Issue

October 2016

Home Design Secrets

Top tips from Seattle's experts

From this Issue

The local wines that belong on your table this season.

They start arriving early in the day, their colorful clothing providing vivid contrast against the cloudy morning skies and natural palette of soil and growing greens. Seattle’s landscape and climate is quite a change from that of the South and Southeast Asian countries most emigrated from

Two online retailers are making it easier than ever to redecorate your home without ever leaving it

A chat with the Fremont-based interior designer about her new book

Building in harmony with nature is the primary concept behind feng shui, says Gisela H. Stehr, director of Seattle’s Emerald Feng Shui Institute and author of Feng Shui for Life: Connecting the Dots.

This past spring, Seattle-based and New York Times best-selling author Melissa Michaels’ followed up her previous home improvement titles with Make Room for What You Love (Harvest House Publishers), which is excerpted below. Her essential guide explores the connection between our physical environment and our mental state.

As Seattle housing becomes more compact and dense, the expansive backyard with green grass, lawn chairs and a barbecue grill is fast becoming obsolete. To compensate, Seattleites are looking skyward for open space. With the proliferation of new, boxy “modern” homes, Seattle’s house parties are, literally, being taken to a whole new level.  

When “green” really arrived on the Seattle scene some 15 years ago, building a green home meant using solar panels and bamboo flooring. While those elements remain a sign of green building, today’s earth-friendly abodes go much further than that.

Create a space any cook would love with Distinctive Kitchens designer Allison Scheff’s must-haves

For home cooks—both budding and brilliant—a functional kitchen that’s stocked with modern updates and top-notch appliances takes the scratch-made cake. But when you reside in the Pacific Northwest, there are a few extras beyond functionality that are worth considering. 

These stylish lamps and pendants add just the right amount of shimmer

There are more than a few reasons to get better acquainted with the mighty light-emitting diode (LED). According to Energy Saver, a consumer resource offered by the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than their incandescent bulb counterparts.

Robin Daly of Fremont-based Daly’s Paint & Decorating talks how the right shade of white can emphasize natural light, neutralize green shades from the outdoors, and make any Seattle room feel sunny year round.

Seattle’s gray days and imminent 4:18 p.m. winter sunsets typically leave Pacific Northwest homes wanting for more natural light. So it’s no surprise that at the top of many locals’ home-design wish list is the desire to increase the natural light within their space, says Brio Interior Design firm founder Kenna Stout (kennastout.com).

Whether you’re a longtime homeowner or just signed the lease to your first apartment, transforming any space from an address to a personal abode can be daunting. In many areas of the Pacific Northwest, there are also the particular challenges of light, space and yes—gray— that interior designers must contend with.

On a sunny morning, Cole Eckerman’s dog, a fox hound mix named Winchester, cheerfully loped around the perimeter of the Genesee dog park near Columbia City, stopping to sniff or chase other dogs. Meanwhile, Rue, her small, blond Chihuahua mix, happily waded around a another group of dogs.

Walking into the Amazon bookstore in the University Village shopping center is a little like entering a hybrid of an Apple store and a large airport bookstore designed to help you find a book fast. The store is long and narrow, with Kindle and Fire TV displays running down the center. On the shelves, all book covers face out, which is both lovely and slightly overwhelming.

This city has a thing for socks. From top toe protection to no-slip all-stars, we’ve found the best bets for restocking your sock drawer

Since 2008, baking instructor Kate McDermott has taught thousands of people how to make pies inside her cozy Port Angeles cottage. What makes McDermott’s classes so popular is her message: Pie, like life, should be simple.

Sheri Kinley spends most of her time passing medical instruments to doctors in her day job as a surgical technician. Why, then, does the 62-year-old Lynnwood resident love to shimmy and shake and make like a zombie every October while teaching an eclectic assortment of wannabe performers the moves to Michael Jackson’s song “Thriller”?

In Seattle-based writer Maria Semple’s latest book, Today Will Be Different (Little, Brown and Company, $27) desperate housewife and former animator Eleanor Flood races around Seattle one day (see map) trying to make sense of everything that seems to matter in her life.

German composer Engelbert Humperdinck’s folk-tune-influenced adaptation of the famously dark Grimm Brothers fairy tale from 1812 has not been seen at Seattle Opera for 23 years.

As a new wave of Italian eateries joins old favorites, we're falling in love with spectacular house-made pasta all over again

In a city sprouting towers of new residential construction all around town, Lauren and Bradley Padden are thinking small.

Released earlier this year, Andrew Rossi’s documentary film The First Monday in May tells the story of the ultimate intersection of fashion and art: the annual Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.

ressa Yellig (right) and her sister Katie have brought their Portland Broth Bar to Olympia

An interest in nutrition and healing through food led Tressa Yellig to her love of bone broth—one of the year’s buzziest food trends—which she extols as being “really powerful medicine” because of its high concentration of nutrients.

You’ve likely stumbled upon it, nearly concealed beneath the brush in Leschi Park, just south of Madrona, and dismissed it as another old, forgotten bridge.

Olympians, we apologize for invading your downtown parking. But, an artisan-style food hall like 222 Market (Olympia, 222 Capitol Way N; 222market.com) is an exciting destination and one we food lovers think is worth the drive.

The Thompson Hotel’s new rooftop bar provides the perfect pairing: a Seattle twist on a classic with the best sky-high bar view in town

Named for a monastery outside of Lonigo, Italy, San Fermo in Ballard is probably the first new Italian restaurant in a long time that wants to make its name in rustic, homey southern Italian food.

It’s 4 p.m. on a Tuesday, and already the aggressively dark dining room at Sisters and Brothers is packed. Seemingly, no one in this city holds traditional office hours—at least when fried chicken is involved.

Plan a weekend getaway to this small town full of craft beer and changing leaves

When I heard that Amazon.com had started offering tours in Seattle, I couldn’t wait to sign up. After all, I had worked in the company’s modest 70 million-square-foot warehouse in Georgetown many years ago and was curious to see what it was doing with the small amount of extra space that used to be known as South Lake Union.

The newest retail outpost from fashion collaborators Justin Kercher and former Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander is offering downtown shoppers the opportunity to “Do The Extraordinary.” Taking over the 6,000-square-foot space on Sixth Avenue and Olive Way that previously housed European Antiques, Do The Extraordinary (DTE) opened last fall and is a lifestyle boutique for men and women offer

Not long ago, a visit to the old Seattle Public Utilities North Transfer Station in Wallingford (1350 N 34th St.) meant driving into a dark, stench-ridden structure surrounded by a thin concrete shell, where giant, dinosaur-like excavators consumed garbage in their steel jaws before spewing it into trucks bound for distant landfills.

Is Seattle ready for high-rises built of wood after 80 years of concrete-and-steel buildings?

The possibility that robots might one day run our lives has long been a fantasy and a fear. As a forward-looking tech-obsessed city, it should be no surprise that we’re right in the middle of inventing a future that features automation, artificial intelligence and robotics. Seattle stalwarts like Boeing, Paul Allen and Amazon are in the middle of it all.