Three Tips for Sourcing the Perfect Design Details, Ft. the Captain House

Today I’m spilling three secrets to give your home that collected, designer-worthy feel. At KP Spaces, it’s our secret sauce for transforming our clients’ homes into elevated spaces that truly look and feel unique to them. 

Our 1904 north Seattle remodel, lovingly dubbed the Captain House, is the perfect example of a KP Spaces project that is anything but cookie-cutter. Keep reading to learn how to source the perfect design details for your space. 

  • Upcycle what you have

The perfect design detail might already be under your nose. And the bonus is that it could save you major dollars. Challenge yourself to think creatively about items you already own, and try to see them in a new light. A new coat of paint or refinishing job can do wonders to breathe new life into old pieces!

At the Captain House project, we took the client’s antique clawfoot tub from her downstairs bathroom and gave it a major makeover. It went from being an impractical shower/tub in the cramped downstairs bathroom, to a relaxing soaking tub in the generously-sized brand new primary bathroom. All it required was a fresh coat of paint (Oxford Gray by Benjamin Moore), refinished brass legs, and a shiny new tub filler. Not only did it save our client money, but it also preserved a special piece of history in her beloved home. 

Bathtub (before) Bathtub (after)

  • Think Outside the Box

When it comes to finding unique furniture and accessory pieces to give your home a collected feel, it’s important to look beyond just the mainstream vendors and trendy retailers that everyone is tagging on Instagram at the moment. Antique stores, Etsy, Chairish and even Ebay are the perfect places to hunt for one-of-a-kind design details.  

The large captain painting at the Captain House is my favorite example of thinking outside the box. At one of our design meetings for this project, we were all thinking it would be fun to find an antique oil painting of a captain for the upstairs hallway. 

I realized instantly that if anyone could find us the perfect piece, it would be my friend Melissa, the queen of vintage finds. Sure enough, less than 18 hours after I asked her, Melissa was elbow deep in antiques, and had found the most perfect captain for our little project. Soon after, he made his voyage safely from Chicago to Seattle, and now lords over the moody upstairs hallway at the Captain House.

Photo of the captain

The Captain house upstairs

  • Don’t forget to look up

The ceiling is one of the most neglected parts of a design. We focus so much on flooring details, wall finishes and light fixtures, that we often forget how much potential the ceiling has to create a show-stopping space. At KP Spaces, our favorite ways to add dimension and interest to an otherwise boring ceiling are with beams, shiplap or wallpaper.

At the Captain House, we took our original concept of a moody, nautical stairwell, and took it a step further by adding wallpaper to the ceiling. This Cole & Sons wallpaper of rolling clouds overhead provided the perfect contrast to the nearly black walls, painted in Raccoon Fur by Benjamin Moore. It was a simple addition that added so much dimension and interest, making it a magazine-worthy space.  

Captain photo near the staircase