Beauty of Stone: Maxfield Parish inspired residential masterpiece

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Master Bathroom. Absolute Black Granite slab mirror frame; 1800s antique cabinet to right of doorway; vanity made to accompany and match design of 1800's bedroom cabinet – quarter-paneled walnut veneer with ebony inlay; Breccia Oneciata Marble – vein matched, with Absolute Black Granite accents; Maxfield Parish print to left of doorway on embossed paper walls – faux finished to look like copper bronze rope LED lights on vanity.
Master bathroom: Absolute Black Granite slab mirror frame; 1800s antique cabinet to right of doorway; vanity made to accompany and match design of 1800s bedroom cabinet, a quarter-paneled walnut veneer with ebony inlay; Breccia Oneciata Marble – vein matched, with Absolute Black Granite accents. The Maxfield Parish print to left of doorway, on embossed paper walls, was faux finished to look like copper bronze rope LED lights on vanity.

Ann Sacks Tile in downtown Seattle referred the “Foreign Publisher of Microsoft” to me in the early 1990s. This house, in Kirkland, Wash., had some good structural qualities to it. However, the clients had some nicer furnishings and taste than the finisher presented when they purchased it. We completely redesigned every finish, cabinets, appliances, lighting, and trim work throughout. Every detail was considered and harmony and balance had to be maintained. I wanted the house to be three-dimensional artwork with diversity, and a flow throughout — nothing monotonous or boring — and everything needed to be timeless and equal. Everything needed to be special and beautiful. We achieved it. We are all so proud of and satisfied with this sculpture-like painting of a house.

Maxfield Parish, my favorite artist of the early 1900s, inspired the homeowners and me with the color and finishers in the master bedroom and bathrooms. Everything has a detailed, romantic ambiance that is rich looking and feeling.

We used one type of limestone — Claire; two types of marble — St. Thomas Lila and Braccia Onecieta; and two types of granite: Absolute Black and English Brown. The limestone pulls you into the house in the entry, up the handrail cap to the upstairs and downstairs fireplaces. The house’s design flows and has a subtle variety in materials. I call it “eye candy.” There is so much beauty and variety around you that one ends up walking around the house as if to enjoy all of the views of the “residential masterpiece.” I love it, and so do most people who experience it. This is why I love my work!

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As you see in the straight-on view of the vanity and mirror, the mirror frame has O G edging on both sides of 1½-inch- thick by 4½-inch-wide half-round face in center – all hand done. In the mirror’s reflection is faux painted embossed wall paper in the master bedroom.

The vanity in the master bathroom was created by an expert woodworker from England to match an 1800s cabinet in the master bedroom. The antique restoration expert and cabinet maker Richard Broad made dovetail joint apple wood for the drawers (like an antique), and walnut wood veneers quarter-paneled inlaid with black ebony wood for the exterior. It’s a true masterpiece in itself.

Master bathroom facing the shower.
Master bathroom facing the shower.
Master bathroom shower pan detail.
Master bathroom shower pan detail.
Master Bathroom toilet room.  Absolute Black Granite wainscoting with black toilet to match walls.  Breccia Oneciata Marble floor – vein matched with 2-inch-black granite dots on corners.  Embossed paper walls – faux finished resembling untarnished copper and ancient copper patina.  A Maxfield Parish print is on the wall.
Master Bathroom toilet room. Absolute Black Granite wainscoting with black toilet to match walls. Breccia Oneciata Marble floor – vein matched with 2-inch-black granite dots on corners. Embossed paper walls – faux finished resembling untarnished copper and ancient copper patina. A Maxfield Parish print is on the wall.

Most of the walls were knock-down texture. We smooth-walled and primed over the texture, then we applied different styles of “Anaglypta” embossed vinyl wall paper over the walls and painted them. The master bedroom and toilet room embossed papers were faux finished to resemble copper and bronze.

Downstairs staircase entering study and peering into master bedroom: Claire Limestone slab treads, 1½-inch-thick full bullnose edge with St. Thomas Lila Marble risers.
Downstairs staircase entering study and peering into master bedroom: Claire Limestone slab treads, 1½-inch-thick full bullnose edge with St. Thomas Lila Marble risers.
A closeup of the entry way. Claire Limestone tiles with St. Thomas Lila Marble borders and 2-inch dots on corners of limestone.
A closeup of the entry way. Claire Limestone tiles with St. Thomas Lila Marble borders and 2-inch dots on corners of limestone
Entryway with Alabaster chandelier, powder room to right of windows off entry way.  Staircase features a Claire Limestone Wall Cap with English Brown Granite hand grip on top. Walls are embossed wallpaper that's painted.
Entryway with Alabaster chandelier, powder room to right of windows off entry way. Staircase features a Claire Limestone Wall Cap with English Brown Granite hand grip on top. Walls are embossed wallpaper that’s painted.
A close-up view of the powder room showcases the St. Thomas Lila Marble walls and floor – vein matched. Embossed wallpaper above wainscoting is faux finished with all embossed flowers hand-painted.
A close-up view of the powder room showcases the St. Thomas Lila Marble walls and floor – vein matched. Embossed wallpaper above wainscoting is faux finished with all embossed flowers hand-painted.
Staircase walls, railing and stone capping. Note on the right the antique bronze finish on solid brass railing going downstairs over slab staircase. Claire Limestone Slab wall cap with English Brown Granite hand grip leading upstairs.
Staircase walls, railing and stone capping. Note on the right the antique bronze finish on solid brass railing going downstairs over slab staircase. Claire Limestone Slab wall cap with English Brown Granite hand grip leading upstairs.
Upstairs fireplace. Claire Limestone with English Brown Granite; mitered edges for slab aprons and corners. The 3/4-inch bevels on edges of limestone slab blocks give a more three-dimensional feel and look. An English Brown Granite signature border inset sits above slab headers of fire box.
Upstairs fireplace. Claire Limestone with English Brown Granite; mitered edges for slab aprons and corners. The 3/4-inch bevels on edges of limestone slab blocks give a more three-dimensional feel and look. An English Brown Granite signature border inset sits above slab headers of firebox.
Downstairs study fireplace.
Downstairs study fireplace.
Daytime in kitchen. English Brown granite counters and full-height backsplashes; stainless-branded under mounted sinks; O G with 1½-inch-thick full bullnose laminated edges on counter tops.
Daytime in kitchen. English Brown granite counters and full-height backsplashes; stainless-branded under mounted sinks; O G with 1½-inch-thick full bullnose laminated edges on counter tops.
The kitchen at night: A view of the lighting used under the upper cabinet, over countertops, around the room and over the island, all on dimmers.
The kitchen at night: A view of the lighting used under the upper cabinet, over counter tops, around the room and over the island, all on dimmers.

I think the house has “yummy” eye candy. Bon Appetit! Enjoy one of my favorites.

— By Jeff Sellen

5 beauty of stone signatureJeff Sellen is an artist, designer and a master stone mason. His website is here. You can reach him at [email protected] or at 425-444-5754.

One Reply to “Beauty of Stone: Maxfield Parish inspired residential masterpiece”

  1. This amazing master piece illustrates a true artist in his element!
    I have never seen such detail and elegance; It feels as though you are travelling into the turn of the century and gently being introduced to what will become art deco.
    Thank you for this eye candy-a succulent taste of what true masonry should be.

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