77 Elements of a Practical and Stylish Seattle Life

By Laura Cassidy With Carey Rose, Caitlin Creel, Heather Fink, and Allie Oosta October 14, 2011 Published in the November 2011 issue of Seattle Met


Traditional Textiles

Pendleton’s classic wool blankets look right at home in Craftsman houses, midcentury ramblers, and neo-modern condos. From $168, Pendleton

Immortal Houseplant

The Beaucarnea guatemalensis—you can call it a ponytail palm—has tropical roots, but it likes our northern perspective just fine. Brandon Peterson, owner of the Palm Room in Ballard, calls it a survivor, so even if you’re a busy business traveler with a black thumb, this guy will happily oxygenate your supershady great room while you’re away. $68 as shown, The Palm Room


Grand Grill

The Big Green Egg is a smoker, a grill, and an oven all in one, and capable of cooking a 20-pound turkey, eight steaks, seven racks of ribs (vertically), or, you know, your legal limit of wild salmon. Starts at $848, Sutter Home and Hearth


4 Kickass Headphones
Austrian audio hounds created the AKG Q701 in collaboration with former Seattleite Quincy Jones, so maybe they’ll end up playing a part in your chart-busting pop masterpiece. But you might also just employ them to soundtrack your crosstown bus trip. $479, Amazon

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Models: Sayra Moran/Seattle Models Guild; Jordan Denmark/Heffner Management.
Hair and Makeup: Tiffany Colors


Directional Hat
Thirties-and ’40s-era headwear has been big lately. Your knit cap doesn’t have to be an afterthought. $29, Urban Outfitters

Mega Scarf
The delicate weave and contrasting stripes of Épice’s wool wrapper wind around and around for perfect warmth and texture. $198, Baby and Co.

Sans belt and square cut; this abbreviated Lifetime Collective trench offers a generous dose of style. $130, Zebra Club

Color Layer
The bright pink splashes and cream stripes on Rachel Comey’s silk blouse make it a vibrant example of modern color play. $342, Les Amis

Boxy Sweater
The shape in knitwear: short on the torso, long in the sleeves. Manuelle Guibal’s scores extra points for being cashmere. $378, Baby and Co.

Knit Skirt
Sonia Rykiel’s wool sweater skirt functions as an elegant, on-trend all-day blanket for your legs. $328, The Finerie

Investment Hose
Wolford’s herringbone tights combine classic patterning with the sexiest, body-hugging materials. $58, Wolford

Mid-Heel Ankle Boots
Three reasonable inches of wood make Rachel Comey’s blue suede babes excellent puddle jumpers. (Ask your cobbler to recommend a water-resistant spray for the leather.) $357, Lambs Ear


Layering Vest
Marshall Artist’s nylon model is lightweight enough to go under and over other pieces; neutral and detailed for the same reasons. $160, Zebra Club

A “Nice” Sweatshirt
Drawn to comfort? Don’t deny it, just finesse it a little. Eubiq NY updates the gray pullover with fisherman sweater details. $249, Ian

Tarboo Shirt
The made-in-Pioneer Square line is the new Filson. These quality, classic cotton button-ups are built to become the next generation’s heritage hand-me-downs. $168, Tarboo

Not Chinos
Freshjive’s cotton pants aren’t just not khaki, they’re cut slim and finished with a banded ankle, referencing the sport-influenced style that works on runways, in farmers markets, and, when properly accessorized (hint: wingtip boots), client meetings. $78, Zebra Club

All-Weather Sneaker Boots
Originally built for aviators, Palladium boots come in leather, ripstop canvas, wool, and other very sensible (and totally stylish) materials. $85 as shown, Zebra Club

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18 Solo Seafaring Vessel
Even if you park a yacht at the end of your own Carillon Point dock, there’s nothing like slicing through seat-level salt water all by yourself. The instructors at REI say paddlers of all stripes like the “stable and approachable” Old Town Vapor kayak. $399, REI

19 Family Board Games
The unplugged gamers at Blue Highway nominate Dixit Odyssey, the updated version of the popular storytelling game Dixit, as this year’s game of the season. Hive Carbon is this millennium’s version of dominoes. $37 and $36, Blue Highway Games


20 Sleek Stroller
Your tiny genius already displays a kind of studied cool. The just-released all-black Bugaboo Bee means the little hipster doesn’t have to travel in a pastel pram. $649, Amazon

21 Crafted Journal
We are a pensive and contemplative
lot, aren’t we? Track your thoughts, sketch your observations, or just document dinners out in a handmade leather-backed journal by local designer Deneen Shank. $31, No Boundaries


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Mixology Tools
Because no one drinks mediocre cocktails in this town, Ba Bar’s bar manager, Evan Martin, gave us the scoop.

22 Swissmar Sugar Rim Plate
So when someone wants salt on her margarita, the kitchen doesn’t have to flip upside down.$15, Amazon

23 Lewis Bag
Designed by Seattle bartender Mike McSorley and his fashion-designer girlfriend Malia Peoples, this industrial-grade baggie allows you to crush ice for mint juleps, mojitos, and other specialty drinks. $48, McSology 

24 Oxo Good Grips Channel Knife
Because a proper Vesper requires long lemon peel spirals. $8, Amazon

25 Oxo Good Grips Fine Strainer
Catch small ice chunks that water down drinks, and pulp from fresh fruit purees. $8, Amazon

Local Glass Art
There are Seattleites who swoon for the giant gem-colored abstract glass amoebas that loom in our city’s archways, and those who…don’t. Regardless, blown glass is very much a part of our scene.


26  Ethan Stern’s blown, cut, and wheel-engraved bowl. $3,600, Vetri

27  Blown and etched-glass basket by Jeremy Newman and Allison Ciancibelli. $700, Vetri

28 Hugh Willa’s blown and sculpted skull. $600, Far 4

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29 Handcrafted Mugs
Don’t drink the world’s best coffee out of just anything, let alone future landfill. Ceramic mugs by Shoreline’s Sam Scott. $30 each, Kobo at Higo

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Library in the Pantry

For a city that routinely tops literacy and foodie lists, it sure took us long enough to get a culinary bookshop. Lara Hamilton, owner of the brand-new Book Larder in Fremont recommends five essentials for any serious Seattle home chef: $33–$50, Book Larder

Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries ("The of-the-moment recipes from his English garden translate perfectly to the Northwest climate.")

Jerry Traunfeld’s The Herbfarm Cookbook ("A local classic.")

Tom Douglas’s Seattle Kitchen
(in which he advises: “Enjoy the harvest while it’s here.”)

Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar
("Every baker on my list is getting a copy of this.")

Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills of Cooking
("The ultimate book on kitchen sustainability,
and the recipes are wonderful, too.")

35 Four Seasons of Sleep
Owing to a patented stuffing and sewing technique, the American made SuperFluff Deluxe from Seattle’s Pacific Coast Feather Co. is light as a dream in summer, and intuitively insulating in winter. $450 for a queen-size comforter, Pacific Coast Feather Co.

36 Compact Emergency Kit
Nobody wants the quake to hit while they’re stuck in traffic on I-5, but if it does, it’d be good to have Victorinox’s Swiss Army rescue tool—complete with seat-belt cutter, window breaker, wire stripper, and disc saw. Oh, and there’s a bottle opener, too. Gulp. $85, REI





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A Family of Rain Boots
The problem: Six inches of slush stand between the clan and a brunch date but you’re not willing to sacrifice your wardrobe to get there. The solution:

37 Kids’ boots by Hunter. $45, Market Street Shoes

38 Ilse Jacobsen women’s boots. $189, Pirkko

39 Men’s boots by Tretorn. $70, REI

40 Luxury Wrap
In 1984, the French fashion house Hermès commissioned Kermit Oliver to create the design for what would become a modern classic scarf. When Hermès opened in the Bravern in 2009, the silk square was updated and customized to celebrate our city. $385, Hermès 

41-54 Locally Made Jewelry
(Clockwise from top left) Moonstone, quartz, and 18-karat gold necklace ($12,585) and sterling silver cuff ($895), Francesca Lacagnina. Gold fill, freshwater pearl, labradorite, pyrite, and aquamarine necklace ($300) by Susan Goodwin, SAM Shop. Twenty-four-karat gold-coated sterling pendant on silk cord ($108), River Song Jewelry. Multicolor strand of Czech glass beads ($175), strung rock crystals ($250), strung moonstone ($129), and sterling silver druzy ring ($289), Hitchcock Madrona. Brass and sterling silver earrings ($118) by Lisa Kinoshita, SAM Shop. Cast gold ring ($455) by Eric Saeter, Hitchcock Madrona. Gemstones on elastic band ($40) by Mandy Moon, The Finerie. Green garnet, citrine, labradorite, and pearl clasp bracelet ($495), River Song Jewelry. Green onyx and 18-karat gold earrings ($425), Shamila Fine Jewelry. Sterling silver and 24-karat gold cuff ($495) by Carolina Andersson, Kobo at Higo.

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Top Chef Tools

56 Ethan Stowell of Staple and Fancy et al. says Kirkland has one of the best sharps shops on the planet. All at-home cooks need a chef’s knife and a paring knife by Blazen. $197 and $120, Epicurean Edge 

57 What skillet does Skillet chef Josh Henderson recommend? A 10-inch cast-iron one by Lodge. $20, Sur la Table 

For ace aioli and spot-on soup, chef Chester Gerl and owner Dan Bugge from Matt’s in the Market prescribe professional immersion blenders like this one by Bamix. $179, Williams-Sonoma

59 The Matt’s pros also offer up mandolin slicers like de Buyer Kobra’s for uniform salad and stir-fry slivers. $50, Williams-Sonoma 

60 Alternative Fuel Transportation
We asked Marty Pluth, general manager at Gregg’s Cycles, to point us to a commuter bike strong enough to power over Seattle’s hills and capable of braking on a dime—even on rain-soaked streets. He pointed at the Trek 7.3 FX Disc. Starts at $730, Gregg’s Cycles




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61-64 (From Left to Right):

The Klean Kanteen Reflect
Sustainably harvested bamboo, food-grade silicon, stainless steel. Nothing else. $36, Second Ascent

The Uptown Voyager
Northwest outfitter Columbia Sportswear’s tote resists light rain and most staining liquids; in the event you get caught in a downpour, the treated nylon dries three to five times faster than nontreated fabrics. It’s like a puffy coat for your laptop. $65, Columbia Sportswear

Black Sage Pro
Any yogi will tell you that Manduka’s brand-new yoga mat is the best one money can buy. Yogis who camp will tell you it’s awesome for overnighters, too. $100, Samadhi Yoga

Electronics Sleeve
Make sure your new Kindle Fire makes the best-dressed list: Slip it into a Day-Glo neoprene sleeve. $2, Daiso Japan

Home Entertainment
We’re a music town with a mind for film—and a sitcom and docudrama or two. Streaming media? Yeah, we’re okay with that, also.

65 Samsung UN40D6300 40-inch LED HDTV. $1,200, Magnolia Audio Video 

Roku 2XS enables 300 channels of sports, music, games, movies, and television shows. $100, Amazon

67 Eleven-inch MacBook Air: fast, complete (although there’s no optical disc drive, but who burns CDs anymore, anyway?), and light. $999, Apple Store

68 This made-in-the-UK Rega RP1 turntable is the best-selling LP spinner at the U District’s analog emporium. $445, Hawthorne Stereo

69 Sonos Zoneplayer broadcasts digital music from your computer to your home speakers. $350, Magnolia Audio Video

70 Harman Kardon’s BDS 800 Blu-Ray Theater System plays music, movies, and multimedia files from a USB port; an HD-enabled receiver spins all modern discs. The strength of the speakers might, however, annoy the neighbors—or at least make them jealous. $1,499, Amazon





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71 Modern Gloves
You can’t operate a smartphone with Grandpa’s gloves on, but just try texting with frozen fingers. Doesn’t work either. The textured tip of Echo Touch cashmere gloves solves our first-world problem. $78 for his or hers, Fini 

Photo: Courtesy Bamboo Hardwoods

72 Fabulous Floors
Bamboo floors are perfect for Seattle homes because they’re: A) sustainable, or B) gorgeous. The answer is C) both. $4–7 per square foot, Bamboo Hardwoods

73 Cycle Cape
When cycling Seattle designer Ann DeOtte of Iva Jean got caught in a bad rainstorm she drew up plans for a water-resistant riding cape with reflective piping, a protective high collar, thumb loops to keep it in place, and a pull-cord system that cinches fabric around the body. And then it won a fashion design award from Daily Candy. $240, Iva Jean

74 High-End Umbrella
Urban Myth No. 239: Seattleites don’t use umbrellas. Those dressed in cashmere certainly do. Rain slides right down the Davek Solo’s 190-thread count microweave fabric; the lifetime guarantee and color-blocked style go great with camel. $99, Bella Umbrella

75-77 Season Extenders
Brad Siebe, president of Swanson’s Nursery, doesn’t go outside without a hori-hori (a weeding knife that renders a gardener “Rambo of the backyard”) and these Felco Swiss-made pruners. $40 and $80, Swanson’s Nursery

Between growing seasons, simulate the sun with a Sunlight Jr. for your desktop. $230, Indoor Sun Shoppe

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