Emer­ald City Es­cape

This cozy 1950s ram­bler in north Seat­tle pro­vides a wel­come re­treat for two busy pro­fes­sion­als.

Atomic Ranch - - Contents - By Les­lie J. Thomp­son Pho­tog­ra­phy by Matthewg al­lant Styling by Michelle Faith

A Seat­tle home brim­ming with vin­tage trea­sures teams with the life of a busy fam­ily—all with­out miss­ing a beat.

Some Mid­cen­tury Mod­ern homes are like pris­tine mu­se­ums, each room filled with vin­tage fur­nish­ings and para­pher­na­lia that look like new. The home­own­ers act as care­tak­ers of his­tory, and fit their life­style to the dé­cor to keep things in mint con­di­tion. Other mid­cen­tury houses are em­i­nently liv­able spa­ces, where quirky vin­tage finds meld with mod­ern pieces, of­fer­ing a tip of the hat to a by­gone era with­out be­com­ing stuck in time.

The Seat­tle home of Ge­orge and Mary Campbell falls into the lat­ter cat­e­gory. Built in 1957, the two-story house re­tains its orig­i­nal foot­print and has had only mi­nor struc­tural mod­i­fi­ca­tions. The in­te­rior de­sign, how­ever, show­cases the cou­ple’s affin­ity for blend­ing au­then­tic mid­cen­tury wares with af­ford­able re­pro­duc­tions and prac­ti­cal con­tem­po­rary fur­ni­ture. The re­sult is a cozy and invit­ing abode with plenty of eye candy for the retro en­thu­si­ast.

“We both value visual art and de­sign, and an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of each other’s style was def­i­nitely one of the things that drew us to­gether,” says Mary, who met her hus­band af­ter re­lo­cat­ing to Seat­tle from Big Sky Coun­try. “Since we’ve been mar­ried, we have de­vel­oped a spe­cific pas­sion for mid­cen­tury style.”

SUITED TO THEIR TASTE

Af­ter tough­ing it out in a Tu­dor house for sev­eral years, the cou­ple fi­nally were able to move their vin­tage fur­nish­ings into mid­cen­tury abode when they dis­cov­ered a friend was sell­ing her 1950s ram­bler in Seat­tle’s cov­eted Blue Ridge neigh­bor­hood.

“We sought out this style of house be­cause we love the dis­tinc­tive ar­chi­tec­tural style of the mid­cen­tury pe­riod,” Mary says. “We also wanted a home that had more light and an open floor plan, ver­sus the small rooms and chopped up lay­outs that are so com­mon in Seat­tle,” she adds.

The house mea­sures about 1700 square feet, not in­clud­ing a full base­ment of equal size, and com­bines a mid­cen­tury de­sign aes­thetic with ar­chi­tec­tural

el­e­ments typ­i­cal of the Pa­cific North­west. The cou­ple closed on the prop­erty in late 2007 and over time have de­signed the in­te­rior to their own taste. Ac­cent walls are painted in shades of Ma­jes­tic Blue and Cy­press Green, in­spired by a multi-color Ge­orge Nel­son sun­burst clock. In the liv­ing room, a pair of Nel­son Bub­ble Saucer wall sconces flanks a gray vel­vet couch and orig­i­nal Hay­wood Wake­field cof­fee ta­ble. Nearby, a stately teak wall unit houses var­i­ous books and vin­tage knick­knacks col­lected over the years at an­tique shops and thrift stores around Seat­tle and in Mary’s home state of Mon­tana. In the din­ing area, red metal mesh chairs sur­round a vin­tage Dan­ish teak din­ing ta­ble— an eye-catch­ing con­trast to the pis­ta­chio green walls.

MOD­I­FIED FOR MOD­ERN LIV­ING

The ex­te­rior looks much the same as when the home was built, with only mi­nor mod­i­fi­ca­tions. The pre­vi­ously floor-to-ceil­ing din­ing room win­dows were re­placed with more en­ergy ef­fi­cient Milgard dou­ble-paned alu­minum frames, and the Camp­bells painted the dark brown cedar sid­ing a pe­riod-per­fect slate blue. The only sig­nif­i­cant change to the orig­i­nal in­te­rior came when the cou­ple de­cided to open up the kitchen, which was closed off from the main liv­ing area by a wall and small pocket door.

“When we re­mod­eled, we re­ally just knocked that wall out and added the penin­sula,” Mary ex­plains, not­ing that the new de­sign was more con­ducive to en­ter­tain­ing. In ad­di­tion to re­mov­ing the orig­i­nal ap­pli­ances, the cou­ple con­tracted lo­cal re­mod­el­ing com­pany Five­dot to re­place the orig­i­nal cab­i­nets with cus­tom-built Kerf cab­i­netry that was in keep­ing with the style of the home.

Two years ago, they also re­did the master bath, which had been pre­vi­ously gut­ted, swap­ping out mod­ern fix­tures for a wal­nut ve­neer Euro­ply van­ity,

Mary used her sewing skills to TURN A VIN­TAGE PENDLE­TON BLAN­KET INTO A SET OF THROW PIL­LOWS for the couch.

also from Kerf, and mid­cen­tury in­spired wall sconces. The master bed­room has retro flair, as well, with vin­tage Hey­wood Wake­field nightstands nes­tled against a low pro­file V-leg bed and plas­tic deer heads from the 1950s mounted on the wall above. The guest room is a mostly vin­tage-free zone, how­ever, as is their daugh­ter Molly’s room, save for a kitschy triad of faux mounted deer heads on one wall.

The Camp­bells aren’t hard­core about stay­ing true to the era in which the house was built, but in­stead want fam­ily and friends to sim­ply feel at home in their mid­cen­tury space. “We have al­ways had a love for vin­tage things from all dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods,” Mary says, “and mak­ing a home that is stylish, func­tional, warm and invit­ing has al­ways been im­por­tant to both of us.”

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ABOVE LEFT: THE ONCE DARK BROWN CEDAR SID­ING IS NOW A PE­RIOD-PER­FECT BLUE BACK­DROP TO A BRIGHTLY COL­ORED VIN­TAGE PA­TIO SET, GIV­ING THE EX­TE­RIOR A TRUE MID­CEN­TURY VIBE.

ABOVE: EV­ERY COR­NER OF THE CAMPBELL HOME EX­UDES THEIR LOVE OF MELD­ING MID­CEN­TURY DE­SIGN WITH MOD­ERN LIV­ABIL­ITY—FROM THE ORIG­I­NAL PAN­ELED CEIL­ING, TO THE VIN­TAGE BRASS WALL ART THAT IS BEAU­TI­FULLY CON­TRASTED BY THE PAINTED BRICK FIRE­PLACE. BE­LOW: NOT AFRIAD OF COLOR, MARY PAINTED THE MAIN BATH­ROOM A RETRO-FRIENDLY AQUA. SHE THEN TURNED A VIN­TAGE TEAK WALL UNIT INTO STYLISH STOR­AGE FOR TOW­ELS AND OTHER ESSEN­TIALS.

OP­PO­SITE: TURN­ING A COR­NER OF THE LIV­ING ROOM INTO A DIN­ING AREA, MARY PAIRED A VIN­TAGE DAN­ISH TEAK TA­BLE WITH CON­TEM­PO­RARY FIRE-ENGINE RED METAL CHAIRS. THE SET­TING LOOKS OUT OVER THE LUSH EV­ER­GREENS OF THE PA­CIFIC NORTH­WEST LAND­SCAPE. MARY HAND PAINTED THE STENCILED WALL IN THE LIV­ING ROOM, DRAW­ING ADDED AT­TEN­TION TO TWO GE­ORGE NEL­SON BUB­BLE LAMPS.

ABOVE: ALTHOUGH THE IKEA DESK AND TABOURET RED METAL STOOLS IN THE SEWING ROOM ARE NEW, THE CLEAN LINES SUIT THE HOME’S MID­CEN­TURY MOD­ERN DE­SIGN. RIGHT: THE CUS­TOM BUILT EURO­PLY VAN­ITY FROM KERF DE­SIGN, VIN­TAGE-IN­SPIRED LIGHT FIX­TURES AND MUTED COLOR PAL­ETTE GIVE THE MASTER BATH A MID­CEN­TURY FEEL.

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