When Heather Hanley Makes a Home Her Own
When Heather Hanley married her husband, Jared Bock, they moved into the downtown condo she’d previously renovated. They knew from the start it wasn’t going to work out.
Not the marriage—the condo. It was whimsical and quirky, and “there was a lot of pink in it,” Hanley says. “He just really felt like it wasn’t his space, and it wasn’t—it was very much me.” They looked for a new place where they could merge their styles and their desire for more square footage. Hanley had her eye out for “a late ‘70s/early ‘80s kind of rancher. That’s when the floor plans started really opening up.”
“I had seen some cool remodels that people had done on otherwise unattractive homes and turned them into masterpieces.”
It’s no surprise that Hanley was eager to take on another renovation—as the creative director and third generation owner of The Tin Roof furniture showroom and design center, design and décor are on her mind every day.
In 2014, the couple purchased a late ‘70s home on the South Hill that had never been renovated. The owner “loved what she had done with it and she did a great job,” says Hanley. “She was very meticulous and very clean. So everything was pristine—but it was pristine 1979.” There were partial walls breaking up the rooms and a bold mix of color. “There was orange and there was green and a little bit of peach.”
“It took me a good year to figure out how to move the walls around to get the spaces I needed,” she says. “The process was difficult.”
They renovated just about everything, going for “a California casual kind of look—with a little bit of a modern glam feel. The only thing we didn’t touch was the fireplace. And the beams,” Hanley explains.
The fireplace was a jumping-off point. “I love rocks. As a child I was the kid not playing soccer because I was too busy playing with the rocks on the field,” she says. “I actually based the whole color palette of the house off the colors that I found in the rockwork … kind of a pale, pale pink and a little light, light green.”
Hanley played with tone and texture, mixing natural elements—like rock and wood—with textural décor and finishes like touches of black, dimensional tile, a tufted leather sofa, and sculptural light fixtures. There are layered patterns, with mixes of tile shapes like hex and subway, brought together in cohesive color palettes. Modern glam is emphasized in materials including Lucite and brass, which are combined in the kitchen barstools that were customer returns from The Tin Roof.
The kitchen is one of Hanley’s favorite spots in the home. She loves the island front, which features scrolled-in brass bars on painted wood, showcased with underlighting. “I’m really proud of myself because it was an original thought I didn’t copy from anyone else,” she explains with a laugh. The 178-inch island has a quartz countertop, and the pale gray Shaker-style cabinets are accented with brass hardware from Spokane Hardware. The handmade dimensional tile backsplash is from Sonoma County.
Playfulness comes in through striking artwork and fun accessories (like pieces from her collection of penguins) and the thoughtful use of wallpaper. “I like to put wallpaper in weird, unexpected places … it’s like a whole wall of art, versus one small piece of art. And I think it can show personality.” Whether that’s the moody dark hues in the basement bar, the lush print in a bathroom, or a brighter botanical wallpaper in the bar nook off the kitchen, wallpaper makes spaces pop.
The repeated use of black also adds depth and dimension to the home. “I know it’s super on trend right now, but I’ve always liked black,” says Hanley. “A lot of the detail of design comes from contrast. I like the contrast you get when you use black. It makes everything look better—you put a black chair up to a wood grain and it makes the grain pop. It makes it much more interesting.”
A savvy shopper, Hanley sourced elements everywhere from The Tin Roof to vintage shops to closeout sales to previous remodeling projects. Take, for instance, the gorgeous bathroom vanity, which is actually a buffet she found at a vintage store across the street from The Tin Roof. She wanted to buy it, but didn’t know how to use the piece. Then the thought occurred: “Oh! I’ll make it into a vanity!” she says. It came with small drawers and required no refinishing—just a bit of imagination to envision it in a bathroom, rather than a dining room.
The antique clawfoot tub in another bathroom was repurposed from a downtown building project. The black-and-white tile floor plays nicely against the shiny brass hardware, the botanical wallpaper, and the wainscoting Bock put in.
Part of Hanley’s reimagining of the home’s floorplan involved moving the laundry room into the master bedroom closet, which allowed for the creation of a mudroom. Hanley repurposed cabinets from elsewhere in the home, sanding and repainting them for new life in the mudroom. The pantry cabinets were similarly repurposed, originally installed in the kitchen.
The renovation resulted in a gorgeous, functional home—but it wasn’t meant to be as the couple’s long-term space. Hanley and Bock always expected they’d be in this house for five to six years, and last year they sold this home, moving into a house on property next door to her parents. That house “is my soulmate,” says Hanley.
Family and neighbors are important to Hanley, a sentiment that’s emphasized through the longevity of The Tin Roof, a family-owned small business that’s one of the oldest in its neighborhood. “My dad has been instrumental in the revitalization of the East Sprague area that’s now called the Sprague Union District,” says Hanley. The store has been located there since 1945.
“It’s slow going but it’s starting to happen,” she says of the revitalization. “We have hanging flower baskets and streetlights!”
She loves participating in the neighborhood’s “On the Ave” events, designed to get people acquainted with the mix of businesses in the area. The Tin Roof “has definitely connected me with really interesting people,” from customers to creative people in the arts community to the owners of businesses nearby, a mix that includes vintage stores, restaurants, and galleries. “It’s interesting getting to walk that path with these other business owners that are all different, but they’re all striving for the same thing,” she says.
“There’s just a fresh wave of extremely creative people that are doing really unique and creative things” in Spokane, Hanley says, something she gets to experience both in her work and in her own renovation projects.
This year The Tin Roof is celebrating its 75th year in business. East Sprague—now the Sprague Union District—“was booming when my grandpa located his store here in 1945. The highway was Sprague,” Hanley says. The rerouting of traffic with the freeway being built led to a decline in the area, and many people later encouraged her dad to move the store, but he held out and is seeing benefits of the revitalization he helped bring about. “Credit to my dad, he had the vision, and he knew this would happen. I think everybody else thought he was crazy.”
“When the freeway came, that’s when it went downhill. So to have one family be able to see boom, bust, boom … I think my grandpa would be really pleased, to see what’s going on.”
Sonoma Tile (backsplash),
United Tile (basement bathroom),
Thompson Tile & Stone (marble hex)
The Tin Roof
Mostly The Tin Roof,
some vintage from Tossed and Found & Boulevard Mercantile
Professionally organized by Katie Regelin, Order Restored
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