People often choose white paint for its versatility, timeliness, and ability to make a space seem a bit airier and loftier. But for Seattle-based interior designer Brian Paquette, the recent choice to go white in a client’s home on Mercer Island, a suburb across the water from Seattle, was something unexpected: It was camouflage. Dealing with a very ’90s home “with a bunch of curves and yellow oak in the trim,” he decided to clean up the space with white paint and “draw the attention to furnishings and away from architecture.”
Paquette’s client, a “fun-loving traveler with two teenage daughters,” loves color and textiles, so eye-catching patterns were practically a given. “My client loves all things indigo and, well, any other shade of blue,” Paquette says, “so we started with her favorite textile from our presentation, which is Tulu from Zak+Fox.” Making the bold decision to use the painterly geometric print for the drapes in the main living space, he built the rest of the design off of that.
Composed of two sea-facing seating areas and a dining area, the main living area is quite connected, so it was important to Paquette that they relate aesthetically. To that end, he mixed blues, neutrals, and light woods in each space but used natural fiber rugs to divide and create distinction within the floor plan. “We mixed scale and pattern and even a few other colors than blue in the space to make it feel layered,” he says of the home, which features a vintage Womb Chair upholstered in another blue fabric from Zak+Fox and stunning artwork from Lydia Bassis Art Studio.
The biggest challenge of decorating the three-bedroom, three-bath home, Paquette tells us, was one many of us can relate to: It’s a rental. “While my client was more than happy to change out lighting, paint, and even wallpaper, we couldn’t make structural changes or make any massive investments into a space she may not live in forever.” Thus, Paquette made strategic decisions, such as having her custom curtains made in a standard size, to allow her décor to work again in future homes.
While many renters may not think to hang wallpaper or have custom curtains, blinds, and even custom lampshades made, the small bespoke moments and beautiful layering of patterns are truly what bring the space to life. That and some totally stunning furniture and décor selections: The home’s thin-framed tufted velvet armchair, abstract landscape art, and modernist wall sconce are permanently burned into our brains. Needless to say, this is one space where we’d love to renew a lease.
Which furniture or décor piece is your favorite? Share with us below.