Thomas and Rick's Indianola Cottage

Thomas and Rick's Indianola Cottage

Name: Thomas Murphy & Rick Rochon
Location: Indianola, Washington
Size: 1,200 square feet + a 120 square foot office
Years lived in: 2

When Rick Rochon opened Ludlow in Seattle's Phinney Ridge, I could hardly believe my eyes. Seemingly overnight, he'd transformed an empty storefront in my laid-back 'hood into a handsome home design outpost, packed with just the sort of eclectic vintage-modern that I love, from wool camp blankets to a caramel-hued horse saddle with the perfect patina, plus really beautiful custom furniture too. Then he told me about his cottage in Indianola.

Rick and his partner (and soon-to-be husband!) Thomas found a listing for the cottage during a visit to the Pacific Northwest. Rick's cousin lives in Indianola, so the two were already familiar with the rural beach town located in Port Madison on the west shore of the Puget Sound. "It's one of those towns that time sort of forgot, where everyone knows your name and people linger to talk on hot summer afternoons," Rick says.

The couple lived in the Bay Area at the time, and traveled back and forth during the renovation of the former fishing cottage. They'd planned on a four-week transformation, but ended up taking six months instead — and exceeding their budget. So when it came to decorating, they sourced most of their major pieces at lower-cost and vintage stores, only splurging on important things. "We knew we would entertain weekend guests often, so no expense was spared on high-quality bedding and mattresses for the newly appointed guestrooms," says Rick.

They kept the cottage's rustic vibe intact but got rid of the terrible floor plan and dropped ceilings, creating a space that feels airy and loft-like. They also built a stylish backyard office addition and a fire pit to better enjoy all the gorgeous scenery. 

After all that — and convincing their Bay Area companies to let them telecommute — Rick and Thomas eventually realized that the cottage just wasn't big enough for full-time living and working. Then they found their current home, Littlefield, a "hobby farm" on nearby Bainbridge Island, where their golden lab Tucker has lots of room to play.  As for their charming "urban loft in the country" cottage? It sold in just three days.

Rick, an ex-Dot Commer and long-time design addict, recently decided to open Ludlow, also the HQ for his home design services. After a success like Indianola, why wouldn't he?

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Simply modern meets fabulous vintage.

Inspiration: Industrial San Francisco conversion loft meets Scandinavian Fishing Cottage. 

Favorite Element: The amazing rustic ceiling and timbers we uncovered in our initial demo, which happened to be the day we closed. We were in the house for the first time as owners, celebrating with friends, family and our contractor, and wondered aloud what was hiding under the drop ceiling. With our blessing, our contractor smashed a hole into the ceiling and revealed (thankfully) the amazing old timber framed roof.

Biggest Challenge: Managing the project from San Francisco and staying on budget.

What Friends Say: Our friends love the open quality of the space, as well as the separation of space. We intentionally created extra guest rooms on the first floor so that they could have their own space separate from the main living areas on the second floor. Overnight guests often comment on how comfortable they feel in our home.

Biggest Embarrassment: Having to have the roof done twice in one year because we went the “cheap” route the first time.

Proudest DIY: Hanging every shade in the house on every window, and getting them all perfectly level!

Biggest Indulgence:  It’s a tossup between the install of four big skylights in the great room, which bring in an amazing amount of light all year round, or building the stand-alone office cottage that provides the much needed space for Thomas to work from home.

Best Advice:  Don’t underestimate the magnitude of a “simple” kitchen renovation — it can turn into a whole house renovation to-the-studs undertaking.

Dream Sources: Paris Apartment; The Big Book of Chic.

Resources of Note:


  • Linen White; Benjamin Moore – white floors throughout; we used oil based, porch and deck paint in high gloss to accommodate for the wear and tear and it held up GREAT!
  • Navajo White; Benjamin Moore; all walls throughout
  • All interior doors – custom grey color from mixing a ton of grey samples together; we loved the result and used it!
  • Exterior red door– we searched for DAYS for the perfect red, and found it in the color “Indiscretion” by Benjamin Moore
  • Interior Grey Floors – Zinc; Martha Stewart
  • OTHER: all door handles throughout (interior and exterior) – Schlage Latitude in Satin Nickel; from Lowes.


    (Upper level)
  • Industrial Console Table; World Market
  • Antique Croquet Set; Ludlow
  • Reclaimed French Entry Doors: Second Use, Seattle
  • Tall Boots; front entry; Marc Jacobs
  • Croquet Set – Vintage; Jane Piper Reed, Seattle, WA
  • Wooden Bowl; the Gardener; Ferry Building, San Francisco
  • Side Table (wood); SF Mission district; purchased on the street for $10 in 1997.
  • Bocce Ball Set from Restoration Hardware


  • Upholstered Queen Bed; World Market
  • Hemnes 8 Drawer Dresser; Ikea


    • Antique Dresser
    • American Standard; Sink and Toilet
    • Oval Bulkhead Side Lights with Guard; Home Depot

    LIVING ROOM (upper level, great room)

    • Kivik Sofa in white; Ikea, Vintage Red ‘Hudson Bay’ Blanket
    • Kivik Loveseat in Cream; Ikea
    • Pair of vintage floral chairs; Ludlow
    • Vintage French Trunk (coffee table); Ludlow
    • Vintage industrial wood crate (on top of trunk); Ludlow
    • Giant Accordion Lights (Pair): Pottery Barn online


    • Akurum Cabinets; Ikea
    • Faucet (discontinued); Ikea
    • Bredskar Sink; Ikea
    • Numberar Oak Countertop; Ikea
    • Antler Chandelier; Ludlow
    • Red Stools; Crate and Barrel

    DINING AREA (lower level)

    • Antique Oak Pedestal Table
    • Marcel Breuer Saddle Leather and Chrome Chairs;
    • Red Pendant Lamp: Ikea
    • Marble Game Set; Astor Gift and Home, Palo Alto, CA
    • Reclaimed windows; Second Use, Seattle WA (

    TV AREA (lower level)

    • Antique Rattan Suitcase: the Wooded Duck, Emeryville
    • American Leather, Black leather sofa. Macy’s
    • White Furry Pillows on Black couch; Banana Republic
    • Black Storage Cubes; Pottery Barn
    • Red TV Cabinet: EQ3, San Francisco
    • Artwork – on back shelf, from left to right (acquired at various estate sales and auctions)
      - William (Bill) Cummings – far left portrait; 1963
      - Jay Steensma – Spring Flowers drawing; 1966
      - William (Bill) Cummings –female nude; 1963
      - Yaacov Agam – Spirit of America; 1962
      - Jay Steensma – Eve; 1960 

  • Thanks, Rick and Thomas!

    (Images: Courtesy Rick and Thomas)

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