High-speed design

Home decor tips from Lara and John Tusher
of Seattle's Velocity

In the fast-paced world of contemporary home furnishings, Velocity Art and Design is aptly named. Part website, part Belltown storefront, it's the brainchild of design connoisseurs Lara and John Tusher, who have a knack for spotting new talent and trends. Their carefully edited and constantly evolving space is a lesson in pairing modern furniture with affordable contemporary art.

Sunset asked the Tushers to explain their approach to interior design.

What trends dominate?
The clean look. While pure minimalism is too extreme for most tastes and lifestyles, a moderate approach to minimalism is influencing all kinds of decor, from country to cottage to city condo. This trend is toward clean lines, uncluttered space, and the occasional unadorned surface where the eye can rest.

It is always in style and always livable. Then there's rustic modernism- also known as organic modernism, rustic chic, or woodland whimsy. Whatever you call it, the trend of organic shapes and textures inspired by nature-but with a witty modern twist-is a trend with legs. It's especially well suited to the West.

How do you make a piece your own and avoid a showroom look?
Being true to a home's architecture is a nice rule of thumb, but keep things interesting by bringing in a few pieces from another style. Having a Louis XV chair sitting next to your Eames wire side table-that's where it gets hot.

One of our clients bought a child's chalkboard table as a coffee table- perfect for jotting down phone numbers, and she fills the center well with ice and drinks when entertaining. In the end it's about having fun with your interior. If you don't like the result, you can always rearrange things!

INFO: Velocity Art and Design (11-6 Thu-Sat and by appointment; 2118 Second Ave., Seattle; www.velocityartanddesign.comor 866/781-9494)

Style advice from the Tushers 

Four vignettes from the Velocity showroom illustrate the Tushers' approach to interior design and show imaginative ways to combine objects. The goal is to give a room personality.