While Instagram may be championing the white walled Scandi-minimalist aesthetic, leave it to designer Terry Hunziker to show us another way forward. With warm textures, solid wood furnishings and an abundance of art, Hunziker’s Seattle apartment is stylishly rich and timelessly classic. Best of all? There’s not a white wall in sight. Keep scrolling to see more.
“I want guests to feel that they have entered a space that reflects who I am, what I am all about and a feeling of serenity.” – Hunziker
What is immediately striking about Hunziker’s home is the amount of character this place has. The 3000 square-foot apartment is part of a 1898 brick building located in the historic Pioneer Square District of Seattle. As such, the space has good bones.
The tall ceilings, large terrace and city views were an obvious draw for the designer. As was his personal history with the building. “I worked in Pioneer Square when I first came to Seattle in 1969, before it became the upscale place it is today,” Hunziker explains.
Labor of Love
Of course, this apartment didn’t just come together overnight. It’s very much been a labor of love for Hunziker. The home originally started as two separate side-by-side flats before being merged together in 1995. Since then, the apartment has undergone a series of renovations, including expansion to a second floor level.
“My primary concerns had to do with structural integrity: we had to reinforce areas between units.” – Hunziker
Elsewhere, the existing windows were manipulated so that they appear taller and narrower. This was achieved by building out between each window, then coming back in to cover the existing frames. For the final touch, new steel and glass French doors were installed in front of the original double hung windows.
Open Plan Meets Floating Planes
Look closely and you’ll also see that the sections closest to the floors and ceiling are held away from each other by a small gap, further reinforcing this notion of flow.
“Another [successful] element [of the apartment] was an intentional suggestion of a horizontal line running along many walls by the use of wall hung ledges, each at the same height.” – Hunziker
Aesthetics-wise, Maison de Verre, Paris and all things industrial were a huge influence for Hunziker. In the designer’s own words, “there’s a subtle factory or old schoolhouse aesthetic, but made warm and comfortable through the use of rich materials.”
The apartment is filled with custom elements designed in collaboration with local Seattle artisans, including the late David Gulassa. In addition to being the designer’s home, the apartment very much functions as an environment for working out ideas that Hunziker later brings to his clients’ projects.
“The spaces are about materials: to celebrate the beauty of common and not so common materials used in an unconventional way; and the use of contrasting elements such as light with dark, smooth with rough, gloss with matte.” – Hunziker
Throughout the apartment, carefully selected artworks complement and frame the space. The integration of art feels beautifully organic – the mark of a true professional.
From a rare Mimmo Palladino graphite on paper to the Martin Chambri photograph of a Peruvian giant, the collection is representative of Hunziker’s modern eclectic design style.
“Perhaps my favorite work is an anonymous painting hung above my bedroom ledge”, shares Hunziker. “[It’s] a piece I found in a Paris flea market many years ago. I think whoever made this painting had a masterful understanding of the human body and the depiction of flesh in paint.”
Reflecting upon the differences between designing for himself and designing for a client, Hunziker settles upon a practical response: money. “I like designing for myself if there were an unlimited budget. [Otherwise] I prefer designing for clients who have the budget, vision, and trust to allow me to do the best job.”
Overall, after seeing the triumphal success of Hunziker’s apartment, we bet there’ll be a line of such clients waiting. Who else can’t wait to see what the designer does next?