Her affinity for turning a home into a house impressed Dana Skotdal to begin her personal inside design agency, Merrill Interiors in 2002. Permitting us a peek into her stunning house, she spoke completely with Upscale Dwelling journal about how she created her personal dream house.
Dana, please inform us a bit about your self.
Thanks for speaking with me! I dwell in Seattle, Washington with my husband and youngsters. My excellent day would come with enjoying tennis within the morning, engaged on an inspiring design mission and hand drawing elevations (I really like the hand drawing course of), a stroll with my canine, arranging floral bouquets from my backyard to shock a buddy, and ending with an awesome meal and laughter with my household. There’s nothing higher than having all of them laughing collectively. A night with good girlfriends and champagne additionally tops my listing. If this excellent day may additionally embrace yoga, doing one thing artistic like oil portray, and studying an awesome ebook, that might be superb. If I may have a superpower, it is perhaps bending time (or possibly not needing sleep?) to perform all of it.
Did you have got an affect in your youth that formed your profession path?
I used to be lucky to develop up surrounded by gifted and inventive folks in my household and prolonged household, which helped domesticate my design aesthetic. I’ve at all times liked stunning properties and gardens. As a child, I liked to attract and at all times drew my ‘excellent’ bed room or what I imagined my future house would appear to be. Not having smartphones, social media, or a lot in the way in which of tv actually was useful in cultivating creativity. We needed to think about new worlds – there wasn’t the web to indicate it to us!
Please inform us extra about your house.
My household has been in our present house now for ten years. My husband and I had walked by this house for years. It was barely seen from the road, coated in bushes and shrubs, in want of a whole lot of love. There was one thing intriguing about it, nevertheless, and when the chance to purchase it arose, we realized it was a once-in-a-lifetime probability. It’s a Normandy Tudor stone home with steel-framed home windows, in an space the place there are only a few of these, so it’s undoubtedly distinctive. Initially, we cleared the overgrowth, ripped out the carpet, painted the interiors white, and simply moved in. Our kids have been pretty small, so it labored for a number of years whereas we fine-tuned the renovation plans. We may see that it could possibly be an exquisite house for our household, for entertaining, and for our youngsters to have an awesome place to carry their pals to get pleasure from the home and the yard.
You might be an inside designer. Did you decide to do your house’s personal inside design?
I did. I can stroll into an area and nearly see or hear what a house wants. Once I first walked into this home, I instantly knew which partitions wanted to be opened as much as give it a greater movement, and what the best structure would appear to be. Little or no within the ultimate consequence deviated from my preliminary intestine concepts. My husband has an awesome sense of architectural particulars as effectively, so we have been an excellent crew in figuring out the right way to proceed. I may sense this house reawakening after an extended interval of dormancy. Through the rework we dubbed it ‘The Sleeping Woman’.
How would you greatest describe your design type?
I can equally love a standard or extra up to date house with a number of key substances – soul, character, consolation, and approachable magnificence. I really like a mixture of antiques and extra fashionable items. Clear, uncluttered traces contrasted with the character of an vintage or classic piece create such a good looking look.
I’m targeted on exterior gardens and landscaping simply as a lot because the interiors of a house. What may be seen from the home windows of your house is equally necessary as what’s inside.
The place/what/who conjures up your design type?
There are such a lot of unbelievable sources of inspiration. I’ve lengthy been a fan of Carolyn Roehm’s type, each in properties and her beautiful gardens. Ralph Lauren’s aesthetic formed my childhood and created such an iconic model of American type. Bunny Mellon’s gardens and basic informal magnificence set the tone for all future generations of American-style seekers and backyard lovers. Touring at all times infuses my artistic vitality, and thru Instagram, I’ve been launched to the types of so many great artistic folks on the earth. Serena Crawford, from Cape City, is one such inspiration. I like to observe alongside on her travels and design adventures. Lastly, I’ve a fairly great group of extremely artistic pals in my circle, and I really like gathering inspiration from them.
How do you retain issues contemporary and new by way of adorning?
Each mission and consumer is completely different, which retains issues attention-grabbing. Tapping into what they love and are impressed by is at all times an awesome place to begin. Is there a beloved piece of artwork we have to incorporate? Does that candy little vintage chair have to be a focus? I really like textiles, previous and new, and that usually is an excellent begin for a consumer’s room or total design scheme. Visiting new eating places, resorts, and cities gives a lot inspiration. Previous basic motion pictures and style reimagined; hip artists’ lofts in New York; even seeing what my youngsters are focused on and being attentive to on Instagram and TikTok. There’s inspiration all over the place and remodeling it into one thing new for every mission is at all times a enjoyable problem.
Is there a selected coloration you’re drawn to in inside design?
My household would inform you blue and white. It one way or the other appears to be a part of each room in our house … I do love blues. Smooth pale shades for bedrooms, and basic navy stripes for informal household areas. However that’s me personally. I at all times love a timeless impartial palette infused with a jolt of coloration or sample. That coloration can range by mission or by geographic location.
Do you consider in repurposing?
Completely. I’ve recovered the identical chairs and sofas we’ve dragged from house to house. When the body and form of an upholstery piece are good, it’s effectively price investing in reupholstery. I really like items with historical past and patina. When shoppers have great items, we at all times repurpose them when potential. Typically it’s a matter of shifting one thing to a brand new room to offer it a contemporary look elsewhere. There’s a particular appeal to having some items that don’t essentially ‘match’. It retains issues extra attention-grabbing than a stunning room filled with all brand-new furnishings and ensures that every house is really distinctive.
Do you have got any particular heirloom items?
I really like all my issues however am changing into much less hooked up to them as time goes by. I’ve slowly collected furnishings in our house one piece at a time, and whereas I really like most of them, there’s not a lot I’d save in a burning hearth. My kids’s artwork and household images are irreplaceable so these would actually be my heirlooms. I’ve a number of vintage French mirrors that I’ll most likely clutch with dying arms endlessly. I do love my blue and white Chinoiserie items. And my China collections … okay, so there are a number of extra issues.
Which a part of your house is your favourite?
Throughout completely different seasons, completely different areas take heart stage. In summer season, I really like sitting out on our bluestone patio wanting on the gardens. In winter with the Christmas tree and a hearth within the hearth, our lounge is the perfect place to be.
By which a part of your house do you spend essentially the most time?
The kitchen! Doesn’t everybody? It appears to be the place all 4 of us spend essentially the most time day in and time out. Fortunately, I really like the look and performance of our kitchen. So, it appears, does the remainder of the household.
You share your house together with your husband, your two kids, and your lovable Cavachon pet, Theo. As an skilled in your discipline, have been you open to design recommendations from them?
Fortunately my husband and I have been totally on the identical web page for our house design. My kids had some concepts that have been attention-grabbing, like including a water slide from their rooms all the way down to the pool, which sadly didn’t make the ultimate design. Our canine Theo was not in our life after we designed the home, however he’s small and tailored effectively to our present structure. If I’d had a canine after we designed the outside house close to our mud room, I’d have included an aesthetically pleasing small fenced-in outside space for him.
Did your kids navigate their very own design type, interpreted by you?
They have been each great shoppers. Every had particular ideas for his or her rooms, most of which we have been in a position to incorporate. Youngsters’ rooms are at all times actually enjoyable to design as a result of usually there’s a possibility to be just a little extra design-forward than the remainder of the house.
Seeing life creatively has been such a present. I at all times level out stunning settings, structure, and design inspiration to my youngsters. Hopefully noticing these particulars and gaining an appreciation for them might be imbued of their lives because it has been in mine. I really like absorbing the small print of magnificence within the locations I go to. Our latest first journey to South Africa supplied a lot inspiration, from the beautiful surroundings and topography of the Cape Peninsula to the colours of the panorama and the attractive animals we noticed within the bush on safari. I can’t wait to come back again and uncover extra. I’m continually awed by all that’s on the market on the earth, and love with the ability to acquire new inspiration to carry house.