The million-dollar design question…

Nestled into a private cove on Shaw Island in the San Juan Islands, our clients acquired a funky, vintage lodge filled with crazy collections, stories and possibly even ghostly spirits.


Kym and I were recently invited up to spend a weekend there to discuss a possible design and remodeling plan for this property. We later found out our clients were a little hesitant and unsure how their interior designers were going to react to their eccentric home where every single possible design rule has been thrown out the window.


The main collections are authentic totems and Native American art, all things maritime with an emphasis towards luxury cruise liners, and then a wing filled with treasures from the Orient.

Our clients say the theme is “understated is overrated” and, in this case, we couldn’t agree more!


As certified Design Psychology coaches, we encourage people to create and live authentically in their homes by surrounding themselves with their favorite things and memories.

But what happens when those “favorite” things don’t go together? What happens if you want to thin out your collection a bit? What do you keep, what do you let go of? Or, what happens when repairs and TLC are needed but replacements are no longer available?

We can help answer the million-dollar question…
is it time to CHERISH or is it time to CHANGE?


Our clients tell us they don’t feel like homeowners as much as they feel like curators of a vast collection. This home and nearly all of the contents were lovingly passed on to our clients. It serves as a legacy to the amazing couple that spent nearly 40 years hunting and gathering the amazing collections that adorn this home.


You can’t help but thinking this island home is the “life of the party.” Dressed outrageously with midcentury modern furniture, several sets of fine china and over 30 country and 12 state flags to greet visitors on their private dock. The home also boasts a vast collection of fine scotch that looks like it should be on the set of Mad Men.

Somehow, it not only works but it FEELS GOOD to be there.

This is the “Auntie Mame” of properties and needs to be CHERISHED. We all agree that the restoration and remodel of this home needs to be done without disturbing the amazing character of this property.