Project: Continental Place Apartment
Interior architecture, interior design, and art curation: Hoedemaker Pfeiffer
Contractor: MLW General Contractor
Location: Seattle, Washington
Photography: Andrew Giammarco
This downtown Seattle condominium captures the essence of the Pacific Northwest. An existing apartment was stripped to the studs and reworked to create a warm and masculine urban retreat for an Alaska-based bachelor. “The client is a single Northeasterner who has lived in Alaska for decades, “notes Tim Pfeiffer, designer and co-founder of Hoedemaker Pfeiffer. “He wanted a city landing pad for himself and for visits with daughters home from school. The view was the main event and the desire for an open inviting living space to entertain friends and family, with the flexibility to sleep three when the family is together. A blend of Northwest urban gentility and rustic Alaskan textures blended to create a warm, inviting, masculine home.”
The designers created an open plan into which was added a rich textural blend of warm woods, grey stone, and woven wall coverings. Art and furnishings were selected to reflect a strong Northwest influence, complimenting panoramic views stretching from downtown Seattle to the Olympic Peninsula. The result is a casually-eclectic home with a palpable sense of soul and history.
The view is the main event in the home, offering both coastal vistas and a city skyline. The client wanted an open floor plan that allowed for flexibility in terms of dining and entertaining, so warm woods with a variation on texture and color were used in order to differentiate each area from the next.
The original 1980s-era floor plan was chopped up into small spaces and included a walled-in kitchen, all blocking natural light and views. The project began by opening up the plan to allow natural light to penetrate as deeply into the apartment as possible. “With a limited foot print,” notes Pfeiffer, “we developed the new plan the way one designs a boat. Every space has a function with many flexing from one use to another. Fumed oak casework and steel details are used throughout from kitchen to bedroom. The Continental Place Apartment easily accommodates friends and family for entertaining, but its use as a bachelor pad informed those decisions.
Even on the grayest of Seattle days the space has beautiful light. The painted walls and ceilings in a warm white act as reflectors for the ample natural light. The inclusion of hidden overhead lighting in the kitchen and living areas deliver both task and mood lighting while picture lighting adds drama and focus in the hallways.
In the den, a dark, textured wood ceiling is juxtaposed with a lighter sand coffee and side table, while the furniture pieces rely on weathered leather for a lived-in feel. A textured rug adds an element of coziness. There is a decided juxtaposition of contemporary, modern, and vintage elements complementing these shared spaces. Though rustic, the 19th-century Japanese tansu, 18th-century kitchen table, and mid-century cane and leather kitchen chairs work well together amidst a very built environment. Natural woven fabrics and tribal designs reflect the client’s background and a regional vocabulary.
With no natural light into the master bath, floor-to-ceiling Carrera tile preserves a spa-like experience. By reconfiguring the master bath entry, a pass-through dressing area and a walk-in shower and soaking tub were able to be accommodated. In the guest bath, a private toilet and shower room allows the two girls to get ready at the same time. Flipping a small hall closet to the guest bath interior created a large linen cabinet for all bath and bedding needs. In true maritime fashion, his daughters have a curtained-off sleeping compartment for when they visit, which serves as a window banquet for the kitchen, morning coffee and newspaper.
The living and kitchen areas have a decidedly more modern look to them, with cooler hues mixing with more rustic elements for a fresh take on urban living. Warm reds, yellows, and oranges on a cream backdrop make sure the colors shine through, while still allowing that stunning view to take center stage. The kitchen features a lighter mahogany on the cabinetry and ceiling, while the light gray base on the roomy island ensures that the natural wood doesn’t overwhelm the shared living spaces. The girls like to bake so the kitchen is laid out with a bake center and generous counter space that is open to the 180-degree view. Distinct kitchen and living areas are defined by dropped ceilings consisting of dark, rough boards, that conceal lighting and contrast with the original ceiling, making it appear higher than it is. The ceiling and window-facing vertical elements are white to intensify the daylight and distribute it deeper into the Continental Place Apartment. A small outdoor terrace provides direct access to the elements.
The kitchen table was found in the Paris Flea market. The dining table has a bronze cast base and steel top from Kirk Albert. We placed vintage Japanese Tansu chests from Housewright and a Mastercraft desk and chair found on 1st Dibs. The sectional is by Camerich. The living room area rug is by Stark. The Moroccan rugs were purchased in Marrakesh on a shopping trip. Additional rugs and fabrics from Stark. Fabrics are from Kravetcouture, and leather and grass cloth wall coverings are from Kravet. Drapery linen is from Rogers & Goffigon, and the outdoor fabric from Sunbrella.