Like Father, Like SonAuthor:Lindsey Shook
It was inevitable that rug designer Erik Lindstrom of Lindstrom Rugs was destined to live in Venice, in a home of his own design. After all, he grew up on Seattle’s Bainbridge Island in an AIA award-winning home built by his architect father. Design—and the ocean—are in his blood (his Danish great- great-grandparents were sail makers). “I need to be close to water even if I don’t see it,” he says, “It helps keep me sane.” And it was an empty lot on a quiet street in the seaside enclave that provided the perfect canvas for his dream home. Lindstrom turned to Minarc, whose work he’d discovered during a Dwell on Design home tour, to bring the architecture to life. “I interviewed a few other people and not only did they feel like the right fit, they were also willing to relinquish some of the creative control,” he says, admitting that “I knew, given my background, I was going to push back a lot.”
The 30-by-40-foot, three-story home he created, in conjunction with the architects and interior designer Lisa Strong, is a miracle of modern space planning. “It was a real jigsaw puzzle. When you don’t have a big footprint you really have to be diplomatic about how you arrange the space,” he explains. For Lindstrom, flow was key. A roof deck with clear glass railing sets up this area as an open-air space adjacent to the public rooms and is equipped with a dining table, a barbecue, a fridge, a firepit and a concrete ping-pong table by furniture designer James de Wulf. “There’s not a lot of homes in Venice that are this tall. On a clear day you can see the Hollywood sign and up to Malibu,” Lindstrom explains.
Just beneath this level, the living room, dining room and kitchen offer another setting for the frequent dinner parties around which Lindstrom’s social life revolves. “I love to entertain, so having a big kitchen was important.” Pale gray cabinetry by Poliform is enhanced by two pieces of dramatic Rosso Levanto marble. The swirling Italian stone finds its echo in the book-matched Laguna rugs in the living and dining rooms, from Lindstrom’s Geode collection. A fireplace wall, designed by Mike Danielson Studio, clad in reclaimed steel plates found at shipyards then finished in antique nickel, acts as a subtle divider between the two rooms. Its large hearth provides additional seating.
Also on Lindstrom’s list of must-haves: two bedrooms, in addition to a master suite, with one full-time guest room and a flex space that also acts as Lindstrom’s home office. Vying with the kitchen as Lindstrom’s favorite space to hang out in, it’s a temple to his creative evolution, from a print of Joan Miro’s Equinox drawing—“It’s the first piece of art I remember seeing as a child”—to another of his rugs, this one from his Inkblot collection.
“I’m a homebody,” says Lindstrom. “I wanted a house that I loved being in and that was a nest for the family I hope to have someday.” For now, until the wife and children come along, “the house is a museum of my personal interests.” His love of art, travel and family is reflected in every inch of the small home: The dining room table was designed by his father to complement Marcel Breuer’s classic Cesca chairs. Paintings of his Danish great-great-grandparents in new gold and velvet frames hang nearby. In the living room, B&B Italia’s Tufty-Too sofa, designed by Patricia Urquiola, keeps company with a snowy owl his father won in a bet, vintage Italian chandeliers discovered at Obsolete in Culver City, the collector’s edition of Annie Leibovitz’s work on its Marc Newson stand, and a painting by Lindstrom’s uncle, William Ingham, a prominent Northwest painter. Even this floor’s guest bathroom reflects Lindstrom’s passion for collecting; lined with nude studies of reclining females, it’s affectionately known as “the Lady’s Room.” “If you do it artistically, you can have a lot of things,” he explains, “They just have to be organized.”
Urquiola’s Tufty-Bed anchors the master bedroom. “A lot of people would’ve put this room on the top floor because of the view. But since you’re generally sleeping here, I flipped it,” Lindstrom explains of his decision to drop the room to a lower floor. Still, when Lindstrom opens his eyes, he’s surrounded by his treasures: there’s the wall of portraits of his family in the immaculate walk-in closet; pieces including the dreamcatcher made by Alicia Drake, the meditation pillow by Alex McAfee and the adjacent bathroom’s onyx-covered shower; and a pair of ram’s horn candlesticks discovered on a trip to Uruguay.
“Everything tells a story,” he says, adding, “There’s only so much to talk about in a minimal home.” Look around. This home tells a tale of rich life, well-lived and well-loved.