Real Life Home - "Aunt Patty"

• 08 November 2011



Today I'm thrilled to share with you several images from a home here in Seattle lived in and decorated by Patty Groesbeck, who is lovingly referred to as "Aunt Patty" by good friends and family.  She is a real estate agent by profession, but she clearly has a designer's eye.  Her light-filled, modest home is well-curated and mixes memorabilia, antiques and secondhand furniture in the most tasteful way.

For those of you just tuning in, this series showcases living spaces decorated by people who are not formally-trained interior designers; people who mix new finds with antiques and secondhand pieces from Craigslist (or the like). People who have figured out, on their own, what looks and feels good in their living space, be it a free-standing home, an apartment, or in one particular case, a tower :)



An overview of the living room...lots of detail shots come next.  I think the very first thing I noticed about her living space is how well she displays objects in such a tasteful way.  That pretty circular window is a real gem--it adds charm and visual interest to a room full of calming neutrals.

Here's an interesting tidbit: her niece mentioned that Patty used to own a lovely vintage furniture and clothing shop in a previous life, hence the gorgeous mid-century pieces here and there! 



This little display on her fireplace mantel is my favorite detail in this room.  So simple.



This colorful work of art, so proudly displayed, was painted by her son when he attended a montessori school in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle (which apparently has an amazing art teacher). 



More simple, meaningful displays of objects d'art...they are like little treasures just waiting to be discovered. 

I appreciate the low-slung art over the guest bedroom nightstand and the framed, exotic masks picked up during a trip abroad.  Also, the simple placement of framed art in the hallway adds warmth and interest to a part of a home that typically feels like dead space.  

The china cabinet was a gift from her parents and appropriately steadies several family pictures taken over the years.  Interestingly enough, the dining room table is actually constructed from an old church door.  And the painting behind the table was done by her daughter while in college (lots of artistic talent in this household!).  The pretty new light fixture hangs high as to not obstruct Patty's gorgeous view of Puget Sound.  If you're lucky enough to have a view, you must protect it!


A pretty bathroom with her personal collection of shells from the nearby beaches.  Again, Patty's style shows that souvenir-type personal items can be displayed in an artful way without appearing cluttered--I love seeing this in action!


...and the kitchen. Prepare yourself for serious kitchen envy :) 

Gorgeous off-white cabinets and stainless steel appliances accented with texture and details make this recently-renovated kitchen my favorite space in her home.  Oh and do you remember when we discussed displaying original art in the kitchen awhile back?  This is the first "real life" example I've seen since the magazine image I shared; and I have to say that I'm completely sold on the idea.  Framed, original art in the kitchen definitely adds warmth and personality to a room full of lots of cool tones.  


J'adore the marble backsplash (swoon!) and the little tray of essentials (I love that a tomato made the cut) and the cozy, sisal runner.  Have I mentioned I'm very much a fan of hardwood in the kitchen?  And that butcher block countertop is causing me to change my mind about the material as a counter top material.  It looks pretty amazing in real life. 



A stunning countertop vignette featuring the simplest of things--a couple of onions, a few pieces of fruit and silver spoons.  Don't you think it's pretty how she places ordinary objects/food in vases to dress them up a bit?



Lots of windows and light make this galley-style kitchen very bright and cheery.



Family photos sweetly displayed in a place they can be viewed daily alongside a delicate tea cup which serves as a catcher for the window cord dangling from the roman shade.  Isn't that a clever idea?  You could really have fun with this one.


A catch-all basket strategically placed next to the backdoor and another teacup/cord catcher.  The beautiful autumn leaves in the background should be given some attention as well :)  Isn't that a pretty tree?  I think it might've been a Japanese maple...they are the prettiest trees come Autumn. 


Feel free to peek at other "real life homes"--they are all very different from each other style-wise, but all fantastic:

Real Life Home No.11 - Rubyellen - (flea market finds with a French flair)
Real Life Home No.10 - Julie (elegant whites + reclaimed materials)
Real Life Home No. 9 - Petra (living in a tower w/kids)
Real Life Home No. 8 - Kayce (southern + sweet)
Real Life Home No. 7 - Sara (colorful + eclectic)
Real Life Home No. 6 - Amy (calming neutrals)
Real Life Home No. 5 - Lynne (whimsy + details)
Real Life Home No. 4 - Emily (whites + woods)
Real Life Home No. 3 - Kirsten (clean + textural)
Real Life Home No. 2 - Maria (white kitchen love)
Real Life Home No. 1 - Cherilee (mid-century modern)

images by Stephanie Brubaker for stephmodo

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