When Jennifer and Chris Hills became empty nesters, they traded a suburban lifestyle for downtown living. The couple spent a year exploring various neighborhoods to decide where they wanted to spend the next chapter of their lives and found a brand new condominium with gorgeous views in a location that had everything they wanted.
Moving from a suburban home to a downtown condo required downsizing. The Hills realized the furniture from their former home wouldn’t fit in the smaller space. A friend told them to check out the Room & Board store in Seattle, thinking the modern style was right for the look they wanted and the company’s philosophy of working with American companies would resonate with them. “We went to the store and all the furniture was to our taste and the right size for our condo. We saw so many things we loved,” said Jennifer. “We were delighted to see the labels showing which state the furniture came from.”
The couple connected with Design Associate Elaine Thompson, who helped choose furniture for the entire condo. “We had a really great back and forth, learning what they wanted from the furniture,” Elaine said. “They wanted to go modern, sleek and urban, but still warm.” During their first meeting, the Hills fell in love with the Heriz rug and it became the basis for the rest of the condo. “We had the rug laid out in the store; it became the mood board,” explained Elaine. “Fabric was flying as we talked!”
Using the exact measurements of the condo, Elaine also created a digital floor plan to help the couple envision the layout and to make sure the furniture was the right size for the space. “Everything fit perfectly,” Jennifer said. “Everything happened the way she said it would. We were so pleased.”
To minimize the large pillar in the corner of the living room, Elaine suggested using two Chelsea sofas. The Hills liked the nice, seamless look of Chelsea and they chose a subdued fabric to help their collection of Pacific Northwest tribal art stand out.
The colors and patterns of the throw pillows tie back to the rug and pair nicely with the artwork in the room. Using pillows in a mix of sizes, textures and patterns adds interest and scale.
Chris has a collection of antique bar tools and enjoys collecting wine, but the Hills kitchen has only three drawers. Elaine recommended adding a Linear bar cabinet to the dining area for storage and to facilitate entertaining. “It adds so much function to our home by keeping glasses and wine bottles there and not in the kitchen,” said Jennifer.
The dining area features a mid-century-inspired Ventura table with comfortable Georgia upholstered dining chairs. The rounded shape of the table maximizes space and softens the look of the room. The Alder rug helps anchor the dining space and visually separate it from the rest of the open concept plan.
The couple had chosen a walnut cabinet to go near a long bank of windows; Elaine suggested they look at our Brixton bookcase instead, which is a more open, stainless-and-glass piece to keep the bright, airy feeling. The Hills are thrilled with the choice.
With Elaine’s help, the Hills chose the upholstered Hoffman bed for their bedroom. “I would never have thought about that bed. It’s so inviting and there’s something really cozy about climbing into it. I love it!” said Jennifer. Elaine suggested pairing the bed with the Hudson dresser and nightstands because the lines nicely play off one another.
Balcony views are a perk of living downtown. This durable, modern outdoor furniture makes the most of the small space. Here, the Hills paired our Penelope table with Sabrina outdoor chairs to create a versatile outdoor dining area.
The Hills worked with Elaine over the course of a year, placing orders in waves. “Elaine has a really great eye. She could see our tastes, based on what we had picked out and made suggestions that really improved our purchases,” said Jennifer. Elaine added, “I wanted them to be excited about every piece.”
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Photos by Room & Board