Designer Wendy Cossette believes that homes should be reflections of the people who live there.
"They should be unique and personal places of refuge," says Cossette, a designer certified by the Council for Interior Design Qualification with more than 25 years in the industry. "Optimally, they should be spaces that renew and recharge us, where memories are made — in short, sanctuaries."
Her sanctuary is the cozy living room in her Moran Prairie home with floor-to-ceiling, arched windows. From there, she can see a small farm parcel with an old red barn, along with views of Browne's Mountain and her nearby garden.
Two guiding principles informed the design: playing with verticality and nostalgia.
"I strive for every room in our home to remind me of memorable experiences and people I love and in this space there are photos of our kiddos as well as my mother and mother-in-law as young girls and items we have brought back with us from trips, like the ceramic cat from Mexico — again something one of a kind," Cossette says.
To emphasize the room's verticality, Cossette hand-painted the design around the ceiling perimeter and also incorporates objects to draw the eye upward.
"The over-scale pot on the case piece behind the sofa — filled with curly willow — is an item I spied from my car window in a shop in Newport, Washington, while driving to Priest Lake," says Cossette, who describes her style as transitional and eclectic.
"It is all about the mix to me," says Cossette. An Iranian rug, for example, coexists with a more modern pendant from Tech Lighting. "I find the tension created between pieces like the distressed mirror table with the organic wood piece nestled underneath very dynamic," Cossette says.
She has an eye for pieces with potential. At an antique store, she picked up a dilapidated occasional table, coated with yellow paint. Restoring it included adding silver leaf — a technique she taught herself. Now it is a unique feature in the room.
Restoration of a different sort was the goal in Cossette's work on the Spokane's American Legion Building, which earned the 2005 Valerie Sivinski Award for Outstanding Achievement in Historical Rehabilitation. Cossette also worked with the Legion Building's owners, SDS Realty, to renovate the historic Senator Clarence Dill home, called Cliff Aerie, at 708 W. Cliff Dr. on Spokane's South Hill.
Her recent work focuses on commercial and residential projects, including remodels.
"I have to say, kitchen and baths are my favorite projects," says Cossette. "Every inch is important and function is paramount while the surfacing materials and products available for these spaces are so engaging to work with and new products being introduced regularly."