For this homeowner, moving to Mercer Island, Washington from California meant purchasing a home in the location they wanted even if it came with some inevitable remodelling.
They did not shy away from moving into this 1980s home and turning it into the luxury residence they wanted and that suited their lifestyle as both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.
Coming from California, they brought a view of colour that was refreshing and lively. Therefore, it was up to interior designer, Colleen Knowles, to curate a mature colour palette that elevated the style of the home.
The owner’s father was Executive VP at Gumps, the storied San Francisco fine home goods store that is synonymous with San Francisco in its elegance, worldly style, and maverick spirit. Suffice to say, this set the owner on a course to execute the project with a quality and holistic vision from the onset. It was important to them and the design team that the home be done beautifully and that no corners were cut.
The prominent use of blue came from the many trips to California, to visit family, where they saw multiple examples of blue cabinetry that they just had to bring to their own home.
The use of colour and pattern, which is not neutral and not to jarring but just right makes this home truly stand out and become cohesive with the lush green setting. The inspiration and achievement of the design was to open the house up, bring the outdoors in and infuse joyful color into gathering space for friends and family.
We talk to Colleen Knowles about the design project.
One of the main design directives was to open the kitchen to all the other rooms and incorporate a bar separate from the cooking area to serve guests.
Reworking the layout of the kitchen, which is central to the floor plan, and removing a wall that cut the main floor in half dramatically changed the flow of the home. New vistas were opened up to the green belt and stream on the south side of the house.
White kitchen cabinetry is the ultimate in cool, laid-back chic. The design needs to be perfect, accessories need to be stylish and the result will be a kitchen with a slick, sophisticated edge.
Symmetry was key to giving this room a luxurious look. The layout meant that it was important to create a sense of flow between the spaces, but it was also crucial that each room had its own identity, so that they didn’t all merge into one. The living room is very grand, with dark wood flooring, a complimentary colour palette and carefully selected soft furnishings.
This space needed to be more informal, hence the choice of an L-shaped sofa and rough-luxe furniture. The relaxed seating brings cosiness to the space, while the houseplants provide a link to nature.
The hall has been kept light and bright to provide an undisturbed and uncluttered path to adjacent rooms.
A timeless and enduring hue, blue is the perfect colour for a bedroom.Simple pattern, subtle textures and soothing colours will create the perfect refuge from the stress of a long day.
Coveted for its subtle tone and beautiful veined effect, you can see why marble is such a hit in the style department – it looks good wherever it’s put and will continue to look striking year after year.
Photography: John Granen Photography
Interior design: Colleen Knowles Interior Design (opens in new tab)
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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