Sometimes it pays to sweat the details. This was certainly the case for Emily Ruff, a born-and-bred Washingtonian living in Seattle. Emily’s penchant for fastidious organization and planning is something she not only applies to her day job in marketing at a major online retailer, but her side gig as an interior designer. When it came to decorating the 1945 3-bedroom Cape Cod that she shares with her husband and two dogs, diligent preparation and research was a given. “My design process is fairly thorough,” Emily says. “I always start by pulling inspiration images on Pinterest, Instagram and from my favorite blogs and then I start the hunt for all the materials and pieces that I want to include. I create design boards in Photoshop, measure everything to create floorplans and order samples to make sure what I see online works in person. I track all of the items in the design in a spreadsheet so I have quick access and can make sure I am staying within budget.” The end goal was to create a space that, as Emily put it, felt “collected, beautiful, and comfortable.”
Although the home was fully renovated by its previous owners, the process of updating it was not without complications. “Every renovation project big or small has presented challenges since our house is so old. Nothing is level, the walls aren’t straight, and there is a mix of plaster and drywall throughout the house. Luckily, I am a problem solver and Evan can figure out how to make almost anything work. Although frustrating, we haven’t had any issues that have significantly changed our original design plans.” Emily wanted to achieve a look that was an accessible and easygoing mixture of high and low, luxe and everyday. In the living room, casual throw pillows and woven chairs are paired alongside a teal velvet sofa and a statement-making brass coffee table. In the office, brass-accented velvet Barcelona-style chairs act as complements and foils to pinboards and baskets. The net result is a space that feels elevated but unfussy—a stylish retreat one can really kick back in. Take a closer look below!
“We spend lots of time in our living room as it is the primary common space on our main floor. I was nervous to go so bold with the teal sofa, but am so glad we did! The coffee table adds a modern glam touch to the space.”
“The large artwork is actually wallpaper that I applied to a wooden canvas. Makes a huge impact, but less commitment involved than applying wallpaper to an actual wall.”
“The kitchen remodel is the first project we tackled after moving in. The layout and cabinets are the same, we painted them, changed out all the tile, countertops, backsplash and appliances. The vintage persian rug adds a pop of color and warmth to the space.”
“It took us awhile to figure out how we wanted to use the 2nd bedroom upstairs and I am so glad we turned it into an office space. The shelves were so fun to style and those vintage chairs went from burnt orange to a gorgeous charcoal gray. This room is the most neutral in the entire house and it has a calming effect while working.”
“Our bedroom is the only room with dark walls upstairs and it gives it such a cozy feel. Blue is my favorite color to decorate with aside from neutrals and this room has no shortage of it.”