Paul & Katie’s Bright Vintage Modern Loft

published Jul 18, 2014
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(Image credit: Belathee Photography)

Name: Katie Hackworth, principal designer and owner of H2 Design + Build, her husband Paul, their two daughters & three rescue mutts
Bellevue, Washington (a stone’s throw away from Seattle)
Approximately 1600 square feet
Years lived in: 8 months; Rented

Early last summer, Katie and her family decided to sell their modern farmhouse, which they built from 2010 to 2011. When the house sold, the new owners purchased about 75% of the furnishings. Katie was itching to create something new from scratch, and this was her opportunity to begin the hunt for a new lot and new furniture!

(Image credit: Belathee Photography)

They decided to try something completely fresh and rent a high rise apartment in downtown Bellevue while building their new home. Though it’s on the smaller side for a family of four and three dogs (and there’s no yard!), the new space is clean, open, and in perfect condition.

Katie says, “When we moved in, the space had a beige palette with brown accents (not my typical go-to colors!). That said, I wanted to find a way to make this temporary space feel more like our home without spending time or money on painting or replacing fixtures.”

The space is approximately 1600 square feet, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The kitchen, family room, dining room, and office are all within a sprawling, loft-like great room. With a basic palette, Katie has created an elegant and modern space, sprinkled with vintage elements, plus just the slightest edge of industrial charm!

(Image credit: Belathee Photography)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style is constantly evolving and changing depending on the spaces I am working on and/or living in, but I think the term vintage modern probably sums it up best. I love the history and texture vintage pieces bring to a space, as well as the clean lines of modern furniture and decor.

Inspiration: For me, inspiration is everywhere. I can’t really say that one specific thing inspires me most. I just know it when I see it.

Favorite Element: The view. It is very peaceful and serene, even on stormy days.

Biggest Challenge: My biggest challenge was to find a way to get past all the beige and brown accent walls. We decided not to invest in painting the space since we knew we wouldn’t be here too long. I’m a girl who loves a white wall. In my eyes, artwork always looks best against a white backdrop.

What Friends Say: Because of our line of work, we tend to move frequently. In the beginning I think my friends were surprised by how quickly I could make a space read as our home. But by now I think they are used to it.

Biggest Embarrassment: The lighting fixtures in the bathrooms are far from ideal, but this was out of our hands. (Of course, I didn’t have Dorothee photograph any of them!)

Proudest DIY: My proudest DIY and biggest indulgence is the removable wallpaper in my girls’ bedroom. It was originally another brown accent wall, but I wanted the girls to be excited about the move and give them a happy and creative space to call their own. It was my first time purchasing and applying removable wallpaper, but I would highly recommend it to all renters out there. What a difference it made!

Biggest Indulgence: See above.

Best Advice: My best advice to renters would be to hang up your artwork and photographs. Don’t keep them stored away in boxes. It doesn’t take long to get them up on the wall, and it can make a huge difference when it comes to making a space feel like your own. Also, for small spaces, don’t limit a piece to its obvious purpose. Chairs and stools can make a perfect bedside table, and bar carts can provide that extra bit of needed storage.

Go-To/Dream Sources: I have so many go-to sources! Constants of mine for this space were Jayson Home, HD Buttercup, Anthropologie, West Elm, and ABC Home, to name a few. For unique and quirky items, Etsy, High Street Market, and Hunters Alley (an offshoot of One Kings Lane) were all favorites. My dream pieces for our next home would have to be a Saarinen Oval Dining Table and my longtime love, the Serge Mouille Three Arm Ceiling Lamp. I’ll keep dreaming…

(Image credit: Belathee Photography)

Resources of Note:


• I don’t know the exact color or brand of the paints the apartment complex uses. All I know is that they wouldn’t be my first or second choice. : ) The walls are a typical light beige, the millwork is a warm gray and the accent walls are a light chocolate brown.


• Runner / Calypso St. Barth
• Typographic Art / a one of a kind piece from Room and Board
• Hyden Horse photograph / Natural Curiosities


• Chaise sectional / HD Buttercup
• Round Marble Coffee Table / Wisteria
• Vintage Rug / Jayson Home
• Television Storage Console / Restoration Hardware
• Side Chair / Rejuvenation


• Dining Table and Side Chairs / HD Buttercup
• Wire Mesh End Chairs / Rejuvenation


• Runner / West Elm
• Stools / DWR


• Bedframe and Headboard / abc Home
• Area Rug / Anthropologie
• Desk (used as TV console) / West Elm
• Vintage Trunk / High Street Market
• Bar Cart (used as storage piece) / Crate and Barrel
• Large Vintage Painting / Serena & Lily Art Collection
• Chairs / Vintage


• Removable Wallpaper / Hygge & West • Bed Frames / Room and Board • Bedding / a mix of Anthropologie and West Elm • Wire Shelving / Sundance • Area Rug / Anthropologie


• Bookshelf / West Elm • Artwork atop bookshelf / Lydia Bassis • Desk / Anthropologie • Desk Chair / Zinc Door • Drafting Table / Vintage
(Image credit: Belathee Photography)

Thanks, Paul & Katie!

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