Beauty of Stone: Maxfield Parish inspired residential masterpiece
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!
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.
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.
I think the house has “yummy” eye candy. Bon Appetit! Enjoy one of my favorites.
— By Jeff Sellen
Jeff 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.
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