When we first saw Sean and Dea Gallinger’s 1950's ranch home, we were struck by the number of DIY projects everywhere…that weren’t quite finished. They had started each one with gusto but then - as what happens to so many of us - decision paralysis sets in (and life with little kids!) and as a result, some of the walls were opened up, the flooring was incongruent and the home’s bones looked like a compilation of various construction projects that had been added upon over time.
After getting to know them better, it was also clear that their distinctly different design tastes - Dea prefers super minimal, sleek and modern while Sean likes a more industrial vibe with metals and raw wood - was another factor in the perpetually in-progress but yet-to-be-completed home projects.To create their blended design vision, we started with Dea - whose design ethos felt crisp, clean and refined. She didn’t want clunky hardware, much color or any fluff. She wanted it, as we defined it, STARK. The Oxford definition of stark is “ bare by appearance” and we loved the restraint that the word put around our vision for the home’s design. In a Stark home, every design decision matters a lot, since it’s not clouded by clutter or a busy palette. Stark meets you at face value from the moment you see it, and there is beauty in its simplicity.
Sean’s opposite taste, one that combines industrial elements with a desire for functionality and technology, brought us to draw inspiration from STEAM PUNK. From a design POV, the aesthetic draws from what is defined as “19th century steam powered machinery and an imagined retro-futuristic perspective of Victorian fashion, culture and machinery”. In today’s design terms, it’s applied in a way that uses utilitarian objects as decoration, with lots of metal, dark wood and leather finishes. Welcome to our concept for this home: Stark Punk.
For this project, we focused on 1) transforming their main living room spaces from disjointed areas into one wide open concept; 2) completely overhauling their kitchen; 3) turning an old carport into an outdoor lounge area and dining space. For the materials and palette, we used the stark juxtaposition of white and black as the primary palette throughout, then peppered in three types of wood - white oak and walnut for cabinetry with a third, shou sugi ban’d red oak, as an island backsplash detail. Finally we choose copper and black steel as our metals to weave in sparingly throughout.