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…

peek1.jpg
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.

peek2.jpg
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.

peek3.jpg
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.

peek4_use.jpg
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.

peek5.jpg
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.

peek5b.jpg
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.

peek6.jpg
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.

peek7.jpg
This is our dining room – lots of books to read at the breakfast table. Craig made these eggs as part of an art installation.

peek8.jpg

peek9.jpg
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”.

peek10.jpg
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.

peek11.jpg
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.

  1. joy says:

    wow…so gorgeous!

  2. What an absolutely magical home! Thank you for sharing it and how I wish I could visit!
    xo
    Melissa

  3. Laurel Walter says:

    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.

  4. Lillibet says:

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

  5. Cindy says:

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

    Cindy

  6. d'Auria says:

    those walnut shell books are absolutely wonderful. what a stellar find!

  7. d'Auria says:

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

  8. Ellie says:

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

  9. sharon says:

    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.

  10. ArtsyMama says:

    Wow…thanks for all the inspiration and great links. Beautiful!!!!
    Kari

  11. blue says:

    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.

  12. Pam says:

    To Laurel-
    you can contact Laurie thru her site: http://www.lauriecinotto.com/

    and Pam of housemartin at her site:
    http://www.inkandpeat.com/

    thanks! glad everyone is enjoying Laurie’s lovely home!

  13. emilykristin says:

    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.

  14. Laurie has an amazing eye, and style. My favorite is the art display, wow!

  15. laurie says:

    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.

  16. jan says:

    so many lovely displays – wow!

  17. Jeska says:

    Such a great home with beautiful and original details everywhere.

  18. Anne Bryant says:

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

  19. leah says:

    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! :-)

  20. sosser says:

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

  21. Colletti says:

    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!!!

  22. Javier says:

    wowser , your place looks awesome . Maybe someday Lisa and I will come visit !

  23. Sarah says:

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

    Hope to return there soon!

  24. 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!

  25. lobsterclaw says:

    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!

  26. cousin wendy says:

    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!

  27. Alicia says:

    What a lovely place for kitties to grow up! ;)

  28. I just read the article again and I am feeling so inspired to go shopping for treasures at a flea market. Laurie is so spot on about letting your home be a place for your artistic spirit play. I really need to play at my house! I thought I would also add a link for anyone wanting to see MORE of Laurie’s lovely floral design…….
    http://onelovephoto.typepad.com/heathergilson/2008/02/laurie-cinotto.html
    http://tinyurl.com/32p7hl

  29. Kirsten W. says:

    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!

  30. Katherine says:

    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!

  31. 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!!!!!!!

  32. Thanks again everyone for all of your lovely comments. Also, a HUGE thanks to Pam for Grace for letting me be included in this fabulous blog. It was a thrill, to say the very least !
    xo xo
    Laurie

    PS If anyone wants to take a deeper peek, you can visit my flickr page for more house pics here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lalalaurie/sets/72157603832560859/

  33. Stephanie says:

    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!!!!

  34. the floral designs are lovely. what a pretty home.

  35. lush says:

    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.

  36. The bell jar displays are awesome.

  37. Deborah [aka KatBoxJanitor) says:

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

    So creative – I will have to come back again!

  38. I love that “rug” — did you apply it to the floor? And where did you find it? It’s fantastic!

  39. Abby, It’s an old linoleum “rug”. I bought mine at an auction in Seattle. They have a large collection of them here:
    http://www.secondhandrose.com/

  40. Debbie Kelly says:

    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!

  41. GirlWhimsy says:

    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!

LEAVE A COMMENT

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.