We want you to go wild–within reason,” Allison Lind’s clients told her. Such a directive would be music to any designer’s ears, and it certainly was to Lind’s. After deciding to build their dream home on a Lake Tapps, Washington, property they owned, the clients were ready to take chances–and forsake the 1990s vibes, complete with medium-pile carpet and orange-toned wood, in the house. “There was a back and forth with ideas and getting creative but knowing the reality of children,” says Lind. “So we found a happy medium.” Under the designer’s care, the new structure’s stone, velvet and glam accents make it edgy enough for the adults to entertain, yet cozy enough for three young kids to tool around the wood floors on hoverboards.
Architect Steve Dona guided the residents through several iterations of the project, from a renovation to a complete rebuild. In turn, the clients’ familiarity with the property allowed them to give Dona thoughtful feedback. “They noted where the sun rose and set, the views and their privacy concerns,” reports the architect. While he changed the driveway location to create both a better entry sequence and more isolation, the home remained in the same spot. “It was situated to take the best possible advantage of the wonderful lake views,” Dona reports. Those sights are framed by floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors that open to terraces. Case in point, he oriented the master bedroom to enjoy vistas of the lake and a beautiful tree in the yard–while still providing for privacy from the street and water.
The homeowners brought Lind on at the beginning of the project, so she was able to implement her vision for the interiors all the way through–“from decor to the placement of outlet switches,” she says. Her work encompassed the finishes, and she collaborated closely with general contractor Erik Schelbert. Recalling their creative partnership, she muses, “I’d come up with crazy ideas and say, ‘Can we do this? How?’ ” The home is replete with carefully considered moments. The fireplace in the great room is a statement piece. Black-stained fir paneling surrounds the firebox and bisects a slab of granite, which extends on each side to become a bench. Echoing the bold gesture in the nearby kitchen are dramatic black cabinets. “When the light hits them the right way, it creates a chevron pattern. It’s a beautiful detail,” says Lind. Getting them just right, though, required a heroic effort from the whole team. “We spent countless hours with different options,” says Schelbert. “Everyone had input into the final product.”
A high-contrast palette continues throughout the interior, a critical choice to maintain visual consistency since all the rooms occupy a single floor. Lind anchored the great room with two tufted chesterfield sofas in gray velvet and offset them with a sleek glass and metal coffee table–a chic pairing for entertaining yet durable enough for the children. In the dining area, a table made of reclaimed elm “can take a beating, but that will make it more charming over time,” says the designer. “You don’t want to get too delicate because of the kids, but you want it to feel elegant.” Teak caned-back chairs with black seat cushions are another solution that melds style with practicality. She also carried the bold strokes into the master bathroom where she covered the shower in stripes of black and white tiles. “I loved the drama and the interest,” the designer says of the light and dark interplay. (She even placed the tiles into the floor in front of the vanities for a sort of trompe l’oeil bath mat effect.) Ensuring things aren’t totally austere, though, colorful carpets weave through the house. While an antique rug enlivens the master bedroom, a reproduction made more sense in the high-traffic zone of the great room.
The spaces the team conjured fulfilled the clients wishes. “They wanted something special and unique,” Lind says, adding, “They didn’t want to recreate a Pinterest board.” By allowing Lind substantial latitude, they ensured their house would be a personal, thoughtful statement. “They were both involved in decision-making but gave me so much independence and leeway. I really came up with the full concepts and they approved almost everything. I think they wanted to be surprised.”