Today I’m excited to feature a dear friend and fellow Seattle-ite, interior designer, Brian Paquette! Brian and I had the pleasure of working on the Sunset Reimagined Home {he designed the kitchen!} together, but if that wasn’t enough work, Brian was also in the process of designing, not one, but two more entire homes for Sunset Magazine’s Idea Town in Seabrook, Washington.

Brian designed two color-filled beachfront homes with guest cottages that exemplify what Sunset is all about: casual, beautiful interiors and innovative ideas. I am in awe of interior designers like Brian, so I was dying to ask him for some advice. From color application tricks, financial planning tips and his favorite Etsy shops…it’s all right here – along with stunning images of his designs of course!!


Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind this project. Where did you start in the design process?

I let the natural landscape that surrounded Seabrook be the guiding force here, amplifying the tones a bit to bridge the gap between inside and outside.  While walking the massive beaches early in the morning, you can be surrounded by this overwhelmingly comfortable purply fog to the point that you don’t know where the ocean, sand and sky begin or end. All of a sudden, something like the sharp green of the lush landscape or even a piece of colored ship rope pops into view. This stark contrast was how I approached the homes. Being true to nature while also turning it on it’s head, just a tad!

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome when designing the homes?

Honestly, most of the process for me is intuitive at this point, but trusting my gut and my inspiration can be a little scary, especially when you have the wandering imagination and bold inclinations that I sometimes have. Time was also a big hurdle, we all had to work fast and smart.


The homes are full of color. What is your fail-proof color palette trick?

When using a bold color, use it in more than one way. For example, we can look at the true green you see throughout the project. I used it in everything from upholstery, to tile, trim paint, pillow welting and in accessories. By using variations of the green hue throughout all of those details, it makes the room look more thought out and textured.

Do you have a design mantra or rules you live by that other people could follow and apply in their own home?

Never stop evolving and changing and looking and learning. The process and excitement of discovering something new and the inspiration that could follow is priceless. Take every trip possible, go down the unexpected path that says “no entry”, read everything!


What is your go-to, {perhaps insider!}, source that is open to the public? A great Etsy shop or maybe a box store that carries your favorite items?

Not so much of a secret, but after getting the first layer of upholstery, rugs and textiles in a room and then piling in the old stuff like antiques, found pieces and art, I like to pepper in accessories from a lot of different box stores, but my fail-proof stop has to be West Elm. They really have it down, from bedding to vases and ceramics! I am also constantly inspired by some of the artists on Etsy like Jeremy Miranda and Michelle Morin.

Running your own business and being an entrepreneur is a challenging thing. What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned? Any advice you would give your 25 year old self?

Oh gosh, don’t get me started! I will say I have had some of the best mentors a boy could ask for, but when it comes down to it, I’d suggest two things:

1. Get a financial planner now. You could have 5 dollars in your bank account and a steady job and they could still help you.

2. Not only build, but maintain your network of tradespeople, mentors, creatives etc. It isn’t enough to just meet someone at a party and take their card. True and real connection and an interest in humbly learning something new is where dreams become realities!


There are just so many good things about Brian’s designs. I love that he relied on Seattle based designers in the blue dining room and for his custom artwork from Jennifer Ament {hello, crazy good gallery wall in a stairwell! taking notes on this one.} I love that Brian is making our hometown proud!!

And did you notice the special project on the stairs? Brian blew up and pixelized images he found of clam diggers on the beaches just outside the homes, from the 1920’s. He then decoupaged them onto the stair risers. It’s such a fun DIY that anyone can do in their home!

I want to thank Brian for all of the great advice he shared with us. It’s such a treat to get behind the scenes of the thought process that goes into design! If you are in the Washington area, the homes will be open to the public through October. If you’d like to tour these beauties in person, find more info here!

We hope you enjoyed today’s decor double whammy!!

images courtesy of Brian Paquette

What do you think?

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  1. wow, love this. Is there a name for the white chair/grey cushion? I love these and would love to find some for my home…thanks!

  2. I love it. Amazing… Pls, pls, pls tell me exactly what the floor is, it’s beautiful.

  3. Each piece is interesting, not a fan of so many colors combos but this looks quite interesting