Custom Swivel Chairs Create Versatility in this Small Room

Reviving the lost art of conversation one swivel chair at a time
Ali Brownrigg  |   May 2014   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
interior design trends seattle magazine
Lee Industries swivel chairs upholstered in dark navy velvet indoor/outdoor fabric and trimmed with a white Greek key pattern from Schumacher, available by special order at Rutkowski’s home décor store, GR Home

When challenged with the task of decorating the small family room off the kitchen in the Laurelhurst home of Pat and Lisa McCabe, designer Graciela Rutkowski focused on solving the room’s riddle, which included two entryways, barely any wall space and plentiful existing built-in shelving and cabinets. “It’s a family room, but there’s no room for a couch, so what do we do with it?” Rutkowski recalls asking herself. Luckily for the McCabes, creative problem solving is a specialty of the designer and owner of GR Lifestyle Co., which includes design firm GR Interiors, and store, GR Home, near University Village. “I’m self-taught,” she says. “That means that I’m not limited to what’s ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in design…my focus is on the customer…and finding the right solution.”

The right solution for the McCabes’ small den, as it turns out, was to make the room as versatile as possible—a feat accomplished by using swivel chairs, capable of turning inward (to promote conversations) and outward, toward the kitchen, the stunning Lake Washington view and the television. The goal was a user-friendly environment that was also pretty and eye-catching, Rutkowski says. The result is a perfect blending of the three.

Designer Graciela Rutkowski (left), owner of GR Lifestyle Co. (Ravenna, 4520 Union Bay Place NE; 206.523.1882; gr-homeseattle.com) anchored the room’s color scheme with Lee Industries swivel chairs upholstered in dark navy velvet indoor/outdoor fabric and trimmed with a white Greek key pattern from Schumacher, available by special order at Rutkowski’s home décor store, GR Home. The pillows, which come with the chairs, were covered in dark pink velvet to echo the pink textured grass cloth wallpaper that lines the built-ins (above). The ottoman, also from Lee Industries, is upholstered in a unique navy and cream leopard print, and on the floor is a thick, custom sea grass rug from Eliko Rugs, woven to fit the room.

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