When designer Lisa Staton signed on to revamp a 1905 Craftsman in Seattle for an artist-slash-clothing designer, the two discovered they were a quintessential match. “[The client] has a very similar design ethos to our firm, and she was excited to marry that with her own narrative that includes layers from her background in California and artistic inspiration from Santa Fe,” Staton explains.
Staton tapped Thomas Jacobson Construction and senior designer Tori Pitroff of her namesake firm, Lista Staton Interior Design, for help with significant renovations to the four-bed, three-bathroom home. The artist’s loft, primary bathroom, and stairwell were the main focus of a makeover that solely incorporated vintage and locally made items.
Now, the 4,573-square-foot home is filled with natural textures and neutral tones that amplify the owner’s collection of artwork. It’s the epitome of “California chillax meets desert zen,” Staton says. Scroll down to see all the photos!
Q&A with the Design Team
How would you describe your design aesthetic? How about your client’s style?
Tori Pitroff: Our design aesthetic is a balance between approachable modern and restrained traditional. There are always going to be organic elements layered in with special found vintage pieces and one-of-a-kind items from local makers.
How does the home represent their personality versus yours?
Lisa Staton: Aesthetically, the color palette is very much the client’s, informed foremost by her artwork and collection of vintage textiles. Her love of vintage and handmade with a strong focus on sustainability is a shared passion of mine, and the incorporation of warm layers and textures overlaps keenly with our “office personality.”
Tori: This project felt really special because there is so much creative and personal synergy between us and the client.
How did you come up with the home’s color scheme?
Lisa: Our client has a lot of brightly colored artwork that either she has painted or collected from artists for many years now. We wanted to showcase the color and energy of these special pieces and let the furnishings and accessories take a step back with a more neutral approach.
What were your client’s non-negotiables?
Lisa: Everything needed to be vintage or locally made. We also only used natural fabric (wool, linen) or reclaimed vintage textiles. Our client is a clothing designer with a strong passion for sustainability so that was really important.
Did you encounter any challenges or surprises during the renovation?
Lisa: Our client came from a modest-size apartment prior to moving into this home, so the furnishings were mostly a blank slate. She has a fantastic collection of vintage textiles, so we saw it as a design opportunity to showcase those as much as possible. You’ll see, in the front entry, there’s a woven hanging on the wall that is over 100 years old.
Tell me about a particular piece with a unique history.
Lisa: The stairwell Noguchi pendant is a fun story. Our local lighting repair vendor had this Noguchi in his shop for years. Every time we visited him, we would ooh and ahh over this old light that was tucked away up in the rafters. He always thought we were a little crazy because of how beat up it was (we just saw it as perfectly patinated). The light had been dropped off by a lady who never picked it back up, but technically it still belonged to her.
Fast forward a couple of years, and as I was designing this house, our whole team realized the Noguchi would be absolutely perfect for this project. No other client other than this one would appreciate the authenticity and wabi-sabi beauty of this light! So, we called up the light vendor, and he said he’d call the lady to who this light belonged. By some miracle, after having no contact with this light vendor for years, she picked up the phone and happily sold the light to us! Needless to say, there was much cheering in the office. And sure enough, that perfectly imperfect Noguchi looks meant to be in our client’s stairwell and she completely adores it.
That’s awesome! What’s your favorite thing about the finished space?
Tori: When you walk in the front door, you immediately want to curl up on the sofa or sink into the lounge chairs and just stay awhile. There is a warmth and serenity infused into the design work that reflects the client’s personality and energy.
Want to see more of the home? Tour the entire residence below.
“The entry felt pretty sterile being painted all white,” Staton says. “We solved this by adding custom bench cushions (featuring little vintage brass pins) to tuft the cushions with. Then we layered the space with older rugs and custom pillows.”
Floor lamp: Caprani. Rug: TRNK NYC. Chairs: vintage Percival Lafer. Sofa: vintage.
The dining room also combines handmade and found pieces, with a bit of casual California thrown in with a surfboard,” Staton gushes. “Of special note are the end chair cushions made with fabric by Suay LA—a fantastic company working to reduce waste with upcycled textiles.”
Chandelier: Heather Levine. End chair cushions: Suay LA. Dining Table: Kassie Keith Antiques. Dining chairs: client’s own.
“The kitchen is both casual and playful with a wink to an industrial vibe,” Staton explains. “Open shelves are filled with everyday grains and spices and handmade pottery. Native Northwest Fir makes up the cabinets topped with natural stone.”
Range: Bluestar. Stools: vintage.
The artist’s loft was completely reimagined with a custom 10-foot oak platform daybed in pale pink suede by Pavoni. “Skylights allow lots of natural light to stream in for painting, and the drawers in the daybed are designed to hold canvases and art supplies,” Staton says.
“The client’s collection of vintage mudcloth fabric was the jumping-off point for the bedroom,” Staton says. “Nestled by the bed are handmade sconces by Bennett Schlesinger of Light Song Exchange, and a vintage wicker chair is tucked in the corner.”
Bed: Lawson Fenning. Sconces: Light Song Exchange. Chair and textiles: vintage.
The primary bathroom was redone to feature a mix of marble, steel, and rattan. It was important to maintain the window and storage while keeping the space open and airy.
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