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Interior Design Spotlight: Mary Seaton Interiors

Mary Seaton founded Sofa Outlet in 1997.  They are the Bay Area’s largest dealer of USA   Custom made sofas and furnishings.   For over 35+ years she has designed and staged 100’s of residential and commercial projects, and is currently the lead designer at Mary Seaton Interiors. Her various designs and custom furniture creations have been featured on KPIX Channel 5's Consumer Reports, Eye on the Bay, DIY’s House Crashers and HGTV's Color Splash and many Bay Area celebrity homes.


Mary’s real estate passion began in the 70’s when  she became the youngest San Mateo County Realtor at the age of 19; selling Coastside real estate at Frederick Lane Real Estate. She eventually had children and raised her family in El Granada, Ca. She holds degrees in Counseling, Psychology, and Business. Mary was voted business woman of the year by Women’s Initiative in 2009, NAPW and featured in Who’s Who Magazine in 2010, and is a ASID Partner. Designing spaces for non-profit organizations, senior care facilities, and children’s hospitals are one of Mary’s many passions. She has designed and built homes throughout the Bay Area; consulting on all phases of the design and build process, construction management and has guided  homeowners through  the design and material selection  process for various residential and commercial  clients. 


Mary truly believes that the key design ingredient for creating beautiful spaces is to blend personalities and invoke moods to create a home that has both form and function. She avoids rigid design rules and believes that inspiration begins with understanding the client’s vision, design aspirations, personal room use preferences and or ultimate exit strategies.


She begins to bring projects to life through vision boards harmonizing design desires into interior design realities and transformations with her daughter Collette, an integral part of the business. She believes strict design rules limit the highest and best use of a project, and utilizes principles as a framework for anyone interested in creating their dream home. 


Mary believes that simple elements of great design can transform a room. Having Natural interior focal points can only be supported by great furnishings, with a mix of whimsical accessories, and the incorporation of treasured family heirlooms.

The Mood of a space is driven by color and textures. Layering creates a chic, fresh, and modern look.  There should also be cohesion between the rooms without feeling the need to match.


Here are some design tips from the expert: 

1. Plan a budget in advance, (and be realistic) whether it is for a kitchen or bathroom remodel or a furniture purchase.

2.  Warm-up rooms with beams and creative lighting. 

3.  Don’t skimp on design elements that are used for comfort such as sofas or beds. 

4.  Focus on creative mixing and avoid matching to create contrast.

5. Do not let a room’s dimensions dictate furniture placement or layout.

6. Use industrial or reclaimed elements to create timeless character. 

7. When it comes to color, “When in doubt go neutral.".

She enjoys spending time with her family and grandchildren. Mary is truly committed to creating affordable and functional interior design inspirations. She enjoys consulting and is always up for taking on a challenging remodel or a design project. 


Besides building, designing and remodeling, Mary also provides FREE staging services when listing your home with an family realtor team member. She can be reached at her showroom at 650 570 5534 or 650 400-7751.

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