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Open, Light-Filled Washington Home
A French-style home in Spokane boasts an open floor plan and great style
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Just like fine food, homes should be comfortable, personal, and organic, says designer-turned-restaurateur Marcia Bond. In the hilltop house Marcia and her husband, William, built in Spokane, Washington, seven sets of French doors stand open, encouraging gentle breezes to ruffle pages of magazines and books scattered in the expansive room. No walls divide the kitchen, dining, and living areas, so air, light, and conversations flow easily among family and friends sharing the comfortable space.
A clean sweep of concrete floors unites the large living area with bedrooms, a den, and a corridor-like pantry tucked behind the kitchen. "All through the house, we never have a threshold," Marcia says. "I love concrete and I like it natural—not painted or etched," she says, explaining that a beeswax derivative was applied as a finish. A system of water pipes under the floor warms the house with hydronic radiant heat.
Architects: Leslie and Steve Ronald, Steve Ronald Associates Architects, 2424 W. Second Ave., Spokane, WA 99204; 509/747-0079.
Photography: John Granen
Produced by Linda Humphrey
Chairs; sofas; end tables; chandelier; coffee table; blue chest behind sofa: owner’s collection.
Art (by Dick Ibach): Lorinda Knight Gallery, 509/838-3740.
Paint ("Luna Gold’’ #HC 91): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667,benjaminmoore.com.
Fireplace wall: Dryvit Systems Inc., 800/556-7752.
- Another view of the Bonds’ large living area; north-facing French doors admit soft morning light. The doors lead to courtyards, enticing people outside and giving the house a European feel. "We have the doors open all the time and get such wonderful light," Marcia says.
- Double doors salvaged from a French children’s clothing shop open to the Bonds’ foyer. Concrete steps just inside the door lead up to the main living area.
Table; chandelier; urn for flowers; basket; door decoration: owner’s collection.
- Two old tables slipcovered with khaki water-resistant fabric create an elegant dining surface on the loggia. Chairs came from area garage sales and secondhand shops. This is where the Bonds eat most of their meals. "It was about going for a great amount of light and a sense of the indoors and outdoors being one," Marcia says. The loggia is on the front of the house, but is sheltered by a wisteria canopy and vine-covered courtyard walls.
Table and chairs; wicker chair and ottoman; chandelier; sconces: owner’s collection.
Table covering; chair fabric (Sunbrella): Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, sunbrella.com.
- Furniture groupings define the dining and sitting areas of the large room, while the kitchen is clearly designated by the impressive range hood. A food-themed mural on the sink wall introduces a hint of pattern.
Range: Lacanche, 011 44 120 273 3011, lacanche.co.uk.
Vent hood (custom): Dryvit Systems Inc., 800/556-7752.
Dishwasher: Asko Appliances, 800/367-2444, askousa.com.
An island with old wood legs comfortably shares space with modern stainless-steel cabinets and appliances. A table base—minus the top—that Marcia found chained to a tree at a yard sale was reinvented as the 96x39-inch island. "We needed to make it taller and longer so it wasn’t dwarfed," Marcia says. The wood base was topped with a large slab of marble, plus a 36-inch stretch of butcher block.
- Heed how light affects the colors and textures in your environment, advises Marcia Bond, who worked for 22 years as an interior designer in California and Washington before "retiring" to run two restaurants and a bakery with her husband, William. Her design career blossomed in the early ’70s, when she worked at a South Pasadena, California, design studio. When she and William moved to Spokane in 1978, she operated a design business there until 1993. Yard sales and secondhand shops have been her favorite shopping venues, supplying clients’ as well as her own home with one-of-a-kind finds. Marcia emphasizes comfort and a "little bit of theater" when she designs. After all, she adds, "I don’t want to live in a space that’s too serious."
Marcia is now more apt to be browsing cookbooks than junk shops, but she finds her years as a designer have served her well in the food world. "I’ve read there are cross currents or correlations between fashion and interior design," she says. "The same is true of food. The trends keep changing together."
- A commanding antique mirror stands against a bedroom wall. Marcia’s grandmother did the petit point on the fauteuil. An old galvanized metal barrel with a glass top serves as a side table.
- The vanity top is salvaged marble; the base is made of sturdy acrylic poles and decorative lamp parts.
- Long and low, the tile-roofed house nestles unobtrusively on basalt rock. Because the house sits on a hill, the architects purposely kept the profile low so it wouldn't seem pretentious. "It was designed for the site," Leslie Ronald says. While the living area is on one level, the incline of the rock dictated that the entry be at the base of the hill, with an enclosed stairway leading upstairs. A garage and storage rooms are also on the lower level, tucked into a natural opening in the rock. Hornbeam trees, grapevines, and other plantings on the front slope provide privacy.