It was with great trepidation that Ashley and Vik Rajagopal decided to leave their traditional, but compact Tudor home in Queen Anne for this spacious 1930s home in Laurelhurst. “We almost didn’t buy the house,” says Ashley, “after seeing how the previous owners’ English furnishings looked so tiny in the cavernous rooms.”

When the family of five, with three rambunctious young boys, first moved into the house, their furnishings also looked “Lost in Space,” so to speak. Ashley knew she needed help. After Ashley saw Kat Lawton’s interior design work online and thought her design aesthetic matched her own, she hired her to redesign the enormous entry. Looking back today, she’s amazed at how little the inspirational images she first shared with Lawton resemble the beautifully layered look Lawton has since created. “Her work is so much better! She presented us with some recommendations that I simply never thought of before.”

Vik’s Indian heritage had instilled a love of vibrant colors, whereas Ashley was tending toward grays and whites. Lawton pulled together their divergent tastes to create a very layered, yet dramatic entry that leaves guests in awe as they step inside. Sherwin Williams Grays Harbor adds drama to the existing entry wainscoting, especially when drenched in light. The S. Harris Indigo Ubuntu wallpaper crowns the dramatic paint color while simultaneously echoing the West Elm bench fabric below. “It’s my favorite room in the house,” admits Ashley.

Lawton also transformed the big, unused area behind the staircase. Ashley imagined a reading nook. Lawton created a built-in bench with storage and added an iconic Knoll Saarinen Tulip Table with chairs for the boys’ homework station while attending “Mommy’s Academy” during Covid restrictions. Family photos that floated awkwardly on an empty wall became a focal point when Lawton designed graphic wainscoting to ground the collection.

“I love the collaboration between client and designer. Part of our job is to read between the lines to extract little details not necessarily talked about. It’s especially helpful when clients can explain how they anticipate living in a space and what’s currently lacking. Ashley’s perspective on how her boys could use the stair corner was tremendously helpful!”

Called back to transform the dining room, Lawton faced the triple task of working on a tight budget, creating drama, and finding dining room furnishings to fit the needs of both Vik’s 6'4" height and three young boys. Ashley sent Kat a photo of Le Coucou restaurant in New York City as an inspirational vibe. Remarkably, Kat delivered on all three challenges, including adding drama to a daily dining area, starting with Sherwin Williams Cyberspace paint. Lawton met budgetary concerns with a black and white wool weave rug from Splurges included Four Hands chairs from J Garner Home and “splashtacular” artwork from same. The Restoration Hardware table answered Vik’s comfort.

Lawton praises Ashley as a reliable collaborator in the process. “She was super trusting, which makes a designer’s job so much easier. And, despite working full-time and raising three boys, she was always motivated to do her part and get things done.” Perhaps it’s Vik who gives Lawton the greatest praise. Ashley says he can be found in the early morning hours, sitting in the living room, cup of coffee in hand, enjoying a moment of peace before the children arise – something he never did before Lawton transformed their home. Working with Kat was a fun experience for Vik and Ashley. “She brought together our unique differences in a creative and cohesive vision,” says Ashley.


Kat Lawton Interiors

J Garner Home / Four Hands

The Dixon Group / S. Harris

Seattle Design Center

Seattle Design Center Furnishings:
J Garner Home: Four Hands;
The Dixon Group: S. Harris;
Kravet; Kelly Forslund: Glant,
Zak + Fox, Samuel Sons;
DFG: J. Redmond & Pearson;
Susan Mills Showroom: Perennials