We had the chance to talk with Sally Julien of Modernous, who’s stunning interior design and home staging projects help to accentuate the architecture of modern and mid-century homes in Seattle and Palm Springs. With a fresh sense of style, Modernous interiors come alive through the bold use of colors, textures, and sophisticated home furnishings and décor.
Please tell us a little bit about your background and how your company got started.
I jokingly call myself a refugee from corporate America. I spent more than 20 years doing high-tech corporate PR for major global brands. While it was fulfilling and kept me busy, I always had a desire to do something a bit more directly creative. I remodeled two houses over the course of a few years for my partner and I, and in that found my calling. Both houses were featured in magazines and friends kept telling me I should do this for a living. Through that, Modernous was born.
What services does Modernous offer?
Modernous works with clients in the Seattle area, as well as Palm Springs to create beautiful, livable spaces. Services include home staging (Seattle-region only) and interior design. We specialize in modern design, including the mid-century modern genre, integrating a variety of modern ideals into a cohesive design, since the essence of modern design remains constant throughout the decades.
What is it that you love about modern design?
For me, modern design has a calmness about it. It allows me to relax and quiets my mind. I don’t believe that it has to be stark, or beige, or grey (some of the stereotypes people have). I like a bit of whimsy and fun colors, but generally clean lines and uncluttered spaces. I like everything in the room to have a purpose. “Because I like it” is never enough for me to add something to my home. It has to add to the overall feeling I’m trying to create. Or something else has to go!
What are some of the benefits of staging a modern home with modern and mid century furnishings and décor?
Personally, I think you can stage most houses with modern furnishings and decor. One of my favorite projects was a 1900’s farmhouse we staged using our modern inventory. But to answer your question more specifically, I do think a lot of young buyers today are looking for the modern look. There is a simplicity to it. The tiny house trend lends itself to that clean design, and the mid-century “trend” (as much as I hate to call it that because I’ve been living with it since the mid-90s!) is still going strong. I think staging with more modern furnishings helps a buyer envision how a house from any era can be tastefully reimagined. The simplicity and clean lines also help most spaces look larger.
What are the major differences between modern interior design styles in Seattle and Palm Springs?
There are vast differences! I start by looking at the work of the architects from the period in the areas. While the theories were the same (post and beam, large overhangs, blending indoor and outdoor) the climates dictated very different things from the ground up, all the way to the finishes and furniture. The Pacific Northwest lends itself to a more organic style. I think of teak and walnut, more of the Danish look, with greens, deeper oranges, browns. While there are certainly exceptions, our weather is at odds with white tile floors and other things that are totally at home in Palm Springs. The houses there are frequently vacation houses, but even when they are not, there is a whimsy and an embrace of bold, bright colors. An all white space with pops of color looks right at home in Palm Springs. In Seattle that would feel cold and stark. Maybe literally! The fundamentals of room layout and that type of thing remain the same, of course, but for finishes and colors, as well as materials, the two geographies offer a lot of design diversity.