Home tour: Andie Wurster of Assemble

One of the things I love about living in Seattle is its creativity. A great example of this is Assemble: part gallery, part workshop, part retail shop and part classroom, owned by Andie Wurster and Emily Grosse. The tiny shop has only been open about eight months, but they're already getting media attention and bringing great artists to the Phinney Ridge neighborhood. Today we're lucky enough to have Andie share her Queen Anne condo (hey neighbor!). Andie and I met because Ryan and I went to college with her boyfriend, Christian Powers of the local band Colonies. She's lived her about three years and the whole place is so cute it was hard to narrow down the photos! I think you'll love seeing her carefully curated home! I'll let Andie show you around...

This is my work area. I live in a 1940s Condo on the South Slope of Queen Anne and a lot of the furniture in the space is bolted to the wall. Until I decide to sledgehammer it out, I’m stuck with pieces like this formica-topped desk. To jazz it up a bit, I used blonde-wood contact paper to cover the surface. I saw the idea for hanging wall clipboards in the now defunct BluePrint Magazine, in a feature about Lotta Jansdotter’s studio. I have clipped things that inspire me, a tiny picture of Bonnie & Clyde, a letterpress alphabet, photos of my family & paint chips. I began collecting vintage French records last year, and this is one of my favorites, so I decided to hang the sleeve at my desk. The typewriter is a vintage 1960s Smith Corona cursive typewriter, coined the “love letter machine.” It is my favorite piece in my whole house, & comes to work at Assemble sometimes too. The large artwork above the desk is from Urban Outfitters, and caught my eye because it is quilted fabric with embroidered horses & power lines.

My kitchen table is pretty obviously an IKEA set, but I sanded & painted the chairs our signature Assemble red to brighten the space. In the background, you can see my chalkboard column, where each guest to my place has drawn & labeled a picture. I’ve almost filled the whole column. The table runner is a napkin set from Anthropologie, which I stitched together. Then, everything rests on one of my family’s Turkish rugs. My dad has been in the Air Force for over 30 years, so we have lots of pieces from the Middle East & other parts of Asia.

My bookshelf is from IKEA and is filled with color-organized books and games. I like color-coding because it makes everything feel deliberate. I’m a bit obsessed with vintage machinery, so I have lots of old telephones, sewing machines, fishing reels, typewriters, Polaroid cameras, and as you can see, an old Nintendo on display. Artwork is by Dan McCarthy, one of my favorite screen-printers and the glass head sculpture is from my favorite store, Black Ink in Boston.

I just actually tore up my carpet to reveal beautiful hardwood floors after deciding that I don’t care if my downstairs neighbor complains about noise anymore. Ironically, the area rug is from Fred Meyer, which is proof that furniture doesn’t have to be expensive as long as it is styled nicely. The coffee table I found on the side of the road, painted it & purchased replacement glass for it, the antlered candle piece is also from Fred Meyer, which I painted white. The artwork behind the brown couch is a piece by my late Grandmother, who was an abstractionist. This one is entitled, “Florida Gate.” The brown couch is Crate & Barrel and the coral love seat is a vintage find that was reupholstered. I spotted it while driving down Sunset Blvd in Hollywood and nearly caused an accident slamming on my breaks. Tree pillow by Bauden Foss. Oh, ps., that’s my Chihuahua, Grady. She’s awesome.

I’m afraid to start fires in the fireplace, so I just decided to clean it out and put white candles in there. It looks really beautiful when they are all lit up. Artwork on mantel is “Comfort & Ease” print by Lisa Congdon and the deer piece is by Elizabeth Soule. More machinery! This is a vintage fishing reel my dad gave me after I told him I love bakelite. (I meant jewelry, but it was so thoughtful that I love it). Eventually I would like to replace the tile with mini-mosaic tile, but the marble will have to do for now.

My father hunts and fishes, which upstarted my preference for eating wild game rather than mass-farmed, unhealthy livestock. We mostly eat either free-range organic beef or chicken or venison, rabbit or quail that my dad has hunted. We use & respect everything from the animal, and these are some mounted antlers from a deer that he hunted. Next door to the mount is a deer couple drawing by Ryan Berkley, some Audobon paintings ripped from a dollar-store book, and an original art piece embroidered by Cindy Steiler entitled “You Reap What You Sew.” Also, more vintage records and my xylophone, the prettiest sounding instrument in the world.

This area used to contain a hideous cherrywood, stain glassed cabinet. I went on a gutting tirade one day and ripped the cabinet doors off, installed glass shelves & painted the entire interior an icey green-white. All of my “cute” dishes go up here, including my teapot & cups from Anthropologie, deer salt & pepper shakers, wine goblets and lemon juicer. The owl artwork is also by Elizabeth Soule. This area also houses the bulk of my “A” collection and my tiny ceramic pony collection.

I painted my bedroom light yellow when I moved in because it was a terrible avocado green when I moved in. (Along with a bright pink bathroom, which is now light, light blue. The bed is ikea, as are the bedside tables (more woodgrain contact paper). The lamps & shades are Urban Outfitters, however, the shades were yellow, which I covered/shellacked with fabric from Purl Soho. The artwork on the walls from left clockwise, Keep Calm Gallery, girl with mustache by Ashley G & Drew, two blonde-girl paintings are by a friend, Frida Clements, the painting with the birds is a piece I did for an old art show, the small portrait print is by artist/friend Caris Reid, the little dog is a cover photo of the book “Dirty Wow Wow” which is the exact replica of my childhood best friend, who I named Snoopy, the portrait of my Great Grandfather is a piece I made for my dad out of paper, and the giant wooden “8” was an address number I took out of our dumpster when it was replaced with metal. The quilt on the bed was made by my mother, and is an abstract interpretation of my bookshelf. Pillows are from West Elm.

I also asked Andie if she could share a few photos of Assemble itself.

I had had the idea for Assemble since about 2003, but it didn’t come into fruition until I met Emily and we cultivated it with both of our relative experience with art and craft.  We are both very interested in design, creative events and modern art.

Thanks so much Andie for opening your home to us! Local readers, head up to Phinney Ridge to check out Assemble to do some shopping (the lovely Oliver's Twist bar is nearby too!) or sign up for a workshop.