Located in Seattle’s bustling First Hill/Capitol Hill area, this 1,800-square-foot “pied e terre” is in walking distance of many lovely shops and restaurants, as well as the theater and symphony. The clients — two retirees seeking a comfortable living space capable of hosting friends and family — directed us to fully furnish and decorate. 

This retreat from the city was inspired by Shaker simplicity, Swedish minimalism, and the chicness of a Parisian apartment. Up high, with lots of windows and glass, we wanted it to be serene, soothing, but also warm and inviting.    

This project was all about layering neutrals in a soft, subtle, and sculptural way. This meant a combo of wool drapes, textural oak furniture, and layered natural fiber rugs with wool antique rugs. For furnishings, we opted for a combo of linen, velvet, and bouclé.   

Living Room  

Throughout the common space, we purposefully employed black, white, and natural tones in sculptural forms, paying attention to the actual shapes and silhouettes of the furniture: the curve of the sofa, the frames and tufting of the chairs, the elegant simplicity of the marble side table, and the bold structure of the black ebonized bookshelves. The accessories play a similar role with layers of texture, shape, form, and material.     

Many of the items are one-of-a-kind, handmade by artisans and small-batch makers. We also threw in a handful of mindful antiques: a century-old Chinese table, an old Turkish rug, and an antique French mirror on the bookshelf.  Old can work really well with modern design if the shapes are simple.  


Neutrals in the bedroom mean a combo of textures for the bedding, mixed use of wood (walnut and oak) for side tables, and botanicals like the Pampas grass in the tall glass vessel. We also paid attention to “positive” and “negative” space, carefully curating where the interesting visual moments occur. Instead of the typical large art over the bed, we left the area blank, opting instead for an impactful black vessel and small Noguchi lamp on one side, and a vintage piece of art with a stool and large sculptural vessel on the other.   

Dining Room

In the dining room, we combined curved oak chairs, a complementary table, and a set of black Herman Miller vintage chairs. It would have been boring to have all the chairs match; introducing a subtle contrast with the black metal adds interest and visual depth. The linear “dot” brass chandelier is the last layer, adding dressiness while remaining warm and quiet in its simple shape and form. 

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