Never underestimate the power of a good stylist. In the case of this home, tucked in a rural Seattle suburb at the foothills of the Cascades, the “glow up”—an extensive interior renovation—required some powerful exfoliation and a whole new wardrobe to achieve its air of tailored elegance. In other words, designer Andy Beers and general contractor Jordan Valente cleaned house.
“This was a 15-year-old home that was beautifully laid out, but it was also in a transitional style and lacked any real point of view,” says Beers. The kitchen, for instance, had cabinetry tacked on at different heights and awkward material transitions. In the primary suite’s bathroom, a mishmash of stones, faux columns and a dropped ceiling concealed a generous window. And the architectural detailing was uneven—too much in some rooms, buried in others, and in some instances completely missing. Beers and the homeowners quickly agreed: No architectural rejiggering was needed, but a major makeover was required to resolve the design issues and modernize the aesthetic. So the designer scrapped nearly every finish, fixture and piece of cabinetry, gutted the kitchen and stripped the bathrooms. Every room was touched. “We really took out everything except the doors and windows,” says Beers. “It felt like starting fresh, only not really, because we had to blend everything into the existing transitions.”
The homeowners’ wishes were straightforward: They desired a relaxed and serene setting, but one polished enough for entertaining at a high level. Yet, it still needed to make sense in the context of their wooded surroundings. Too much of a high-gloss “city” look would seem out of place, as deer and even bears sometimes amble across their expansive backyard.
Beers focused on elevating the finishes—flooring, lighting, countertops, cabinetry and more—with an eye toward creating timeless appeal. And, as he’d initially evaluated the home’s original design, he zeroed in on the fresh perspective desired. “It’s a transitional house, and we weren’t trying to reinvent that,” he explains. “We wanted the cabinetry to feel traditional with a slightly updated twist, to bring in a mix of modern and transitional furniture and to just settle things down while still injecting some glamour.”
A muted palette of light woods, browns and creams winds through the home. The look is soothing but never sleepy, as each room yields just a dash of visual dazzle. In the dining room, a linear chandelier composed of faceted shapes draws attention but doesn’t shout. In the kitchen, a striking expanse of zellige tile accents one end of the space. And a Kandis Susol fiber work in the living room makes a statement with texture and shadows, not color. “We went for quiet moments of tension, and that felt very important,” the designer says. “The overall vibe is now this kind of calm, tailored luxury that wasn’t there before.” Valente also points out the degree of craftsmanship that went into certain rooms, like the main bathroom’s custom casework and millwork. “There are now so many intimate details and a high level of consideration that’s clearly visible,” the general contractor says.
Hints of blue and what Beers calls “thin geometric black moments” contrast with the mostly neutral color scheme. “Anytime we found something that worked with that without being totally obvious and ‘see me,’ it felt like a natural fit,” he says. Furnishings and their arrangements carry an air of formality yet remain approachable. And while all the main living spaces hew to a formula of soft neutrals, solid colors or (very) sedate patterns, that equation is flipped on its head in the main bedroom. There, ikat-inspired drapery panels play off a bed upholstered in blue linen. It’s a small departure from the rest of the home that makes sense in a private space.
The designer is the first to admit that under his auspices, this home’s interiors don’t call out for attention. He sees the spaces now as more of an elegant backdrop for the people that inhabit them. “This house demands a certain respect now; it takes itself seriously and has a presence,” Beers notes. “Before, it felt mish-mashy like it was apologizing for itself in some places and trying to puff itself up in others. Now it’s like it knows that it looks good.”