LONG BEFORE Akash Niranjan and his wife, Marissa, bought their 1936 house, it had been remodeled to within an inch of its original character. Theirs was one of the many Tudor Revival homes built in downtown Seattle in the 1930s, but unlike many of those, it was “missing the sense of charm that traditional Tudor style homes have,” said Mr. Niranjan. Period details such as leaded glass windows, wood paneling, exposed ceiling beams, crown moldings and fireplaces had disappeared from the 2,500 square-foot house. What survived: the classically curved doorway of the foyer and one working fireplace. The challenge, according to Mr. Niranjan, whose family had grown to five, was how to restore some historical spirit while “making this a home that felt like us.” For guidance, he and his wife turned to local designer Lisa Staton, who set out to reinvent rather than re-create the style. Key to the transformation was an unexpectedly playful palette (see the kitchen’s rosy pink cabinets), which satisfied her clients’ desire for color and calm. Scratching the itch for historic architecture: modern riffs on the old English vernacular, such as the fireplace’s low, wide curve minus the central point of the classic Tudor arch. Here, a room-by-room scan of the stealable strategies Ms. Staton employed to allude to the home’s past, make it cozy but not claustrophobic—and keep it modern.
TIP 1: Give a Light-Challenged Room a Rosy Complexion
The east side of the home, which houses the kitchen, faces a large, light-blocking condo. To compensate, Ms. Staton had the cabinets painted an unexpected pink with a sunny disposition (Benjamin Moore’s Salmon Mousse). “We sought colors that were rich and enveloping but not loud,” she said. Still, she constrained the color to the