Interior Decorating

5 Things All Stylish People Have In Their Homes

by 

What Makes A Stylish Home?

Well, some might argue that it’s a great couch, while others may say it’s in the attention to detail. However, one thing is for sure, there are people who just seem to know what works and the same goes for their personal style. They are often the people we see on Instagram whose bedroom colour palettes always match their #ootd(outfit of the day) but how do they do it? Well according to Lyz Lynch of mydomain.com, there is an actual list. Time to take notes!

Greenery

A little predictable? Perhaps, although it has been proven that rooms with plants look and feel a little brighter and warmer. The most aesthetically pleasing ones that you can consider for your home are; Rubber plant, Bromeliar, Prayer plant, Schefflera, The Mother In Law’s Tongue, Cactus and of course, Swiss cheese plant and the Rainforest plant. (look them up)

Images: Haarkon, Pinterest

                                                                                                        Some examples of how you can add plants.

A Luxurious Throw  

You know you’ve seen them and wondered “wow, this blanket looking thing is really cool” and yes, throws are pretty amazing. They add an effortless luxury to living and bedroom spaces. Drape it over your couch or bed to create a look that will bring your space together.

You don’t have to be too extravagant. A simple knitted throw does the trick too. Images: Pinterest

An Antique Piece

A touch of vintage to your wardrobe is just as coveted when it comes furniture. Whether it be your aunt’s inherited vase or a chair or an ornament that you bought on a trip you took a few years ago, vintage items go beyond just being beautiful because they’re priceless too.

Images: Pinterest

Statement Art

Nothing adds personality and colour to a space the way an art piece does. An interesting art piece can really act as a centrepiece of a space where you don’t really need much else; invest on a timeless piece that speaks to your taste.

                                                                                                                                Images: Pinterest

A Bold Piece

Whether it be a chandelier or an unusual table –  take a risk and choose something that really shows off your quirky or eclectic side.

A statement can be made in a variety of ways; a colourful couch, a cool chair or a light piece.
Images: Pinterest

Now that you have all this inspiration, we certainly hope that you are excited to make some changes as you usher in the new season.

 

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How 1 Small-Space Dweller Scored Her Dream Bathroom

When Brooklyn-based radio producer Miki decided to treat herself to her dream bathroom, she called on Homepolish, an interior design start-up that only charges a flat hourly fee, to take her to the promise land. Let’s just say that Homepolish delivered.

To modernize Miki’s outdated bathroom without losing its prewar charm, Homepolish interior designer Sandie Tsai chose a black, white, and gray palette accented with pops of brass. While it’s not the largest bathroom, you hardly notice thanks to the luxe materials and strategic design decisions.

Keep reading for the full tour and Sandy’s smart renovation tips!

Photo by Samantha Goh via Homepolish

While brass details pair well with black and white, Sandie was careful not to overdo it. To keep it tasteful, she balanced the flashy brass with more subdued oil-rubbed fixtures on the sink.

Photo by Samantha Goh via Homepolish

Limiting the palette to two or three colors and playing with texture helped make the small bathroom appear to be much larger. Marble subway tiles on the wall and black tiles with light grouting on the floor add subtle pattern and richness.

Photo by Samantha Goh via Homepolish

BUILT-IN BREAKFAST NOOK

When we purchased this East Nashville project house earlier this spring, one of the things that first drew us to the property was this little room off the kitchen that was just BEGGING to become a built-in breakfast nook!

Here’s the before photo …

Isn’t the upgrade amazing?!

For this post, we partnered with Walls Need Love. They have beautiful options for removable wallpaper, murals and wall decals. We chose the Ida Removable Wallpaper for our nook.

I don’t normally wallpaper ceilings, but in this tight space it creates a high impact, pulled together look. I am BEYOND pleased with how this turned out. And the best part is you can install this wallpaper yourself in a weekend.

The first step for this project was to build three benches, customized for the space. Collin removed the trim in the space, framed out the base of the benches and then added the seat back last.

The next step was to build the table. We’re not going to full DIY instructions (although let us know if you’d like to hear them all in a separate post), but Collin built a farmhouse-style table, perfectly fitted for the benches. The table top is about two inches smaller than the floor space between the benches.

If there are any vents or outlets on the wall, they should be extended to outside of the bench, not covered up.

For paint, Collin used two coats of stain blocking primer and then two coats of glossy untinted acrylic paint.

The next step was to install the wallpaper.

Our best tip is to be patient. Collin started by installing one strip from the front of the ceiling all the way down the back of the wall, and then worked out from there. For a continuous pattern, you can’t make it match from every angle, so we prioritized the front facing angle. The sides of the wall to ceiling don’t match, but the pattern hides it very well.

Last, Collin installed a fresh new light fixture.

When shopping for wallpaper, always order samples. I always order way too many samples, but it’s helpful because some of the time they look different in person. Samples can also help you get an idea of scale.

Wallpaper – Ida Removable Wallpaper by Walls Need Love, Light – Luna Pendant in Black by Schoolhouse Electric.

I’m happy we went neutral in this space because I can style it with pillows, flowers and baskets to reflect each season. I am SO EXCITED to have guests stay in our new home and I hope they love it as much as we do!

My partner in crime was in town and got to see our new property for the first time. I bribed her with some cinnamon rolls to snap a few photos … always works!

I hope this post has inspired you and shown what a HUGE transformation a little wallpaper can make! It made this space so much more thoughtful looking. It would have been nice without it, but with it it’s really special!

If you’re one of those people who has been terrified of wallpaper, this next paragraph is for you. 🙂

Wallpaper in 2017 is a whole new animal. It’s nothing like vintage paper that takes forever to remove (I am still somewhat traumatized from the painted-over wallpaper in our last home). These days it’s easier than ever to install AND remove. So easy that some of the time you can do it yourself (or at least remove it yourself if you don’t want to do the install). And there are countless new options that look super modern. So give wallpaper a chance.

Thank you so much for reading! I am beyond grateful to have you here. xx – Elsie (and Collin, too!)

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson and Collin DuPree. Project Assistant: Collin DuPree. Photography: Amber Ulmer.

 

A BRIGHT KITCHEN RENOVATION IN SILVERLAKE

 

When LA-based designer Amy Sklar was growing up, her family moved every few years. “The homes ranged in style from mid-century modern, to a 100 year old clapboard home,” she recalls. “That exposure created in me real appreciation for a wide range of architectural and interior styles. And there was also a chance to redecorate my room every few years, which I fell in love with! That ability to reinvent, and ultimately find my own style.” Today, she’s able to do that for other people — a career that she calls a dream.

Today, we’re showing off some of Amy’s latest work. This home is located in the super-cool Silverlake area, and the space is just as on-trend as the neighborhood itself. From totally transforming the kitchen to installing new floors throughout, this is a home we’d love to live in. Amy tells us more:

Hi Amy! We’d love to know a little bit about the clients. What was their vision, and what was your priority when starting the design?
My clients were a family of 4, with 2 young daughters. They love to cook and entertain, so we really wanted to update the kitchen to make it easier to work in as well as create more flow between the kitchen and the rest of the home.

What condition was the home in when you started?
There was a low ceiling in the living room, a crumbling kitchen counter and a kitchen window that look directly onto a neighbors patio….not a lovely view.

Yikes! Okay, tell us a bit about how you transformed the space. 
We vaulted the living room ceiling, to make that room feel more spacious and welcoming, as that is the first room you enter when you walk in the front door. Then we enlarged and arched the opening between the kitchen and the dining room, taking what had been a standard 36″ door and opening it up to nearly 6′ wide! We then arched the newly enlarged opening to match the arch on the opening from the living room to the dining room, so that it feels like the new opening has always been there.

With any project, there are bound to be hiccups. What were the biggest challenges with this property?
Ah yes, hiccups! On this project, the biggest hiccup was that when we went to vault the ceiling in the living room we found that the central ridge beam was not centered on the space! So, we had to make the decision to either drop the vaulting and relocate the beam to center it, (which would have lowered the overall height of the ceiling) or leave the beam off center and keep the height. In the end we went for keeping the height, and leaving the beam off center, and I think it looks great! It really adds a dynamic element to the space, and looks like it was meant to there!

Do you have a favorite room or feature in the house?
I love the kitchen, and the major amount of light we were able to borrow from the dining room by enlarging the opening, that transformation was so huge!

Finally, LA is known for great home goods. Where are some of your favorite local spots to shop?
I am a major Lawson-Fenning fan, I ALWAYS find something in either of their two locations — Silverlake and Melrose — plus they are lovely people! I also love Nickey- Kehoe, they have the most well, curated shop, and make incredible custom furniture! And for dreaming, Galerie Half, it’s like walking into an art gallery, just stunning.

Creating the Ultimate Guest Room: How to Make Guests Feel Right at Home

By Tara Mastroeni 

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The ultimate guest room helps your guests feel incredibly welcome. Image: LKW Design Associates

Figuring out how to design your own interiors is one thing, but for some reason, when it comes to putting together a guest room, decisions feel extra important. Every host wants their guests to feel comfortable. In addition, there’s a little bit of pride at stake. The ability to offer particularly plush guest quarters is a status symbol.

That said, the question becomes: What does it take to create a great guest room? Which features will make your guests feel most at home and leave them talking about how much they’ve enjoyed their stay? We’re here to help figure that out.

We’ve put together a guide to creating the ultimate guest room. Read on to learn our best tips and tricks for how to set up your extra bedroom. Keep them in mind as you work on your own space and we guarantee your guests will think they’ve checked into a five-star hotel.

Leave some extra blankets in case someone gets cold. Image: Weiss Architecture Inc.

The ultimate guest room needs temperature options

Everybody has their own sleeping preferences. Some people need their bedroom to be ice cold and others would rather burrow under a mountain of blankets. Unfortunately, it can be hard to get an adequate night’s rest when we’re unable to create those conditions.

Most guests would rather spend their night tossing and turning than disturb their hosts by asking to adjust the temperature. That’s why it’s so important for guests to be able to make their room hotter or colder at will.

To do this, focus on the type of bedding you provide. Choose sheets and blankets that create light, breathable layers. Then, keep a couple heavier covers on hand so guests can access them. Aside from textiles, be sure to include a fan for those who like the room to stay cool.

Leave a basket of fresh towels for your guests to use during their stay. Image: Dreamy Whites

Include fresh towels

At some point in the visit, your guests will need to freshen up. Rather than make visitors ask for clean towels or carefully raid your linen closet, purchase a separate set of towels and leave them in the room when guests arrive.

There are ways to make your linens work double duty. In addition to their intended purpose, you can incorporate them as part of your overall design. Be sure to choose a set of towels similar in color or pattern to the other accents in the room.

Make sure there’s plenty of lighting on the bedside table. Image: Accouter Group

Add bedside lighting

We’ve all experienced a moment where we’ve tripped over friends’ furniture in the dark. Instead of making your guests navigate unfamiliar surroundings after turning the light out, include bedside lighting in your guest room.

As for how to pick the right fixture, consider both style and size. Obviously, you want to choose an option that matches your desired aesthetic, but it’s also important to make sure that the lighting is proportionate to the area. Abbe Fenimore, the designer at Studio Ten 25, says this interior design mistake is all too common. She recommends taking measurements of the area where your lamps will be before heading to the store.

If you have a little extra money to spare, you could also consider purchasing lighting that comes with extra features. Think about choosing dimmable lamps so guests can choose their own lighting level. Lamps with outlets in their base are also a good choice because they allow guests to easily charge their electronics.

Provide entertainment in case your guests wake up early. Image: Bee’s Knees Design LLC

Provide some entertainment

This is one of those features that will set your guest room apart from others. It’s difficult to get a good night’s sleep in unfamiliar territory. Most of us are prone to either lying awake at night or waking up at the crack of dawn. Rather than having your friends twiddle their thumbs while they wait for an acceptable time to get out of bed, the ultimate guest room will provide guests with entertainment.

Instead of automatically adding a TV, consider choosing forms of entertainment that can add to the décor. For example, something like the coffee table books in the picture above. Magazines are another good option.

Use these tips to create a guest room your visitors will love. Image: Blue Ocean Design

Putting together a guest room comes with a little extra pressure, doesn’t it? In addition to wanting your guests to feel welcome, there’s something satisfying about knowing you’ve created an impressive setup. If you’re looking for ways to wow your friends and family, check out our guide to creating the ultimate guest room. Follow our suggestions and we’re sure that extra bedroom will be so nice your visitors won’t want to leave.

Which features do you think are important in a guest room? What tips do you have for making guests feel at home? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Amazing 2 Single Beds Room Ideas

Usually two single beds are placed in a shared kids bedroom or a guest bedroom. But instead of just putting the beds separately you can be a little more creative and put them at different angles. And even if you put them in the conventional way you can give attention to the walls, the bedding and other decor factors. If you are in search of some good furniture pieces you can buy them at Gum Tree. So, take a look at different ways to decorate a room with 2 single beds in the best possible way:

1. Put Two Storage Single Beds at An Angle and Add a Corner Shelf for Boosting Storage in a Kids’ Room

 

If both the beds of your kids are storage beds then put them at a right angle and fix in a storage unit in the corner space created between the two.

2. For a Room Shared by Two Girls Do it in Pink and White and Add Canopies to The Beds

Image via: crushculdesac

If your girls are more towards the princess like pink bedroom then decorate it in pastel pink with hints of white and hang canopies for a fairy tale feel.

3. For a Guest Bedroom with Wood Ceiling Accent It with Mint Green Walls,White Beds and a Jute Rug for a Breezy Coastal Feel

Image via: houzz

Coastal decor is always a hit when done in the right way. For example this room that is a pure bliss.

4. For a Room Shared by a Girl and a Boy You Can Mark Their Cute Little Zones

Image via: pottery barn kids , woo home

You can also create zones for your kids by decorating in the tried and tested pink and blue combo.

5. Two Beds and One Long and Cozy Tufted Headboard

 

If you want something in the room that can pull focus then install one long tufted headboard. It will not only amp up the style but will also increase the coziness by many folds.

6. Decorate with a Minimalist Neutral Theme Because Less is More

Image via: carla aston

If you want your room to have subtle tones then decorate with neutrals. They have the prefect balance and thus are not too warm and not too cold.

7. Take Inspiration from Dorm Style and Put The Kids’ Beds Lengthwise

Image via: houzz , houzz

You can take inspiration from a dorm room as well and place the storage beds in a row.

8. Go For a Monochromatic Decor Such as This Serene Green Twin Bedroom

Image via: novate

You can also pick one color and then play with different shades of it in the room like this green bedroom that is just so calm.

9. Decorate with Gray and White and a Beadboard Wall Will Look Just Perfect in Such a Room

Image via: 12 play 4 fun

If you have neutral colored beds for example these gray beds then pair this color with a white wall. But instead of just painting the wall clad it with beadboard.

10. Decorate The Room with Patterns

Image via: houzz

Patterns used in the right proportion always look charming. For example this beautiful girls’ bedroom.

COLOR SPOTLIGHT: BENJAMIN MOORE COVENTRY GRAY

Hi Remodelaholics!  Cyndy here from The Creativity Exchange back with another Color Spotlight.  If you missed my my last post about the most popular black paint colors, you can find that here.

For today’s Color Spotlight, I wanted to highlight one of the most popular mid-toned grays on the market.

 

Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray is an all-star gray that has been extremely popular in the last five years because it’s such a beautiful and versatile color.

Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore

At first glance just at the paint card, you’re probably thinking Coventry Gray is just another basic gray-nothing special, right?!  Coventry Gray is one of the most versatile mid-toned grays out there because even though it’s a gray, it’s a gray with a lot of depth. Let me just show you!

In spaces with a lot of natural light, Coventry Gray will lean a beautiful shade of blue/gray.

via Matthew Cane Designs

At dusk with a mix of natural and artificial light, Coventry Gray is a stunning and rich slightly warmed gray with slight hint of blue.

 

via CWB Architects

In spaces that do not have a lot of natural light, Coventry Gray will lean more warm gray. A stunning color as well!

 

 

via 12th and White

While Coventry Gray really looks beautiful in almost any light, I think the “sweet spot” is in spaces with a mix of natural and artificial light like this below, where you can really see the richness and beautiful depth of this color.

 

via Benjamin Moore

Coventry Gray is also one the most popular gray cabinetry colors on the market today as well! For great reason, it’s perfection used on cabinets!

 

via Studio McGee

 

 

via Design Manifest

As you can see in the above two cabinetry images, the first image has a lot of natural light, so the color leans a little blue/cooler.  However, in the above kitchen with little natural light, Coventry Gray leans warm gray. I always talk about the sign of a great paint color is if it works well both interior and exterior. As you can see, Coventry Gray looks incredible on the exterior as well!

 

via Driven by Decor

Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray is one of those all-star colors that beautifully works almost anywhere and is a great color to consider!

 

 

Thanks so much for stopping by today and if you’re interested in seeing more beautiful paint colors, I just shared a beautiful new home project that I color consulted on that you can see here on my blog. In that post, I walk readers through our process for choosing paint colors.  You can also find me on Facebook here, where I share lots of paint color inspiration.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Cyndy

Home decor: 6 decorating mistakes you really want to avoid!

Nobody likes being told that they’re wrong, so rather than waiting until you’ve made some mistakes and pointing them out, we thought we’d take a proactive stance! Interior designers are well equipped to know what’s hot, what’s not and all the basic rules that will see your home emerging like a beautiful butterfly from an outdated cocoon, but if you don’t have access to any of these amazing professionals, then read on, as we think our tips are a great place to start. Put down the paintbrush and step away from your tatty bathroom and don’t start any new decorating project until you’ve memorized these mistakes that you don’t want to make!

Home decor: 6 decorating mistakes you really want to avoid!

1. Not attending to tile grout overspray

eclectic Bathroom by The Olive Design Studio
Grout is a strange thing. It sticks your tiles to the wall, keeps everything looking fresh and can even be funky if you choose colored or glitter versions, but if you don’t wipe excess away as soon as you spot it, it will become a nightmare! Setting quickly and having a cement-like quality, you’ll struggle to remove it once dry, so never leave it too long!

2. Bad prepping of walls

modern Living room by Sophie Nguyen Architects Ltd

If you don’t want your painted walls to not look how you expected them to, you have got to prep. You might think your wall is good enough to paint, but any uneven surfaces, cracks or dark paint that isn’t primed over could show through. Wallpaper is actually a better covering for a flawed wall.

3. Not accessorising walls

modern Living room by Rosangela Photography

Walls that are too bare look a little sad, that’s just a fact. If you are going for a minimalist look, the rest of your space will reflect that and help a plain wall to fit right in, but in a cozy home, a totally blank wall will stick out like a sore thumb. Art, photographs or a wall decal can easily and quickly solve this!

4. Using the whole rainbow

country Bedroom by The Cotswold Company

You probably think it would be weird to decorate an entire home with your favorite color, so perhaps you strive to use a different shade in every room, but please don’t! Your home doesn’t need to be a rainbow and if you like green, why not use it, in varying hues, in every room? It’s your house!

5. Going too heavy with the drapes

Curtains that are too heavy will drown a room. They might be great during a cold winter, acting as an extra form of insulation against heat loss, but really, you can achieve that with smaller, delicate curtains too. Also, matching your curtains to fabric-upholstered items is a risky business, so be sure you have a pattern that will work!

6. Ignoring lumpy walls

 Walls & flooring by Loft Kolasiński

Unless you’re going for a rustic look, lumpy walls with a coat of paint on them simply won’t do. In a country cottage, that look will work surprisingly well, but a modern home with perfectly smooth walls everywhere else? We don’t think so! Take the time to skim the wall before you paint!

10 WAYS TO MASTER NAVY BLUE AND GOLD DECOR, PINTEREST’S NEW FAVORITE COLOR SCHEME

01


A GILDED BAR CART

Give your cocktail fixings a pretty place to perch with a classically cool, golden bar cart. Style it against a statement blue wall, as Park and Oak Interiors did here, and it will immediately draw the eye — and the desire for a tasty drink.

Park & Oak

02


A SLEEK OFFICE SPACE

A moody color palette keeps the vibe of this home office, created by Emily Henderson, contemporary. Dark blue walls set the tone, while subtle details like gold-plated desk legs and office supplies complete the look.

 

Zeke Ruelas

 

03


GLAM BATHROOM ACCENTS

This double bathroom by Leslie Cotter Interiors shows just how chic and minimalist a navy and gold color palette can be. Tone down your bold cabinets with elegant marble countertops and gold faucets, mirrors, and lighting.

 

Tim Furlong Jr.

04


GOLDEN FIXTURES

Dark blue is the perfect color to use when creating an accent wall in any room, especially the bedroom. Alex Evjen of Ave Styles collaborated with Decorist to create this modern boho master bedroom, full of original pieces, including a mid-century-inspired pendant light.

Rennai Hoefer

05


A COLORFUL WELCOME

Greet guests with a fancy vintage gold doorknob, set against a shiny navy blue door. Choose a sparkling white paint for the door molding and line the nearby walls with chic white and navy wallpaper for a stylish entrance, just like Erica Burns did here.

 

Erica Burns

 

06


STATEMENT CABINETS

What better way to pull off a two-tone kitchen than using navy blue for your cabinetry? It’s an unexpected color choice that still feels neutral and inviting. The geniuses at E. Interiors added gold faucets, lighting, and decor to give this particular design some depth.

 

E. Interiors

 

07


DON’T FORGET LIGHTING

Bright white rooms are perfect for those seeking a clean and tranquil space, but small pops of color here and there never hurt. Cathy Poshusta of the Grit and Polish added in navy blue pillows against the white bedding and cream headboard, but kept the gold decor minimal by add a simple bedside sconce.

 

 

Grit and Polish

 

08


A RANGE OF HUES

From the velvet couch to the modernist painting, Marks & Frantz played with a range of blues in this cozy but stylish living area. Take his lead and experiment with more than one shade of blue,and then inject some regality into the space with gold underpinnings, like this grand coffee table.

 

 

Marks and Frantz

 

09


PRECIOUS KITCHEN DETAILS

Designers at Grit and Polish transformed their old and outdated kitchen into a bright and airy cooking space. The top cabinets were kept white to match the walls, while the bottom set were painted a gorgeous navy blue and accented with gold hardware. The crisp white backsplash, along with a few plants, make for a lively but minimalist kitchen.

 

 

10


THE PERFECT VELVET SOFA

This spacious master suite — the work of Leslie Cotter Interiors, and shot by Tim Furlong Jr. — draws from both vintage design and contemporary decor. Add a few industrial touches, like these golden bedside lamps, and a little old-world charm with romantic furniture like this divine blue velvet sofa.

 

Tim Furlong Jr.

This spacious master suite — the work of Leslie Cotter Interiors, and shot by Tim Furlong Jr. — draws from both vintage design and contemporary decor.

Add a few industrial touches, like these golden bedside lamps, and a little old-world charm with romantic furniture like this divine blue velvet sofa.

 

This 116-Year-Old Home Is the Original Tiny House

Old-school proportions didn’t constrain its style.

                                                                                                                                       NGOC MINH NGO

Faced with a lack of light and lots of architectural quirks, Sarah Bartholomew refreshed a historic Georgetown rowhouse with neutrals, fool-the-eye details and an aviary’s worth of feathered friends.

Celia Barbour: Tiny houses are a trend now, but this home is 116 years old! How did its size influence you?

Sarah Bartholomew: I always let a house tell its story, and this one was clear about what it needed to be: a pretty, all-American home in beautiful, historic Georgetown. Whoever built it was not especially wealthy, so I tried to keep the style simple: fresh, eclectic and easy- going, but not loose or casual.

Was a 1,200-square-foot house with just four rooms — two downstairs, two up — a design challenge?

Yes. For example, it has no foyer — you walk right off the street into the living room. I wanted to create a moment by the front door where you could pause and hang your coat, but it had to feel cohesive with the room. That’s why there’s a bird print over the entry console instead of a mirror. The kitchen doubles as a dining room. I had the table custom built to a specific size: It’s big enough to accommodate six but small enough that one can move around it.

Your furnishings, too, are often multipurpose.

I like things to be both/and, not either/or. I’m drawn to furniture that’s sculptural, as it adds graphic drama while still being useful. For instance, the Regency-style chairs by the front windows have interesting silhouettes and can serve as pedestals for objects or books, then they can be cleared off when needed as seating. Similarly, the bull’s-eye mirror and Chinese stools add visual impact without making the room feel busy or crowded.

                                                                                                                                       NGOC MINH NGO

These owners could have afforded a bigger house. Why did they opt to go small?

They prefer tiny. This is their second home; their main residence is in California, but that one is not large, either. Having spent time in Japan, the wife believes in living well but compactly. They are always on the go — Europe, Asia, the West Coast — and she doesn’t want a lot to maintain. And no need for a home office: The husband, who is in the tech field, can work anywhere as long as he has a tablet.

Yet it doesn’t feel like a dainty little doll’s house.

Well, he’s tall — he played basketball— so I didn’t want petite settees and French chairs everywhere. The living room needed a comfortable sofa and welcoming lounge chairs. The bedrooms had to feel calm and restful.

What issues did you face updating an old rowhouse?

Houses built a century ago didn’t have things we now consider necessities, like plumbing and electricity. These amenities were added over the years and, as a result, there are all these quirks in the walls and ceilings. To mask them, I hang groups of repetitive (but not identical) items, which draw the eye and distract from the asymmetry. The living room has bird prints by Olof Rudbeck, a 17th-century Swedish scientist and artist. In the guest bedroom, I filled the wall above the bed, which juts out, with brackets holding shells and coral.

Rowhouses can be dark. How did you bring in the light?

The previous owners had put plantation shutters on the front windows, but I wanted more daylight. I installed linen curtains with a sheer lining; they provide privacy but let about 80% of the light through. And I replaced the solid wood panels in the front door with glass panes.

So the whole facade becomes a source of light! What about the interior of the house?

Because the living room is a long, narrow space, it needed overhead lighting, but the ceilings were too low to install cove fixtures — I used flush mounts for ambient light. I didn’t want lamps to stick out too much, so I went with slender brass ones. In the kitchen, the ceiling consists of the floor joists of the master bedroom upstairs. Pendant lamps hang from the support beams, the only place where we could run electrical wire. I also added under-cabinet lighting and sconces on the walls.

sarah bartholomew living room                                                                                                              NGOC MINH NGO

Tell me about your use of color.

The client wanted the main rooms to be neutral. She said, “I’m on the go all the time. I want the house to feel soothing.” I love neutrals, too, but I didn’t want the palette to feel boring or flat, so I layered in a lot of textures and patterns. The sofa has a hand-blocked Carolina Irving Textiles print, the chairs a leafy pattern, the pillows a stripe. There’s even a faint pattern in the rug. Natural textures include vellum, wicker, leather, brass and marble. I added blue whenever we needed a pop of color. I love blue and white — always have, always will — and used the combo in the master bedroom with a traditional floral on the headboard, bed skirt and curtains. Then I added little touches of black to the room with the lampshade and artwork. Black keeps blue and white from going over the edge into sweetness.

You said that a house tells its own story, but this one turned out more like a poem.

Every detail counts: A functional object can become a beautiful moment to look at and enjoy whenever you walk by. Each gesture is an opportunity to tell a little story within the larger story.

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This story originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of House Beautiful.