A family home holds many stories, and this 1905 manse had collected memories and recorded a way of life for the client’s family. Reimagining the stately—almost academic—environment for a modern and sophisticated young family presented a sensitive challenge and required artful exploration. While the clients would have been thrilled at the opportunity to live in a glass box with a white interior, they knew and conveyed to the design team that any change to the interior architecture could cause family grief. The charge, therefore, was to contemporize and brighten the environment, while leaving the original woodwork unpainted throughout. A sensitive, surgical remapping was in order.
For interior inspiration, she favored pops of color with an Italian sensibility; he was drawn to a futuristic, Northern European slant and a constricted, clean palette. The dark oak beams and paneling weighed in every consideration. The home’s main living space needed connectivity and an open lounge feel. The clients wanted rooms that lived together with inviting purpose, entertainment, comfort and intimacy all key to the plan. The overarching design inspiration was based on an open and inviting boutique hotel lobby, with dining and club rooms adjoining.
The interior operations began with lightened hardwoods, the removal of excessive oak pediments, light-painted plaster and a fully reimagined focal fireplace, a custom Mondrian-inspired marble and bronze configuration. Many of the custom furnishings—from the bronze handrail, to the dining and coffee tables and vintage chairs—echo the curve of the home’s original Gothic arches. The entry hall holds a monumental Lindsey Adelman light fixture above a HP-designed bronze handrail and delicate brass and slump glass console. A striking oil painting by Johnny Abrahams creates another entry focal point. The living room has a custom room-size Minotti sectional and marble coffee table. Mohair-covered Edward Wormley chairs and an HP-designed metal cube table. A B&B Italia glass bar cabinet and Louise Nevelson Nevelson lithograph help anchor the space. Subtly patterned silk and wool custom carpets were added to all spaces in the suite of rooms.
The dining room walls and ceiling were clad in patterned rice cloth, while the den received a geometric-print cork wallcovering. Throughout, geometric and circular shapes appealed to the clients. An ebonized Belgian brutalist credenza with Carrera top provides the backdrop for a custom HP-designed walnut and brass dining table with gentle curves. The slab was handpicked with the client in Portland and fabricated in Seattle. Italian and Spanish midcentury chairs were reupholstered in leather and linen to complete the setting. A wall-sized oil painting by Jordan Kasey adds depth and impact to the room. The sultry mood of the den suggests a modern English clubroom. Vintage Swedish club chairs remade in oxblood leather contrast with a large format photograph by Isaac Layman hung above a teal Chesterfield. Golden shearling and Italian printed velvet pillows accent the seating. A Tom Dixon brass and glass side table adds another modern layer. The covered terrace became an adjacent al fresco bar and cocktail lounge. The kitchen received a built-in banquette. A new integrated-marble powder room was added to the entry. A stairwell vestibule was newly paneled and painted, opening the main floor to the previously-unused lower level now containing a guest apartment, play rooms, and wine cellar.
Often, distance and a fresh perspective on heritage reveal a hidden youthfulness waiting to appear. This team of good stewards cultivated a sophisticated, comforting and respectful new gathering place—creating the home the clients had dreamed of, while preserving memories intact.
Hoedemaker Pfeiffer (Interior Design and Architecture)
McKinney Group, Inc. (General Contractor)
Haris Kenjar (Photography)