There are those for whom interior design is all about the thrill of the kill. The hunt for the perfect table, chair, sofa, rug. And then the gathering of those pieces to create for themselves surroundings unique and most personal.
It’s like that for Bob and Vickie Maloney.
“This French mirrored armoire? It’s our coat closet,” Vickie said, rushing over to give it an appreciative pat for years of service. “Oh, and the day bed? We got that at a garage sale. Can you believe it?”
Bob’s an architect, and Vickie, as she says, dabbles in interior design. Their condominium in downtown Seattle is a cornucopia of treasures plucked from secondhand troves, consignment stores, garage sales and antique shops.
“We never go to furniture stores,” said Bob. “We go to junk stores.” He says that with the highest regard.
The Maloneys raised their kids in a house of Bob’s design on Bainbridge Island. He commuted to the office every day in Seattle. When the kids went off to the University of Washington, the couple went to town, moving into their condo in 2005 (Bob’s office is three floors up).
Bob and Vickie love to make a thing their own. They gutted the 875-square-foot condo (which they bought in its original 1983 condition) and changed the flow: opening the kitchen, moving a wall, creating a master suite and adding a bathroom/laundry/storage where there had been a coat closet (thus the armoire). The result added 500 precious square feet of usable space.
Bob prefers surfaces that are monochromatic. Inside are warm French limestone tile floors, Venetian plaster walls, backsplash stone in a soft onyx, reclaimed-oak cabinetry and kitchen island.
Vickie likes a little more splash. She gets that in walls of art by Sylvain Klaus, Carl Rowe, Aaron Burgess, Alden Mason, some of them friends from Vickie’s time as assistant director of the Henry Art Gallery.
The couple got themselves a pretty good case of consignment-itis about 15 years ago when a consignment shop was near Bob’s office. It became a stop on daily walks.
“We got this sofa there,” Bob said, patting the Bauhaus original from Germany, 1930. “We couldn’t find anything anywhere with a clean line and as well made as this.”
“And the dining table, the fabric on the day bed, we got that there, too,” said Vickie.