A Laurelhurst Tudor, Transformed

A move to Seattle prompted this Eastside family to trade modern Scandi for a not-so-traditional Tudor.

By Karin Vandraiss December 23, 2019 Published in the January/February 2020 issue of Seattle Met

The 1930s Tudor in Laurelhurst was a significant departure from the contemporary style that Michele and Bob Conrad favored. The couple loved their 4,000-square-foot Scandinavian-inspired home in Clyde Hill, but frequent trips across 520 for school, work, and socializing in Seattle had them scouting property within city limits.

Before she made an offer, Michele called designer Lisa Staton, whom she trusted implicitly after a decade of collaborating. Within hours Staton had toured, assessed, and given her blessing—soon, the Conrads had a new home.

Rather than start from scratch, Staton sought common ground between the traditional Tudor and the Conrads’ modern sensibility. As clients go, Staton describes these two as particularly decisive and decidedly unfussy. “My favorite clients have a clear directive and work with us to curate the vision,” she says, “but trust us to put the puzzle pieces together.” 

After being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, Michele’s aesthetic preferences had shifted to simple and uncluttered. To create clean lines and a greater sense of space, Staton laid a monochromatic foundation inside and out. White paint transformed the red brick exterior, and a coat of black on the window frames lends the impression of steel. Crisp white also replaced brown and yellow interiors. Staton opened up the cramped layout by removing built-ins and reworking a fireplace, making room for larger furnishings and art pieces from the Conrads’ previous home.

The second-story master bedroom, with pitched ceilings, three walls of windows, and a view of Lake Washington over the trees is the true draw, says Michele. “It’s such a calm space—we didn’t have to sacrifice a sense of privacy and quiet, even in the city.”

How to Get the Look

1. Low-Key Complement: Simple white drapes with white rods add just enough warmth and texture without distracting from the vaulted volume and view.

2. Comfort Chic: A pair of oversize Camerich armchairs provide ample room to cozy up (sometimes three to a seat) and take in the view.

3. Less Can Be More: With every inch put to use, a smaller bathroom can seem like just the right size.

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