Interior designer Barbara Hyde Evans outfits the entire second floor of her Capitol Hill home with inspired choices.
YOU REALLY SHOULDN’T ignore a genuine light-bulb moment — that “Eureka!” shriek of insight and vision, a gift of rare inspiration. And when that moment materializes in the form of two black-and-white lamps, which actually hold light bulbs … well. That is about as literal a nudge as you’re going to get.
Interior designer Barbara Hyde Evans (Hyde Evans Design) embraced the illuminating lamps and the moment — and now, the second-story addition of her classic Capitol Hill home is decked out in striking black and white: wallpaper (on walls and ceilings), paint, upholstery, trim, draperies, linens, rugs, tiles and (of course) light fixtures.
“It started with those darn lamps — the style, the polka dots, pretty traditional,” Hyde Evans says. “I found them in Palm Springs at an antiques store and fell in love. I brought those home and thought I’d do the whole room around them.”
Or, you know — maybe the whole floor.
Most Read Stories
- Rebound with redemption: Huskies come back to beat Utah behind the unlikeliest of heroes
- Kickoff time, TV info announced for 110th Apple Cup
- Parents, adult son believed dead in Sammamish murder-suicide
- Anthony Bourdain brought 'Parts Unknown' to Seattle — here's where he ate
- Huskies won't repeat as Pac-12 champs, but their consolation prize? The game of the year
The upper level of her 1910 home, which she shares with her partner, John, had been just two small dormer bedrooms and a bath, Hyde Evans says, before architect Herschel Parnes “took the top front off of it and bumped it out and up.” It’s now a roomy, light-filled, view-capturing living space, with a master suite/office, a bedroom for her grown son, a guest bath and laundry.
And one overarching color scheme.
“I love contrast. I put it in everybody’s home, too,” Hyde Evans says of her clients. “You start with black and white or charcoal and cream and fill in other colors. This one, I thought: ‘Hell; do it all out.’ ”
“All out” leaves openings for just one single, purposeful splash of color per room, she says: “The smaller the color, the more it pops.”
So in the master bedroom, where those original-inspiration lamps flank a four-poster bed (once gold-tinged, now painted solid black), a can’t-miss casual green throw waves hello, as does the red-rose square pillow on a chair in the adjoining office. In the master bathroom, under a raised, wallpapered ceiling housing two hollowed-out light-fixtures-turned-skylights, silvery nickel fixtures used to pop with metallic confidence — until they turned on Hyde Evans.
“The bathroom had been all nickel everywhere,” she says. “It turns out I had an allergy, and I didn’t know that. I had to change out all the fixtures. Now I warn people.”
Clients’ projects come together on the lower level of Hyde Evans’ home, where she and six employees work — but it’s a brand-new challenge, she says, when you’re designing all your own cabinetry, built-ins, walk-in closets, surfaces, trim and décor.
“It’s the hardest thing in the whole wide world,” she says. “It was a new space. It’s easier to walk in with new eyes. In a space you’re living with, it’s hard to have new eyes. With a client, it’s fresh and new. I do a stylebook with them to know who they are. I know myself a little too well. I like every style. To get one to narrow down, I try to design to the house as much as possible, with a juxtaposition of modern elements thrown in.”
So in the bedroom, she says, a “recently added modern bench adds a more transitional look,” bracketed historically and aesthetically by an antique chandelier, a French nightstand, and trim that matches that around the downstairs living- and dining-room windows. In the office, an antique piece inspired the bookcases she designed; the chandelier and desk are actual antiques; and the six more-modern (and more-personal) framed pieces of art on the charcoal-gray wall are by her son, Sam Hyde Evans, now 26 (but only 10 or 12 when he created them). On the second-floor landing, Sam’s blown glass contemporizes an antique Demilune table and mirror, and a new “giant support beam” allows for 9½-foot ceilings here, just like downstairs.
It’s another inspired injection of continuity into an enlightened study of contrasts.