Text | Melody Parker
Images | Brandon Pollock
After a decade of living surrounded by a collection of museum-quality Victorian antiques and a rich color scheme of reds, yellows and olive greens, the homeowners were ready to lighten up.
They wanted a softer, neutral color palette, and a mix of comfortable, contemporary furnishings that played nicely with their favorite antiques. Interior designer Barbara Green helped them display their treasures by creating a soothing new setting.
“She’s a collector whose parents are antique dealers, and while she still loves her antiques, she told me she was tired of living in a museum. They wanted a home that is more appropriate and comfortable for a family,” says Green, whose relationship with the owner dates back 10 years ago when the house was featured on a parade of homes.
Soft blue, creams and taupe beautifully contrast with the dark walnut and oak antiques. Oak floors have a medium-toned stain, and walls were washed in Benjamin Moore’s Bar Harbor Beige No. 1032 with an eggshell finish. Finding the perfect blue for chair upholstery and other accents proved to be a challenge.
“We wanted a true robin’s egg blue for a timeless feeling. Blues are tough because they can be too blue or too green,” the interior designer says.
“The original brighter colors looked pretty with the antiques, but we decided to go a different direction. These pieces are substantial with lots of carving and detail, so we chose colors that would make them stand out. Now there’s a sense of continuity throughout the house. It’s not dark or jarring. Instead, it’s a serene retreat with spaces that flow.”
A curved, sink-into sofa envelops the open living area, encompassing a pretty-but-practical ottoman and flanked by Tiffany lamps atop antique tables. The area rug is a barefoot-worthy, contemporary twist on shag carpeting. Reinterpreted wing chairs in damask are posed on either side of the fireplace. “The chairs have modern profiles. It’s still a traditional feel, but updated for today,” Green explains.
The marble fireplace with its classical mantel was originally intended to be flanked by built-in bookcases, but the nooks turned out to be perfect for displaying the owner’s matching Victorian secretaries.
Open to the living room, the kitchen echoes the overall color scheme. Tauple glaze adds depth and patina to creamy white kitchen cabinetry, a retro mix of square beadboard and flat paneled doors. The beadboard look is repeated on the hood above the stove. Granite Transformation covered the existing kitchen counter.
“They did an excellent job, and it’s a nice complement to the darker granite-topped island,” Green says.
In the dining room, the shimmer of Waterford crystal glassware in bow-front china cabinets is echoed in the crystal chandelier dangling above the table. A tone-on-tone zebra print area rug introduces a modern note. The custom window treatment features striped silk panels in soft blue and taupe topped by a center pleated jabot with solid-colored swags on either side edged in chain fringe with crystal beads.
Sheri Guillot, owner of Custom Creations by Sheri in Dysart, created the window treatments. After seeing Green’s design vision and taking exacting measurements on site, she made her own patterns, then cut and stitched the fabric.
She also dressed windows in the master suite and in the home’s study, two-tone gold and black silk panels with variegated bell tassels. That’s the finishing touch, says Guillot. “It’s like putting on your lipstick before you go out the door. Trim just adds to the beauty and detail of a window treatment.”
Benjamin Moore’s Lakeside Blue is the backdrop for the romantic master bedroom with it’s large fabric-covered headboard tufted with rhinestone buttons, shimmering comforter and striped bedskirt. Embossed tone-on-tone wallpaper with glitter texture and marble floors and shower make the master bath sparkle.
More antiques can be found in the study, including an antique armoire that houses the TV. Moroccan red walls play nicely against medallion-patterned fabric on chairs and zebra print ottomans that double as tables.