'Singles' Building Home to Lively Spirit
Saturday, May 6, 2006
Zaxxr Llewellyn picked his one-bedroom Seattle apartment for its mountain views, not its movie history.
But his building is unlikely to shake its past anytime soon. Fourteen years after the cult film "Singles" depicted Seattle's transformative grunge era and made 1820 E. Thomas St. famous, visitors still come by to snap pictures.
The fountain is gone, but the cozy courtyard is still haunted by long-haired Matt Dillon; spirited Bridget Fonda; and Kyra Sedgwick, giver of garage-door openers.
"It's part of Seattle history, especially its musical history," said Llewellyn, a 41-year-old furniture designer and artist. "It's kind of cool."
So what does a "Singles" apartment look like?
In Llewellyn's case, think a mid-size one-bedroom with wood floors, plenty of light and a nook where he displays 1950s-era Chrysler New Yorker hood ornaments. A small desk fits in the kitchen, which has linoleum floors, white countertops and worn cabinets.
But the decor is decidedly 21st century, not 1992, with a resident whose taste skews minimalist and mid-century modern.
The furniture designer's living room is peppered with objects he has made, such as a springy, clear plastic lounger; a coffee table made of salvaged steel, cherry and rosewood; and a bench made from reclaimed fir.
A mustard-colored Eames lounge chair and ottoman sit in a corner. An art nouveau table displays one picture -- a black-and-white photo of his great-great-grandmother.
The room is sparsely decorated and the television is relegated to the bedroom, but Llewellyn said his minimalistic approach works for him. He lives quietly, working from home at the tiny table in the kitchen, and reading in the living room or inviting friends to hang out.
While minimalist, Llewellyn's decor, like him, has a lively spirit. The bedroom, for example, features a dramatic red slice of foam-core displaying a fringed goatskin African bag, a gift from a friend. Sometimes when he's thinking about a project, he'll wander into the bedroom and stroke the soft fringe.
Llewellyn, who loves designed objects, admires the craftsmanship behind the African bag.
"The part that makes it so interesting is [the craftsmen who made the bag] don't have [much], but they have creativity," he said.
Llewellyn worked to make his apartment more attractive, painting over "dirty blue" walls, adding closet doors and changing out track lighting in the living room with a new light fixture.
The place is simple, but livable, he said. He is relatively new to the building; he says this location is an escape from the fast pace of his last neighborhood.
Now he looks out over tennis courts, and on a clear day, he has his coveted view.
And Llewellyn, whose favorite book is history-based "Lost America," relishes living with his own little piece of Seattle's past.