Sneak Peek: Leah Lawrence & Billy Bartels

When I first saw photos of Leah Lawrence and Billy Bartels’ Seattle home, I was reminded of Leslie Williamson’s book, Handcrafted Modern. There was something about the modern, minimal styling and the use of natural materials that hinted at some of the decor found in that book. So I couldn’t help but smile when Leah and Billy described their overall aesthetic as just that–handcrafted modern. Since learning how to weld, Billy has made a number of pieces in the house such as the kitchen table, the coffee table, and several lamps, which nicely compliment the charming historic character of their early 20th century home. Interspersed among these creations are objects inherited from Leah’s parents that they acquired while living in Africa. Lucky for us, their commitment to craft and the handmade is not limited to their home. Together, Leah and Billy recently launched a jewelry line named Baleen, which sells beautifully minimal and budget-friendly pieces. Leah is also the designer and owner of the women’s swimwear line Drifting Arrows, while Billy owns Vim Beget, a jewelry and accessories line that is designed and handmade exclusively by him. Thank you, Leah and Billy! -Shannon

Image above: We love to take a ferry together to Vashon island and go to Point Robinson park. We found a really great walking stick on one of our adventures there. Now it’s our coat and bag hanger.

Image above: In the lower left-hand side of this photo you will see our hambone cat known as Cheets, short for Cheeto. Our three cats are a huge part of our lives and give us endless entertainment. The coffee table was made by Billy. The wood is a live-edge black walnut and has a beautiful grain.

See more of Leah and Billy’s Seattle home after the jump…

Image above: Leah loves to organize, seen here is her handy-work in color and genre coordinating all of our books. The Cheetah on top of the shelf is a block print from Africa that we recently acquired and both really love. The lamp is another of Billy’s creations. It has a counterweight on the back that’s held on by magnets embedded in the wood.

Image above: In this photo you’ll see a few of our DIY projects such as the chambray duvet cover, bookends and the lamp. We spend a fair amount of time in our bedroom. We both love sleep. Luckily both of us require the same amount every night.

Image above: This is our cat Bones’ (not pictured) favorite chair. We like it almost as much as he does. We both love magazines and have built several types of holders around the house to display our favorites.

Image above: This our shared dresser that we picked up at one of our favorite local vintage shops.

Image above: A few pieces from Vim Beget – Billy’s jewelry line.

Image above: Billy learned how to weld about 2 years ago. He hasn’t stopped making us furniture since. This table is one of his first creations and we love having people over for dinner and game night to use it.

Image above: Stoneware cup from Swaziland (where Leah was born) with one our many air plants inside.

Image above: We have an open-style kitchen and pantry and Leah loves to put everything in jars. Billy made this wooden magnetic knife board.

Image above: This is actually a vintage sewing machine table. The dolls and hat are from Leah’s childhood in Africa.

Image above: Leah’s dad found this old bottle of distilled water in one of the walls of their home in Seattle. The natural artifacts are from our adventures on Vashon Island.

Image above: Our office gets the most light in the entire house. It’s where a lot of our plants live and thrive. On the wall are several family photos and a couple photo booth sessions of us, one before we started dating and one after.


My hubby and I are going to be moving into a house over the next year – so glad I have Design*Sponge for inspiration. I love the clean, open air they’ve created in their home.

Archana | my SoCal'd life

That chair (the cat’s favorite) is divine. Would love to know where they got it! (Assuming vintage shop?) It reminds me of a beautiful reupholstered chair I saw at a flea market that I passed up. Leah and Billy’s chair makes me wish I got it!

Emily K

How did he make the wooden magnetic knife board? Is the metal on top of the wood piece and painted white?

Rebecca, another Seattleite

I love the welding projects! What a lovely and comfortable space.


i love that they have created so many thing together. and, i think the chambray duvet cover is particularly amazing…such a good idea.

Rose Duggan

I love that they do sneak peeks on Mondays. I always forget and then remember, it’s Monday! Sneak Peeks!

Joanna L Smith

what did they do to that coffee table?? i recently bought a piece of live edge black walnut and don’t know quite how to finish it into my dream coffee table.


Love all the drapy greenery [and the rest of the stuff] Airplants are fantastic.


You’ve CAT to be KITTEN me! Love the aesthetic and all the amazing DiYs.