Shoptalk - Christian Grevstad

How did your first brush with the power of nature as an 11-year-old on a commercial Alaskan fishing boat morph into an award-winning interior design career?

The immense, wild beauty of the Alaskan territory was so profound that my next quest was to see more of the world. These experiences motivated me to find fulfillment studying fine arts and architecture, paving the way to my interior design career. Early on in my career I was fortunate to work with notable architectural firms where my design projects took me back to Europe and abroad. In 1989, I opened my design firm Christian Grevstad in downtown Seattle.

What has influenced you the most regarding your ability to weave interior design and architectural interiors into one complete whole?

The observation of the project setting and a desire to create a harmonious integration of the interior and exterior that’s cohesive with nature’s surroundings. This study is essential in both extravagant and humble dwellings past and present. Working side-by-side with several creative and highly respected architects and craftsmen coupled with the trust and confidence of my clients. Holding in high esteem all involved in that process is essential.

How does your familiarity with Southern France, its ambiance, textures, and style imbue your unique flare for design?

There is a romantic, classical, and yet very real organic and honest edge to the overall qualities and ambience of that area. There is a distinguishable light and atmospheric quality that charges all the senses, especially the visual ones.

What are some of the design elements that are crucial to the Grevstad design practice?

Almost always, woods and metals, singularly or in tandem. Adding an honest and organic component. Careful attention to color, scale, and proportion as it relates to the architecture and all other elements seen in a well-executed and comforting interior space. Lighting, natural and artificial, is paramount to the successful execution of any project. A studied application of texture to provide definition of all surfaces, wood, metal, textiles, floor, rugs, window treatment, art, sculpture, and accessories.

Tell us about the Christian Grevstad Collection Ltd. textile and furnishings lines represented in showrooms around the world.

My line of furnishings and textiles epitomizes the values and sensibilities that have driven my design perspective for decades, utilizing sources of the highest quality natural materials. All our textiles are hand-woven in the Pacific Northwest. Everything we produce consists of the finest fibers, expertly woven by accomplished artisans.

What makes your ability to work with such a talented team unique?

We, like most successful teams, are devoted, dedicated, diligent, respectful, communicative, and genuinely like each other. We work hard but rarely is there a day without a good belly laugh!

What extra steps do you take to make your interior design reflect the needs of your clientele?

I think that what we do is very intuitive, without formula or roadmap. We are keen and sensitive observers. There are meetings and communications at all levels, but we watch, observe, listen, and look for all messages— rarely missing a single one.

Are there common themes that distinguish your work?

There is restraint with an edge. Working consistently with a team of disciplines assures greater continuity, and a common theme. We forego an abundance of color – a splash here and there in either art, accessories or somewhere unexpected. I am very sensitive to color hue, value, and its impact on the overall aesthetic, applying it with great regard and care.