Spending all this time in our own quarters leads to restless thinking—of making home improvements or of moving on, maybe to another planet. Today we’re spotlighting the longtime family home of a couple with grown children who felt very ready for a change but decided to stay put.
Their place, a charming but compact 1915 carriage house in Seattle’s Capitol Hill, now has a fresh, new look—full kitchen and bath remodel, included—thanks to interior designer
Heidi Caillier. It was Caillier who suggested the owners travel in a sense, by applying a timeless, English-accented approach to their rooms: “British style works well in the Pacific Northwest because of the grayness,” she says. “It’s all about making things feel cozy and welcoming—and like a shelter.”
Photography by Haris Kenjar, courtesy of Heidi Caillier Design.
Above: Converted for living some time in the last century, the 1,200 square-foot structure came with preserved original features, such as the brick fireplace and leaded-glass windows. “There’s a lovely quiet to the house, so we wanted to keep the finishes edited and simple,” says Caillier. “Much of what we did was matching the original features.”
The owners raised their children here and had “long toyed with the idea of upgrading to bigger quarters, but decided to sacrifice space for charm,” adds Caillier. As was, the rooms were “very lived in and loved; well-maintained but in need of a refresh.”
Above: The furnishings are a mix of craftsman-made, modern-heirloom pieces and vintage, all selected for scale and comfort–and to look collected over time. BDDW’s Abel Sofa is the first thing you see when you walk in the door. It’s paired with Sawkille’s Penn Coffee Table and a vintage Tuareg mat found on Etsy. Above: The walls and moldings are painted Benjamin Moore’s Mascarpone; for more, see Architects’ 10 Favorite Warm White Paints. The woods floors are original newly refinished. Above: Tailored granny chic: Caillier designed skirted armchairs for the music corner of the room.
Pleated fabric lampshades (custom made by
Cruel Mountain) are another homey, decidedly British, touch. “You will note we did not use a lot of pillows or heavy window treatments,” says Caillier. “The lampshades were intentionally done to bring in those textiles in a more simple way.” For more, see 11 Favorites: The Return of the Artfully Patterned Lampshade. Above: “We played around with how to open up the main living spaces to each other without totally blowing out walls,” says Caillier. “Remaining true to the house, we decided to mimic existing archways to create a graceful opening that allows the kitchen to feel less isolated but still like its own space.” Above: The dining table and chairs are Sawkille designs: the Springsteen Trestle Table, Senate Chair, and Dinner Stool. Above: The built-in corner cabinet is a new addition—”it mimics what was in the living room,” says Caillier. Note the use of antique brass candlesticks and fanciful old lamps, such as this converted samovar. Above: The custom galley kitchen references designs by leading UK design firms deVol and Plain English. The cabinets and walls are painted the same color—Farrow & Ball’s French Gray—and the counters are walnut. The brass Ball Knobs and Massey Drawer Pulls from Rejuvenation work well with the Waterworks gooseneck Henry faucet.
“The crown molding replicates what exists throughout rest of house,” says Caillier. “We added new windows that match the original leaded-glass designs.”
Above: “Galley kitchens can be tricky,” says Caillier, “you have to add nooks and crannies or they can feel boring and sparse. I don’t always like open shelves in the kitchen, but this client has wonderful accessories, so I knew they’d work here.” Above: The Blue Star range is set in a niche with built-in storage. The handmade Crackle Metro Tiles are from deVol and the Spot Light sconces are by Rose Uniacke, both British imports (they were able to order the lights wired for US use). Above: The fridge is integrated behind cabinet panels at the end of the range wall. Above: The same vertical paneling applied in the kitchen appears in the overhauled tiny main bath, where a custom pink vanity stands alongside a five-foot-long tub, all painted Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster. “Because it’s all the same color,” says Caillier, “everything looks integrated and makes the space feel larger than it is.”
Zellige tile is from Clé and the Highgate brass fixtures are from Waterworks. The sconce is the Ladybower from UK classic bath company Drummonds. See more of Caillier’s work at Heidi Caillier Design.
Three more stylish tiny house overhauls: