
PAINT & COLORS
- Hallway: Lowe's Turquoise
- Living room: grasscloth wallpaper
- Bedroom: Benjamin Moore Graystone
- Office: Lowe's Lime a Licious
- Atrium: Benjamin Moore Superwhite
- Couch: Joybird
- Womb chair: eBay
- Noguchi reproduction coffee table: eBay
- Lamps: flea market, with shades from Moon Shine
- Credenza: found on side of the road
- Turquoise/grey turntable credenza: CB2
- Pillows: sewed by Maureen with vintage fabric from Palm Springs Modernism Show
- Eames knock-off lounge chair: Seth’s parents
- Table: Craigslist
- Chairs: Modernica
- Hutch: Craigslist
- Sideboard: CB2
- Bar: vintage Danish mod retailer
- Clock: Just Fabulous, Dwell Studio
- China: purchased in Japan while Maureen’s dad was serving in Korea
- Tile: Modwalls
- Cabinets: IKEA
- Breakfast bar table: IKEA
- Stools: CB2
- Hanging bubble lamp: Modernica
- Bed: made by Seth and Maureen
- Side tables: made by Seth and Maureen
- Dressers: Room & Board
- Shelves: IKEA
- Chairs: Rove Concepts
- Saarinen side table: eBay
- Lamps: IKEA
- Hanging Nelson bubble lamp: Modernica
- Chair: Craigslist
- Pillows: sewed by Maureen
- Daybed: CB2
- Light fixture: Rejuvenation
- Sliding room doors: The Sliding Door Co.
- Sideboard: Antika
- Chairs: garage sale, with cushions sewed by Maureen
- Floating credenza bar: IKEA kitchen cabinets
- Copper lights: IKEA
- Tripod planters: Hip Haven
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