It’s rare for a designer to have the opportunity to furnish a client’s home entirely from scratch; the homeowner’s existing possessions almost always play a role.
But that can be a good thing, especially in this Seattle condo, where Michelle Dirkse’s clients had so many fine pieces of art that she didn’t have to buy a single painting to complete the design. On the flip side, though, she was presented with furnishings that initially seemed less than ideal.
While she and her colleague Kat Puma were able to persuade the couple to set aside many things to make way for new pieces, a pair of French armchairs upholstered in rooster-themed fabric were non-negotiables. “What are we going to do with these chairs?” Dirkse remembers thinking. “How do we make them feel intentional?”
Rather than try to hide them, Dirkse enhanced their significance with a dark-marble table that reflects the rooster pattern. A monochromatic rug complements their palette.
The designers used the same technique throughout the condo, using clean, elegant lines to offset the couple’s most prized possessions, giving the pieces a starring role in the new design.
“The things we’re so proud of are the things you barely notice,” she says.