A Design Chat | Home + Garden

A Design Chat | Home + Garden

MN’s interior design team looks at samples. Left to right: Chloe Martinkus, Belinda Leppa, Elizabeth Wenning, Kerby Kanaly, and Hannah Schaening.

This year, 425 will showcase two Northwest Idea Houses, built and designed by MN Custom Homes in Bellevue. We asked the designers to share some of the highlights that readers can expect when they tour the homes later this year, and see both showcased in a future issue of 425. Here’s what they shared.



When designing a home, I strive to create luxury through experience, focusing on making the home not just beautiful, but just as importantly, comfortable and functional for the family who lives there. MN has included some user-friendly smart appliances, including a pizza oven, that are all connected to the phone. Custom organization, playful use of color, and details with a bespoke and considered feel are found throughout the house, which are all top trends of 2022.

I was inspired by this wallpaper created in the 1890s by legendary artist and textile designer William Morris. Morris was inspired by a Persian carpet, and the florals are classic, fitting perfectly in our transitional style home. Little pops of terracotta and warm grays are used in other areas of the home to create a through-line color story.

Interior wall paint always is the last finish selected because it can affect the feeling of the room and ties together materials throughout the home. Because we wanted to have bold statements, we needed a palate cleanser for the open concept rooms of the home, which is why white walls are such a popular trend right now. It allows the client to have a crisp base color and add or change the personality of the room with less permanent accents, such as art, rugs, and lighting. Neutral textures create an inviting and sophisticated space, while adding playful pops of color to create energy and a bit of fun.

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Select material samples for MN’s Northwest Idea House “Robinswood Transitional Sophistication.”

We all know the kitchen is the heart of the home, so naturally we want it to be special. For this home, we were inspired by the meticulously handcrafted range hood that anchors the space and is paired with gorgeous, statement-making quartz slabs. It’s bold and attention-grabbing.

Other rooms, like the dining room’s two-tone mink gray walls, or the den’s soothing green millwork, nods to more traditional homes because it individualizes those rooms and creates a special moment.

Clyde Hill


The overarching theme behind this home is tranquility surrounded by modern luxury. As we spend much more time at home these days, surrounding ourselves with elements that nourish the mind, body, and spirit — to create a harmonious environment — is more important than ever. I believe that what we surround ourselves with what nourishes us in the same way that food does, therefore, creating a tranquil environment supports our wellbeing and evokes a feeling of calm.

Playing with pattern in new ways is how I love to keep designs relevant and fresh. For this design, I took inspiration from Kintsugi Japanese art, which is ultimately a metaphor for embracing one’s imperfections and finding the beauty within. The lines are interesting and thought-provoking and create a story throughout the home, while connecting the spaces in a relatable way.

The color palette is familiar, with neutral hues of white, warm gray, blue, and charcoal. This creates a harmony and balance between each other and their environments.

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Select material samples for MN’s Northwest Idea House “Clyde Hill Modern Tranquility.”

Modern opposing textural finishes are incorporated with the cabinets and wallpaper such as smooth white gloss and wood-grained textures.

Hardware is minimal with tones of luxe onyx and stainless steel that allow the larger design elements to become the focus.

Both Northwest Idea Houses are scheduled for a fall 2022 completion. Stay tuned for more updates, and follow along with MN Custom Homes for additional Idea House content.