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Willmott’s Ghost Is a Culinary and Aesthetic Escape

Inside the Amazon Spheres, the pastel-hued interiors of James Beard Award–winning chef Renee Erickson’s restaurant are a welcome vacation from gloomy Seattle days.

By Annette Maxon with Claire Butwinick

Photographed by Kevin Scott

A slice of Italy has taken up residence in the most unlikely of places: Seattle’s flora- and fauna-filled Amazon Spheres.

In 2018, James Beard Award–winning chef Renee Erickson opened Willmott’s Ghost, a tranquil eatery named for 19th-century horticulturalist Ellen Willmott and offering Roman-style bites, on the ground floor of the tech giant’s experimental downtown space.

The interior of the restaurant takes a cue from Rome’s golden hues and characteristic warmth: Price Erickson Interior Design and Heliotrope Architects used natural materials to soften the originally industrial space. “We were given a shell that was steel, glass, and concrete,” says Jeremy Price, who cofounded Price Erickson interior design firm with Erickson in 2008. “We wanted to complement the shell of the building by using warm wood tones and natural leather.”

The curved glass walls are lined with concave turquoise booths, marble tabletops perched atop mint-hued bases, and natural oak chairs. With its blush-hued walls and asymmetrical chandeliers, the restaurant imparts a youthful and spirited energy.

As Price says, “When thinking of the design, we wanted to share the experiences that we’ve had in Rome and Italy.”

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