Interiorssneak peeks

A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle

by Garrett Fleming

I visited Seattle, WA for the first time earlier this year and felt right at home right away. The cozy coffee bars, fantastic shopping and coastal vibe absolutely made a lasting impression on me. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been so surprised by how quickly I fell in love with the city. It has produced some seriously great design over the years, and with shops like Michele and Ryan Tansey’s Homestead Seattle popping up every day, that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

Their Capitol Hill storefront is an eclectic mix of mid-century and Art Deco styles, and their home in the Central District of Seattle is the same. Michele always dreamed of moving into a fixer-upper and eventually convinced Ryan to take the plunge when this gem hit the market. She knew it would be amazing one day if they gave it some love. “When we purchased our home, none of the closets had hardware, no appliances, few lighting fixtures, the yard was terrible, and everything was painted primer white,” she says. Since moving in, they have added new floors, painted the entire space, and decked it out in secondhand finds they’ve collected over the years. Point to any piece in the home, and these two can tell you a fantastic story to go with it.

When decorating the home, the couple wanted the second floor to be relaxing and a neutral space of serenity. They used “lots of blacks, brown, blues, greens, (and) chrome” to create the Parisian-apartment vibe you’ll see when you take a peek inside. Since the main floor doubles as an Airbnb, Michele and Ryan designed it to be warm, inviting and full of color. The stunning, hunter-green paint job that dons most of the first floor’s rooms does wonders for making the home feel cohesive. The home also has 112 years of “strange parts and pieces” that make it even more unique. That’s a-okay with these homeowners. “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Ryan says. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Ryan Tansey

A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
The working-class Victorian was built in 1903 and sits in Seattle's Central District. The home needed a bit of elbow grease on the inside and out. After moving in, Michele and Ryan rebuilt part of the fence themselves, put in new window trim, and installed this salvaged front door.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
The 2,000-square-foot home is decked out in vintage finds from all over the world. The coat rack is from Normandy, France, and Ryan's grandmother bought this print at the Seattle World's Fair in 1962. The antique trunk is from South Carolina and sits below two of the Tansey family's favorite paintings.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
The chandeliers here and in the dining area are Spanish and were made in the 1920s. The home's Turkish pillows are from Etsy.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
The dining/sitting area sits behind the front living area. To the left is a peek into the hunter-green guest bathroom.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
A local artist reupholstered the dining area's side chairs for the couple, and Michele and Ryan restored the Japanese, hand-painted fan themselves.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
I love seeing how modern technology and vintage finds mesh. Did you notice the Bluetooth speaker on the vintage trunk?
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
This bathroom – right down the hall from the dining/sitting area – was a DIY project for the family. They installed the mirrored medicine cabinet, pedestal sink and lighting themselves. The two took the flooring into their own hands after a bad contractor's failed attempt left them frustrated and eager to get the job done. It came out fabulously.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
Michele and Ryan are huge fans of pink and green, so the mix here was a personal touch. You'll notice Benjamin Moore "Essex Green" is used throughout the home to unify the spaces.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
"This mid-century cat painting is too good to sell," the family says. I agree. What a unique find.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
The first-floor bedroom can be rented out through Airbnb. The mid-century headboard with built-in storage is the perfect solution for the cozy space. "America" by Marilyn Briggs decorates the wall.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
This room off of the kitchen was set up to be a bedroom, but the savvy couple knew that it made much more sense as a formal dining room. The rug is from the 1920s, and portraits collected over the years cover the walls.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
The Tanseys installed the butcher block countertop, sink, beadboard and open cabinetry all on their own. "Michele has been collecting handmade pottery her whole life, and the kitchen has been a great place to display everything," Ryan says.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
The two say "it was important for us to find pieces that fit the era and character of our house." It took a few years to track down the perfect islands for this space, but they finally found these two, and they look great. The blue jars to the right were used in their wedding.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
Originally, there was cabinetry above the stove, but the Tanseys ripped it out and replaced it with this industrial hood. Now the kitchen feels much larger. The spice rack is vintage.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
Jake snoozes in the mudroom next to an Art Deco cabinet that's actually part of the couple's dining set.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
"This vintage and antique mirror collection was compiled over time through our sourcing trips (for our shop)," Michele and Ryan say.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
A vintage palm-reading poster lives above the Cicchelli Circle Chair in the upstairs hall library.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
The view from the second-floor library into the sitting room. Benjamin Moore "White Dove" covers all of the home's white walls.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
Princess the cat sits on a Drexel Profile vanity bench in the upstairs sitting room. This room was "pretty much a dark closet" before Michele and Ryan removed the door and added in the skylight.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
In December 2011, an electrical fire in the attic destroyed the second floor of the home, along with the home's wiring. When Ryan and Michele had the area rebuilt, they vaulted these ceilings.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
Porkchop lounges on a mid-century Drexel sofa in the upstairs living area. The rug is vintage and from Turkey.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
A vintage library ladder leads to the couple's lofted bedroom. Before adding the loft, this entire second-floor living area served as their bedroom.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
Michele and Ryan sleep here each night, at the very tip top of their home. This loft was added after the awful electrical fire.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
A mudcloth towel, 1920s-era bench and vintage ICA weaving decorate the upstairs bathroom. The shower curtain is from IKEA.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
The skylights, another post-fire addition, splash the bathroom in an abundance of light. Ailing plants are moved here to recuperate.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
Benjamin Moore semi-gloss black covers the second-floor bathroom's door.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
Homestead Seattle owners Michele and Ryan Tansey.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
An aerial view of the main floor.
A Vintage-Filled Victorian in Seattle, Design*Sponge
The second floor at a glance.

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  • I love love love this home! Thank you so much for sharing. Might I ask where the white kitchen shelves are from? Thank you thank you!

  • What a beautiful home full of interesting treasures. I love the use of dark green paint to add contrast instead of just going with all white walls and trim as many people are currently doing. The upstairs area looks like it would be a welcome oasis to enjoy after a hard day. I imagine the fire was devastating but this duo certainly turned their lemons into lemonade.

  • This is all so lovely.. It has so many beautiful vintage pieces without being cluttered or looking like a flea market which can be tough to do. The chairs under the fan are amazing…

  • I love Homestead Seattle. Been following their instagram for awhile now. I just wish I still lived in Seattle. Their shop is amazing!

  • Love everything – the soft palette with the rich but muted colours and the beautiful furniture and art pieces. I particularly love the mirrors in the stairwell which are not only beautiful but serve to visually enlarge and reflect light into the space and also the formal dining room. Gorgeous.

  • Mmmm… love this home! Their skilled sense of design is clear but it’s not overwrought or over-thought.. just beautifully personal. Perfection. Are they looking for roommates? :)

  • What a fantastic house! What’s that tree with the braided trunk– and is it low maintenance enough for someone without a green thumb?

  • Outstanding home!But no one has commented on “Porkchop”! I do believe he is a pig.Is he a pot belly? I brought my “Boris” back to Ct from Portland Or!

  • I always want to know what the house plants are, and the captions so rarely tell us! Particularly the bigger trees in the living areas. Please?

  • Wow. I could really live in this house. I especially love the white/green paint combination on the walls, the green walls in the bathroom, the open shelving in the kitchen, and the portraits in the dining room.

  • this might be my favorite home ever featured on DS. SO IN LOVE. Every detail is perfection!!! <3 Makes me want to go to Seattle immediately and stay there on airbnb! Thanks for sharing!

  • It’s so much bigger inside than I expected! I love the dining room and kitchen, and those matching chairs in the living room. They’ve done an amazing job with this house.

  • i’ve been following their instagram feed for their shop for years, so it’s fun to see their home pics all in one place! I love their respect for their home and it’s era.

  • Such a cool and inviting home. With all it’s vignettes and cozy spaces and corners. They all seem so bright, filled with plants and artwork on walls, I lost count of all the couches and seating areas they have. I expected this house to be huge but it really isn’t! Or maybe it is??

    I need to look at it again to see how they pulled it off. I usually don’t struggle with arranging our home but I’ve been so busy this year and found myself stuck in a rut in a house full of kids and stuff. I need to rearrange things before I run out of air! :) This is just the inspiration I need to get started. I love that this is not minimalistic. Lots of things here but not cluttered. Well lived in. My vibe.

    Also LOVE that chipped peach coloured lamp. Reminds me that I wanted to paint mine that colour years ago. I could go on… :D

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