Ann Lundquist is not a fan of trends. Take one step into her Medina home and it’s obvious. Eschewing the gray, brown and sage-green color palettes often found in the Northwest, she prefers warm creams and whites with pops of red, pink and yellow. Her décor relies heavily on Old World antiques and fresh flowers, and even the structure is distinct, modeled after a Belgium stripped-down style that holds symmetry, clean lines, minimal features (there’s no molding) and garden access in the highest regard.
“We built this home 15 years ago. It was a really fun process,” says Lundquist, an interior designer and Washington native. And every last detail of the house is meaningful to her. She drew the floor plan herself and says the best part of the process was that she was able to focus on exactly what was most important to her—creating a home perfect for entertaining and brimming with charm.
“I absolutely love having people over to my house. Setting up a nice little bar, having laughter in the house, lighting candles, and taking care of people in a really relaxed way—that is my heaven,” Lundquist says.
The way she designed it, every room in the house can be used to entertain. “I really wanted a big welcoming entry for that reason. We’ve even put a long table in there before,” she says.
Once she had a good footprint, she added layers of furniture with beautiful fabrics, antique tables and mirrors mixed with modern art. It’s a collected look that she’s curated throughout the years.
“One thing I tell residential clients is to try and have a little more patience with the process. Take the time to find your unique perspective on your home,” she says. “I encourage people to create their own little world.”
Of course, her other big piece of advice is to think outside the box.
“I challenge my clients to push against the trends. Make sure what you’re putting in place—modern or traditional—can really stand the test of time,” she says. “Pick timeless pieces with maybe one quirky light fixture.”
While she relies on certain principles of design, Lundquist says the look and feel of her own home isn’t necessarily for everyone. When she’s working with clients, she doesn’t impress her style upon their homes. The basement of the house was designed to be her studio, which is filled to the brim with fabric swatches, design books and plenty of inspiration.
“Everyone has a unique point of view or taste, and I can help hone that. I’m not here to put my stamp on it. I’m here to express your vision and prevent you from making mistakes—it’s so common and expensive to make mistakes,” she says.
Lundquist has acquired tricks and tips to avoid making those mistakes over the decades she’s been in business as an interior designer.
“When people are trying to figure out what they like, I suggest playing with putting a piece of art in your home that is slightly outside your comfort zone—but resonates with you. And then work around that piece, building a little bit of a collected look with a few antiques. Even if you prefer mostly modern, and I love to design modern homes, it’s really nice to have a yin and yang of old and new,” she says. “Have some reference point to the past.”
Ann's Entertainment Tips:
On ambiance: “I definitely use a lot of candles. I also make it a point to turn on lamps all over the house; that way, people don’t feel restricted to just one part of the house. And I have dimmers on everything, even exterior light.”
On the basics: “It takes time to build up to it, but having the equipment makes entertaining easy. Have enough plates, platters, table settings, big bowls for salads. Have enough chairs. I have a bunch of folding chairs from Cost Plus, and I use them all the time.”
On the food: “I don’t think people expect insanely complicated food. I do a bunch of salads and cook-ahead dishes, and then maybe make one hot thing fresh out of the oven.”
On being hostess: “I’m a huge proponent of mastering the art of imperfection. I entertain with that in mind, and I’m very relaxed about it.”
On entertaining more: “I think sometimes people don’t think their house is finished enough to show it, but I really encourage people to not overthink entertaining because when you have people over you swirl around and freshen it up, maybe bring in fresh flowers. And it looks better after a couple of hours.”
On her favorite type of event: “What I really like is the random dinner party. People don’t expect it to be lavish. It can be simple.”
→ For more information about Lundquist and her services, please visit annlundquistdesign.com.