The residents of the home are Eva Blanchard, a former university lecturer and founder of Blanchard Photography, her husband Alberto Arce, a Boeing program manager, and their 15-year-old son, Alex.
“My favorite finishing touch is fresh flowers. I am a bit obsessed, and I have them throughout the house, every time of year. I love orchids, but they don't need to be fancy,” Blanchard says. “Nothing expensive, just a few blooms here and there or some bright green leaves from my garden. Without them, I think the rooms lack life.” Blanchard also says she is fortunate to have a professional stager, Judy Delen, as a good friend. “She helps me solve problems, fix mistakes and gives me amazing ideas.”
“The kitchen is the indisputable heart of the house,” Blanchard says. "We are from Spain, and a lot of our life revolves around the kitchen table. In our country, the main meal is lunch. Businesses are closed from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. But, we also have breakfast, pintxo hour (tapas midday) merienda (something sweet and coffee around 5 p.m. or 6 p.m.) and a light dinner around 9 p.m.” Blanchard favors a white, clean, chic look, but she added traditional European elements like Carrara marble and subway tiles.
The Living Room
The living area is where friends and family gather before and after dinnertime, so Blanchard was careful not to cramp the room with furniture. “We live in the house, not for the house. We gather, cook, work, study and occasionally I even use the area like a photography studio,” Blanchard says. “While the open floor plan creates a big space, it has definite zones,” Blanchard says. “I work from home a lot, so I wanted to be able to tap away on my laptop at the table and help Alex with his homework while Alberto is in the kitchen."
"Our style is quite unusual and very personal. I like to define it as modern eclectic. It’s all about the mix, not the match—contemporary with vintage, industrial with handmade, up-cycled with upmarket. This creates a dynamic interior,” Blanchard says. When it comes to inspiration, Blanchard employs what she calls her “wardrobe approach.” She explains that means investing in timeless pieces for the important staple items and adding texture and personality with more affordable accessories, just as she does with her clothes.
Blanchard first points to the Blackhawk coffee table inspired by the nose cones and fuselages of a mid-20 century aircraft. “Alberto is now in program management, but he used to be an aerospace design engineer, and that is reflected in the home.” The oiled, riveted and hot-rolled steel fireplace, which they designed and built from scratch, and the 1950s leather and hide Copenhagen chair are their other favorite design elements.
Embracing the Seattle weather, Blanchard says they created something dark and dramatic with grey walls and an English wallpaper called "The Woods.” This theme is mirrored with the doors and bathroom decor. As a photographer and image consultant, it’s Blanchard’s job to bring out the best in her clients, to push them out of their comfort zone and give them the courage to be daring. “When it came to decorating the house, it seemed natural to turn to what I know and use the same approach,” Blanchard says.
Blanchard describes the property as a mid-60s rambler in Magnolia. The main floor has an open plan with a kitchen and connecting living rooms. On this floor are two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and the lower floor has an office, entertainment room, spa bathroom and laundry room.