An awesomely eclectic home, courtesy of Etsy, Craigslist, garage sales and The Mine

  • Hayley Francis, Trend & Design manager for the online furnishings company The Mine, filled her own Craftsman home with an eclectic mix of family heirlooms, vintage pieces and online finds. Steve Ringman

  • Francis holds a treasured 1968 issue of House & Garden magazine, featuring her grandmother’s Minnesota home, where her mother grew up. “She was an interior designer; that’s where I got my skills. My grandmother was big on interior design, too.” Steve Ringman

  • Hayley Francis (shown below) “worked the room” around the Louis XV sofa at left, a splurge from Pacific Galleries in Sodo. “I started with the sofa; I wanted it to be eclectic,” she says. The safavieh sheepskin rug and leather swing chair are from The Mine; “The chair adds midcentury feel with vintage glam,” she says. Steve Ringman

  • The white fireplace is original to Hayley Francis’ 1922 Craftsman home. The wooden vase on the mantel is from The Mine; it’s filled with arrows Francis found at a garage sale. The coffee table is from West Elm, and the vintage Moroccan rug is from Loom + Field. “I like flat and heavier weaves,” Francis says. “As I got deeper, I learned (the weavers) are from the Atlas Mountains. I bought two rugs from them.” Steve Ringman

  • Francis brought the vintage table at left, with her when she moved in (it’s paired with Stilnovo rattan chairs from The Mine), but finding this exact shade of green for the kitchen took some intense Pinterest research. “I always had a dream of this color: Caribbean green, mint or sea foam,” she says. The winner: Benjamin Moore Southfield Green.

  • “I was very excited for this wallpaper (Palm Jungle, by Cole & Son),” says Hayley Francis. “I looked on Pinterest and got a sample. It serves as art and makes me happy. I wanted happy but minimal.” Steve Ringman

  • Francis planned her office/closet in e-design. “It was done with The Mine in mind,” she says — source of the Currey & Company chandelier, the Two’s Company hanging rattan chair and the chest by Interlude. A West Elm desk rests atop a vintage rug from Etsy. Francis ordered the coppery clothing racks from LittleDeerInteriors on Etsy and had them customized. “They’re two separate ones; on the sides are ladders to hang my stuff.” Steve Ringman

  • “I try to stay away from only sticking to trends,” says Hayley Francis. “You can insert trends without going overboard. Leather pulls are trendy (these, on the kitchen cabinets, are from Etsy). I love how it turned out.” Steve Ringman

  • Hayley Francis sits at a vintage table under a vintage chandelier from craigslist. Originally, a chandelier dangled between the living and dining areas, but Francis “moved it to make it feel like two rooms.” The rattan chairs, from The Mine, “will be relevant for a long time,” she says. “They give a more modern feel to shabby-chic.” Steve Ringman

The Seattle Times
Published: 1/18/2019 9:00:12 AM

Granted, Hayley Francis holds a couple practical advantages over the rest of us run-of-the-mill do-it-our-selves-ers. Professionally, Francis is the Trend & Design manager of The Mine, a Kirkland, Washington-based online home-furnishing company with an uncanny knack for ... well ... trends and design. It’s fair to assume she is rather plugged-in to cool things.

Genetically, her mother, Laurie Francis, was a professional interior designer whose own mother also was "big on interior design," Francis says. So it's also fair to assume she has a natural way with cool things. But still, Francis' enchantingly eclectic style is all hers — as is the total DIY decor of her fabulous 1922 Craftsman home in Seattle's Roosevelt neighborhood. She has spent three years (and more than 100 hours on Etsy alone) curating a clever combination of treasures old and new. All told, it's an 1,800-square-foot living lesson in online decor shopping — and Francis is the best professor ever: She gives us the answers. Cue the Qs!

Q: Where do you even start?

A: I bought the house in August 2014. It was pretty much finished; the floors and kitchen were done. My goal was that I always wanted a black-and-white tile kitchen, so the fact that I found one with it in my price range was pure luck. I painted it white, and the cabinets, before I moved in — one of the first things. I painted the walls white (they were gray). Gray made you feel locked in. When I got here, I had the bar; dining table; and the little mini-chair from my mom, who would smoke her cigarettes by the fire in a little chair.

Figure out where you'll spend most of the time, and start there. I knew it'd be the living room, with the fireplace and TV, so I bought the sofa first.

Q: How much planning should you do before shopping online?

A: (For the kitchen cabinets and trim) I got a bunch of swatches — really bright green — and went on Pinterest. I really started researching. I knew the vision in my head. Paint is really hard. Between buying my sofa and moving in, I had been sketching out a plan and dimensions. I knew where the pieces would go. I do e-design on a computer. I'll lay out a space (The Mine has 3-D products I can look at online) based on dimensions on an e-design board. My office/closet room is the exact same as the e-design. I would advise having a focal point. You'll buy things you like and not know what to do with them.

Q: How do you focus on a focal point?

A: You could do it with a rug; I used rugs to make my house feel cohesive. I knew my color palette: salmon pinks and greens and white. Some say it's always a sofa or something specific, but that's not true. You have to keep your dimensions in check, but otherwise, whatever you want can be a focal piece. (In the master bedroom) I started from scratch. The first thing was the wallpaper; that was the focal piece. I did an e-design board, and also just kinda had it in my head.

Q: How do you pick out pieces without touching them?

A: I had to take a risk. For one rug, I stared at it for months and got it down to $300. I knew it was flat-weave, so I said, "This is how I'm interpreting the color." Always email. Online, there's so much more. You can't touch or feel it, but you can research it. I'm a researcher.

Q: How do you work with an online seller to customize a piece?

A: It depends on the vendor. The Mine has hundreds, but they're not all custom. If you see a piece with four weeks or up of lead time, it's probably made to order. It's reasonable to ask. A lot can't be customized, but it's always worth an ask. Ask to tailor it to your space. Taylor Burke Home does made-to-order, in different colors. Oftentimes, there's no change (in price) unless it's larger.

Q: How can you tell whether an online seller is reputable?

A: Reviews, and if it's nonreturnable, don't do it. I return things quite a bit. Only order from places that will return, with a shipping label and pickup schedule.

Q: Any other unexpected advantages to doing so much online?

A: I don't like to shop physically, even though I have a fashion blog (Neon Doves). I like to find things nobody else has. What's also cool online as a customer: I'm 5 feet 2 and live on my own. I can't carry big things upstairs. I can order it assembled or installed: one-stop shopping.

Q: How do you pace yourself when there's so much room to fill, and so much to buy?

A: You have to take your time, or you'll have regrets. Trust yourself. It's better to buy something you're going to keep. I also took my time for financial reasons. If you can't afford it, wait and do it right.

Q: So ... are you done?

A: It gets very addicting. But I'm done. Well ... I would like to redo the bathroom. I like to think I will, eventually.

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