This Seattle Bathroom Remodel Takes an Old-School Approach

A Queen Anne fashion writer mixes patterns to create a bathroom imbued with old Hollywood glamour

By Chelsea Lin November 13, 2018


This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue of Seattle magazine.

This article appears in print in the November 2018 issue. Click here to subscribe.

These days, many remodels are going with the aesthetic of ultramodern new construction: angular, minimalist, almost industrial. But Lisa Cole and her husband, David, who live in a charming 1923 Craftsman bungalow on Queen Anne, have chosen the opposite approach, remodeling with a bold mix of patterns and attention to stylish original details.

EYE FOR STYLE: Brass fixtures were chosen to match the brass details throughout the home

The main level of the home has been restored in stages over the years, a combined effort between Cole, architect Brandon Skinner and contractor Kevin Astle, Cole’s younger brother. Astle is an artist, and details (such as the thick black window frames that give the kitchen a Parisian bistro feel) bear a resemblance to his black-on-white paintings.

That synthesis is most evident in the bathroom, an ultraluxe respite that’s at once an old Hollywood-style nod to the home’s era and a reflection of Cole’s love of classic French aesthetic. It’s the house’s pièce de résistance.

As a fashion blogger and writer, Cole has an eye for style. She found inspiration for the bathroom in an online photo from Martha Stewart Living magazine. Though she hand-selected the substantial gray medicine cabinets, white quartz countertop and brass fixtures, she says architect Skinner immediately understood her vision for the overall space. She also credits him for being instrumental in the floor design, which utilizes multiple shapes and sizes of tile, from simple black subway to stunning Ann Sacks hexagons.

Wallpaper was chosen to add texture, and because Cole fell in love with it at Maison Luxe in Madison Park

A series of last-minute decisions took the bathroom’s look from glamorous to downright opulent. Cole says she was in Portland when she found a crystal wedding cake chandelier at Urbanite and knew it would be the perfect touch to add both light and detail. The wallpaper—a stormy affair that reads like line drawings—was found by Cole at Maison Luxe; although its busyness had the potential to push this small space over the top, it only adds to the richness.

Contractor Kevin Astle painted this piece that hangs in the Coles’ entryway (find him on Instagram @kevinastledrawings)

There’s a small black and white vase with a handful of yellow billy balls on the counter; Cole picked up the vase in Paris last summer. “It’s just the icing on the cake,” she says. In a small space with so much coherent detail, she’s absolutely right.

Follow Us

PCF Wins Prestigious Remodeler's Award

PCF Wins Prestigious Remodeler’s Award

PCF Construction Group nabs awards for excellence and integrity

People Come First (PCF) Construction Group has been building dream outdoor living spaces for homeowners across the Pacific Northwest for more than 15 years. The Kent-based builder was named National Remodeler of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in 2023, and a National Finalist in 2024. “Receiving the Remodeler of the…

Small-Scale Sensitivity

Small-Scale Sensitivity

Whole-house renovation respects the aesthetics of its Capitol Hill neighborhood

Miriam Larson founded Story Architecture in the belief that, if she dug deep enough, each house and the family that lives in it would have a story to tell. In time, she would also conclude that some books are perfectly happy to be judged by their covers.

Water World Wonder

Water World Wonder

Unique artistic collaboration invites water into stunning Lake Washington home

Swivel Interiors founder Kathleen Glossa lured five innovative local artists to a newly purchased vacation property perched on the northern edge of Lake Washington. Photo by Andrew Giammarco

Minecraft Motivation

Minecraft Motivation

Couple uses video game for renovation inspiration

They had a hard time visualizing what their new home might look like, so they turned to Minecraft, a hugely popular video game Microsoft markets as a tool for creative types to “battle mobs, construct shelter, and explore the landscape.” They had been playing the game for years, and didn’t need to consult the box