GRANTED, HAYLEY FRANCIS holds a couple practical advantages over the rest of us run-of-the-mill do-it-ourselves-ers.
Professionally, Francis is the Trend & Design manager of The Mine, a Kirkland-based online home-furnishing company with an uncanny knack for … well … trends and design. It’s fair to assume she is rather plugged-in to cool things.
Genetically, her mother, Laurie Francis, was a professional interior designer whose own mother also was “big on interior design,” Francis says. So it’s also fair to assume she has a natural way with cool things.
But still, Francis’ enchantingly eclectic style is all hers — as is the total DIY décor of her fabulous 1922 Craftsman home in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood. She has spent three years (and more than 100 hours on Etsy alone) curating a clever combination of treasures old and new.
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All told, it’s an 1,800-square-foot living lesson in online décor shopping — and Francis is the best professor ever: She gives us the answers. Cue the Qs!
Q: Ack! Where do you even start?
A: I bought the house in August 2014. It was pretty much finished; the floors and kitchen were done. My goal was that I always wanted a black-and-white tile kitchen, so the fact that I found one with it in my price range was pure luck. I painted it white, and the cabinets, before I moved in — one of the first things. I painted the walls white (they were gray). Gray made you feel locked in. Avoid gray in Seattle!
When I got here, I had the bar; dining table; and the little mini-chair from my mom, who would smoke her cigarettes by the fire in a little chair. Figure out where you’ll spend most of the time, and start there. I knew it’d be the living room, with the fireplace and TV, so I bought the sofa first.
Q: How much planning should you do before shopping online?
A: (For the kitchen cabinets and trim) I got a bunch of swatches — really bright green — and went on Pinterest. I really started researching. I knew the vision in my head. Paint is really hard.
Between buying my sofa and moving in, I had been sketching out a plan and dimensions. I knew where the pieces would go. I do e-design on a computer. I’ll lay out a space (The Mine has 3-D products I can look at online) based on dimensions on an e-design board. My office/closet room is the exact same as the e-design.
I would advise having a focal point. You’ll…