Designing a family home is tricky; decor needs to be kid-proof (i.e. indestructible), and it has to accommodate a range of ages, activities, and interests, so it feels like home to everyone—all while sticking to a budget. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for grownup style and polish. Not when you’re working with a talented interior designer, at least. This Seattle home designed by Heidi Caillier for a family of four proves it.
Built in 1937 in the waterfront neighborhood of Sunset Hill, it’s a blend of refined, timeless style, and easygoing, unpretentious elegance. With a charming brick facade and in the style of a Tudor cottage, the home already had great bones. But there was still quite a bit of work to do.
In fact, Caillier was tasked with overseeing the renovation and then decorating the entire house, including brand new electrical, HVAC, and windows. With three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1,430 square feet, there was a lot of ground to cover in a modestly sized space (though the family was actually downsizing from their previous home, which was a deliberate decision).
Caillier decided to gut the main floor and expanded both the bathroom and kitchen and the basement was also completely unfinished, which meant more work but also a lot more freedom. She decided to rework the basement floor plan to create a large family room, guest bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, pantry, and a playroom for the kids. To give the basement a more sophisticated and personal yet casual look, she covered the basement floors in terra cotta tile and refinished the existing hardwood floors on main level.
And once those basics were sorted, it was time for the fun part: decorating. “My style is rooted in creating layered spaces with touches of vintage. I don’t like to design with any particular style. I think it’s all about the mix and what works right for that client and that house,” Caillier tells us.
For this project, that meant plenty of warm tones, earthy materials, understated staples, classics with a twist, and fresh, tasteful artwork (coming up with the color scheme was as simple as creating a Pinterest mood board!).
“My client was coming from a place that was a solid mashup of clean, white, and modern” aesthetics, she explains. Think “Remodelista-inspired living mixed with a lot warmth and eclecticism. We both love and appreciate vintage, so that was heavily used here.” And that personal style definitely shines through in each and every room, which also contributes to the cohesion throughout.
“The spaces all feel different but similar enough that there isn’t a lot of noise,” she notes. The children’s bedroom, for example, reflects the home’s aesthetic but also stands out and experiments more with color. Though more saturated than the blush ad mauve tones in the rest of the house, the pink curtains in there still complement the color story.
The vintage one-of-a-kind pieces give the home its distinct character and ensure that it doesn’t look overtly designer, which Caillier loves. “I can’t stand when you can walk into room and name the vendor of every piece. Homes, even professionally designed ones, should feel like they reflect the people who live there and I think this house very much does that,” says Caillier.
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