Sneak Peek: Laurie Cinotto

This morning we are up in Tacoma, Washington to visit the home of floral designer and artist Laurie Cinotto. Laurie’s floral designs are eclectic, vintage and modern inspired, and often romantic. I also love her sense of color whether it is in floral design or her installation art (you will see this clearly in her home too!). Many of her works have a nod to the natural world through the use of flowers, branches, and birds. She is a co-founder of Soil Gallery in Seattle and has also exhibited at the King County Art Gallery, at Tacoma Contemporary in Tacoma Washington, and at the John Erickson Museum of Art, in Gainesville, Florida. So, let’s go have a chat with Laurie…

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Hi, come on in – I’m Laurie! Our house is a 1913 craftsman bungalow. Inside we have a mix of eras and styles. I have been a collector for a long time. It started with Smurfs in 3rd grade. I love the visual impact of many like-things grouped together. The hunt for the object is great fun. Even though it feels eclectic, I think there are elements that bind it. One binding element would be flowers. I have flowers in many forms in my house. I collect floral paintings, drawings, and collages. There are floral patterns on fabric, flooring and wallpaper. Oh, and fresh flowers of course… there’s usually a stem or two left over from my events. There are other natural elements, such as trees and birds as well. I love bringing the outdoors inside.

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I think I love arranging things, displaying, and decorating because it’s a very easy way to express yourself and be creative in your daily life. I started getting more serious about it as my floral business responsibilities increased and my art got pushed to the side. Floral work is creative, but you always have constraints placed on you by your client (budget, color palette, style, etc). I was missing my time for arts and crafts, and when I figured out that decorating your house is kind of like doing one giant art installation, I started really getting into it. On the wall are cards with antique embroidered medallions. I have collection of Asian chalk-ware lamps and busts. Above the salmon-colored chair is work by Eileen Ward, myself, Amy Ruppel, Jaq Chartier, and others.

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This is my vintage pottery collection. Another tie that binds would be one particular color: it’s sort of a pale aqua blue. This color is the thread that runs through out the house and it’s used an accent in every room. We covered the wall behind the pottery with vintage wallpaper. The buttons on the wall were given to my grandma when she was a little girl. I also collect Lucite paperweights with flowers inside.

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Here hangs art by Dirk Park, Sean Miller, Tinyrat (etsy seller), Craig Miller (my husband), along with family photos, found objects, and miniatures. Every time we travel, Craig packs his miniature watercolor set and paints a postcard sized painting. We hang them on the kitchen wall. Every single day I look at them and think about our vacations together. On the right were plants he painted in Argentina.

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This is our bedroom. The tree is made of florist tape, wire, and fabric leaves. It was part of an installation I did at Ice Box Gallery in Tacoma, WA. The little frames held photos of flowers in their many forms… as pattern, on cakes in wedding bouquets, etc. The boxes beneath the trees contain faux flower corsages.

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I make and sell faux corsages made of paper flowers and artificial birds at my etsy shop. This is one of my “paper fancies”. I make the flowers with a heavy german crepe paper and dip them in wax.

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On the left is my very most favorite lamp. It’s a silk lantern motion light. A tiny city and sea scene spins inside.

The framed pieces above the dresser are mostly bird images. One is a shell collage, several are feather collages, one is a print from “Oh My Cavalier“. The bird on the right was made by Tacoma artists Marc Dombrosky and Shannon Eakins. The bird is carved from a book on birds. It’s spine is the book’s spine, it’s wings are the covers. Below are tiny accordian fold books inside a walnut shell. The books are all images of pre-earthquake San Francisco. I found these little gems at an antique store in Perth, Australia.

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This is our dining room – lots of books to read at the breakfast table. Craig made these eggs as part of an art installation.

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We foster kittens…and this is Lottie. She was just was adopted last month. I have a blog called the itty bitty kitty committee. I use the “hobbies room” for an office and art making space. The floor covering is an old floral print linoleum “rug”.

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These birds are part of installation I did years ago at the King County Gallery in Seattle, WA. The birds are resting on little stacked pillows made of collaged fabrics and trims. I used lots of old hankies, doilies, gems, etc.

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These are floral designs I have done for events. the one on the right features begonias, coxcomb, ranunculus, ferns, roses, and succulents, in birch tubes. The lush green palette of the Northwest is what still manages to inspire me. I love the thick, rich moss and ferns. My favorite time of year is spring, when the cherry trees and dogwoods bloom and there’s lots of bright green new growth on the trees. The endless color combos mother nature presents keep me in awe.

Laurel Walter

love this, i’m a freelance photo stylist for home magazines…I would love to talk to you! please email me. You’ve inspired me! thank you.

Lillibet

what a beautiful, personal home. Makes me miss the Northwest.

Cindy

Holy cow Laurie you and your husband are amazingly creative!
I love the photos, thank you for sharing your home with me.

Cindy

d'Auria

those walnut shell minibooks are so gorgeous. and then being beneath tiny cloches. what a stellar find! and of pre-quake SF, in Australia :)

Ellie

Such an interesting home. Everything in it is so warm and inviting. I love the way it all flows together.

sharon

I love your collections! The Asian chalk-ware and the silk lantern motion light are my fav! I can see you love texture too. Your place has a wonderful feeling of handmade with a twist o’ cabinet of curiosities. Dee-lightful.

blue

lovely! can you tell something about the arm chair in the photo with the “wall of birds”? i found two with the exact same frame in my grandmother’s garage.

emilykristin

I like that you do not feel the need to have the typical modern home. Your style feels honest, as with the creativity of a child (though admittedly more sophisticated, as it should be!) I really like your creativity and nods to history, your own and generally. There’s so much I like here! And high five to your husband for the great postcards! Brilliant.

laurie

Thanks everyone for all the kind words!

Blue – I’m sorry I don’t know anything about the chair. It’s half of a pair, they were a thrift store find. I tried doing some research, but came up dry.

Anne Bryant

So many lovely touches! You’ve created such a nice combination of textures, patterns and color. It all feels so cozy and eclectic.

leah

so much fun! i love the way the artwork is on display. quirky and beautiful. and that they foster kittens only makes me like them more! :-)

sosser

so beautiful! your home has such a rich mix of colors, objects and patterns, i could look all day!

Colletti

It is a beautiful home, and home to a beautiful person!!! I can say I’ve been in it, and every time I see something new I haven’t noticed before. It’s inspirational and fab! Love ya, Laurie!!!

Sarah

So wonderful to see your lovely home here – makes me feel like a well kept secret is out!

Hope to return there soon!

ONE LOVE PHOTO

I love Laurie’s floral design and her home looks so wonderful in these images. Today I just wrote a post on my blog featuring photos with Laurie’s gorgeous wedding floral design! What a great Sneak Peek!

lobsterclaw

There’s a bit too much stuff for my personal style, but I imagine it must have been tons of fun to collect everything. The tape-wire-fabric trees really caught my eye; if I had any sort of artistic ability at all, I’d totally want to try my hand at making one!

cousin wendy

I am dying to come see you house (again) now. Last time I was able to visit you had just moved in! I adore all of your collections but I was still looking for your smurfs?? What beautiful photos!

Kirsten W.

Congrats on being featured here! I love the idea of framing a painting from each of your travels. What a special way to remember those moments. Thanks for sharing your beautiful and creative home with us!

Katherine

I am absolutely drooling over the floral design with the birch tubes!! I wish I would have seen that before and would have incorporated something like that at my wedding!

Monika Lidman

Georgia O’Keefe once said, “Art is filling a space in a beautiful way…”

What a fabulous spread! These photos really do capture the feel and the love embodied in this most enchanted home. Laurie and Craig’s space is so magical, as if something hypnotic and calming drifts from the air vents and creates a new filter for the eyes. I’m most impressed by the ongoing process, the careful, yet playful ritual required to create a home this alive! Surprises wait for the curious, each object given such careful thought and consideration in placement and interaction with other rarified objects. Every common object that passes through the hands of Craig and Laurie is somehow transformed and elevated. My own aesthetic is so cluttered and maximal, having never learned just how to pair things down – to lovely. I envy this ability! This woman knows “light” like nobody’s business…

Applause!!!!!!!

Stephanie

I love what Laurie does with her birds. I found her right away when I joined flikr over a year ago. She has awesome style and a great eye for cool stuff. Be sure and ck out all her adorable Kitty Cat pictures on flikr. They have made me a cat lover, and just think, I am allergic!!!!

lush

i’m so intrigued my your silk lantern motion light, laurie…and i love all the birds…and the walnut shell accordion-fold books. if i still lived in seattle, i’d love to visit you.

Deborah [aka KatBoxJanitor)

Beautiful – and how do you keep the IBKC and Miss Butterbean from wreaking havoc????

So creative – I will have to come back again!

Debbie Kelly

This home is yummy! I looove floral prints and patterns and I’m just swooning over Laurie Cinotto’s linoleum “rug”. I hope she hasn’t changed too much in her home since these photos were posted – it’s to die for!

GirlWhimsy

This home is yummy! I looove floral prints and patterns and I’m just swooning over Laurie Cinotto’s linoleum “rug”. I hope she hasn’t changed too much in her home since these photos were posted – it’s to die for!

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