A Seattle 1910 Tudor Mansion Gets a Modern Makeover

After buying the family home, a young couple reimagines its interiors to make room for more memories
LIVING LUXE: The bold use of pattern and color in this den challenged the homeowners’ aesthetic, but it’s now their favorite room in the house

This article appears in print in the November 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Many of the grand old houses in Seattle’s historic Denny-Blaine neighborhood have a tale to tell, and for one Seattle couple (who wishes to remain anonymous), their home’s story features prominently in the husband’s childhood. So, when the couple decided to remodel the familial home, a two-and-a-half-story 1910 Tudor mansion that formerly belonged to the husband’s parents, they turned to architecture and interiors firm Hoedemaker Pfeiffer to assist in the delicate task of preserving its legacy while making it their own.

Geometric shapes were used throughout the home, like in the modern dining room chandelier

To both lighten the home’s overall mood and visually organize its first floor, firm partner Tim Pfeiffer removed several of the Gothic-style pediments that adorned the space, leaving only those above major entry and exit points to the room. In the living and dining rooms, Pfeiffer chose furnishings in a pale, neutral palette, lending a more contemporary feel to these spaces, where the homeowners spend a great deal of time with their two young kids. Though the bulk of Pfeiffer’s work focused on lightening these rooms, the couple’s affinity for bold artwork and pops of color mean that the overall effect is never boring.

Colorful artwork helps modernize an old home

And then there’s the den, a small, seductive room off the living room, where the story takes a decidedly moodier turn. To create an intimate yet swanky space, the designer encouraged his clients to embrace their unconventional side: Metallic geometric-patterned cork wallcovering adorns the walls; solid metallic silver cork wallcovering covers the ceiling; and a bold, blue-green velvet Chesterfield-style sofa commands the space opposite two Belgian midcentury wingback armchairs, which Pfeiffer reupholstered in a wine-colored leather. Built-ins provide space for the homeowners’ collection of books, while the wall above the sofa displays one of their many prized pieces of art: Seattle-based artist Isaac Layman’s “4 Lb. Strawberries.”

“The den, in particular, really reflects how Tim challenged our aesthetic,” the wife says. “It’s pretty funky, so I don’t think we would have gotten there on our own, but he really led us to some new creative places that end up working really well. As it turns out, it’s my favorite place in the house.”

Large, comfy furniture encourages family lounging

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