A Chic Seattle Mudroom Makeover

Interior designer Brian Paquette’s stylish solution for a slim Capitol Hill mudroom
Ali Brownrigg  |   March 2014   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
mudroom makeover seattle magazine
The wallpaper, Flores II by China Seas (quadrillefabrics.com; available to designers only), was produced in a custom color palette and makes a bold, unexpected design statement in the small utilitarian space. “Take a risk,” Paquette urges. “The payoff is fun.” Rather than use a stark white as the trim color, Paquette opted for a warmer, creamier white to show depth and character, color-matched at Benjamin Moore to the existing trim color throughout the house.

Before its recent remodel, the main entry point from the detached garage of this North Capitol Hill colonial was the kitchen. Common enough in most homes, but less than ideal for a geared-up, storage-poor family with a 1-year-old, and a dilemma that interior designer Brian Paquette sought to remedy.
Paquette worked with the homeowners on the interior for their six month-long addition and remodel, completed last Halloween, which included the mudroom, the living room and a new master suite. Post-remodel, the family enters through a long, narrow mudroom, less than 4 feet wide, yet big enough to park a stroller. A deep closet  filled with all four seasons of outerwear anchors the space, and a long custom bench with cubbies and wall hooks sits opposite the backdoor, awaiting galoshes, diaper bags and other go-to items. (Photo at left: Paquette balanced the homeowner’s penchant for a moody palette of an indigo-infused charcoal with creamy salmon tones found in a turned wood lamp (opposite) from West Elm (South Lake Union; westelm.com) and a bone inlay mirror from Serena & Lily ($295; serenaandlily.com) chosen for its nuanced array of neutrals. The framed print is by Hugo Guinness. Find similar at Watson Kennedy Fine Home (Downtown, watsonkennedy.com)

“This project is completely attainable, yet disguised to look extremely custom,” says the Pioneer Square–based designer, who balanced less expensive pieces from big-box stores such as West Elm with more expensive elements, including hand-poured tile, customized wallpaper and antique pieces from his travels. “The clients had a specific color story that they wanted to tell—a gray/blue with a touch of purple—which was more important to them than the expense of the items,” he continues, and which provided cohesion throughout the house. “This was by far the most traditional home I’ve designed in Seattle,” says Paquette, who grew up in Newport, Rhode Island. “At its core, it’s totally comfortable and livable, great for kids and dogs, and completely functional, which is what traditional homes are based on.”
(Photo at right: To add visual interest to an already durable floor, Paquette arranged custom matte tiles (Oregon Tile & Marble, Georgetown; oregontileandmarble.com) in a herringbone pattern.)