Maple Leaf Mid Century Historical Landmark Home


In Maple Leaf, the local notable architect James Chiarelli’s personal residence was built between 1948 and 1950.  In 2013 it was renovated by the current owners to update the interior while remaining incredibly faithful to the original design. The home is a bridge between classic mid-century modern and today’s design; it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Washington Heritage Register, and as a City of Seattle Landmark.

 I had the honor of working on this gorgeous midcentury home. Leah Martin with Verge Architecture & Design invited me to collaborate on the finishes for this project. I ended up much deeper into the project, which was somewhat of a dream come true. The team included the homeowners,  Leah Martin with Verge Architecture & Design,  Carl Berg of Viking Craftsmen, Jonas Bakkane of Cabinetworks ( a maple leaf business) Brian Decker with Decker Design Tile and Naterrazzo.
As a architectural color & surface professional, I take it very seriously that color & materials add to the form of a house. I make it my mission to not let my selections detract from an architecturally significant home.
If a home is well designed, paint color & decor need not be the star of the show. I find that some architects undervalue the effect of good color in their designs.  There is a certain un-spoken judgment that color consultants are crazy interior decorators with intentions of showing off their flashy bright color choices.
What I know for sure is: good architectural design that is mindful of  space, volume, flow &  form  does not need bright color to detract from it,
it needs subtle colors & materials that bring focus to it’s assets. 
This home was a great example of my personal mission to have color be the background set of the play, not the “Diva” . There are so many things I love about this house!
1.The soft lustre of the black terrazzo floors with abalone pieces.
2.The large black interior windows and trim which bring attention to landscaping that is as much a part of the home as the interior.
3. The house doesn’t really have a right angle.
4.  James Chiarelli’s own “mondrian inspired” paintings on plywood panels hang in the homes entry stairwell.
5. There is a skylight above a floor to ceiling stone fireplace which puts a lovely light on something that could be perceived as heavy and overbearing in the house.
But what I love most about this home is that it is 1700 sqft.  It is so small yet so expansive because you never really feel like you are “inside”.
It’s a little gem of a home.