When Ariel Roth’s clients,a young family of five in a suburb of Boston, asked her to dress down their formal dining room, she went right for the wallpaper.
“They wanted the rooms in their early 1900s Colonial to be fun and comfortable,” says Roth, an interior designer with Helios Design Group in the Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. They enthusiastically embraced her suggestion to cover all four walls of the formal dining room with whimsical wallpaper. “We used the word ‘happy’ a lot,” the Boston designer says.
The wallcovering she chose? Flat Vernacular Swallowtail, an organic, stone-like pattern in a mix of sweet and earthy colors. She pulled out the pink with simple drapes, and grounded the room by painting the millwork in Benjamin Moore Old Navy.
Photo by Michael J. Lee
I wrote about this space last year in the Boston Globe Magazine, a year ago. Here, I pulled similar pieces so you can pull the look together on your own. (Or call the designer, I’m sure she’d love to hear from you!)
Cambridge-based interior designer Heidi Pribell breathed a new and colorful life into a dated, dilapidated, and absolutely dreary multi-family home, transforming it into a thoroughly fantastic single family residence for a family that re-located from out-of-state. I wrote about this colorful makeover in the Boston Globe Magazine “Makeovers” issue in February 2014, shot by one of my favorite local interior photographers (and the first one I worked with in Boston) Eric Roth.
Pribell got her hands on the 3,600 square foot interior once Oldenburg Architecture and contractors Dattilo & Reidy completed the structural work, which included opening up the main living space and improving the flow. Since the family preferred to stick to a tighter budget when it came to furnishings, Pribell knew most of the wow factor would come from color. Pribell says, “I am so passionate about color, I can nearly taste and hear it.”
Pribell’s rich and rosy palette was inspired by a trip she had recently taken to Mexico, most specifically by wildly blooming bougainvillea in its yellow, orange, red, and magenta glory. The trim in the living room is painted in a color Pribell describes as “a hot, cardinal red,” then toned down with an uneven application of glaze. Pribell transformed a closet into a light-filled home office with built-in desk, accessed by French doors.
For furniture, Pribell paired a gray sectional sofa from Crate & Barrel (scattered with store bought pink and orange pillows) with yellow hexagonal side tables from West Elm. A stylized floral black rug grounds the space. All the furniture in the house was newly purchased, with the exception of the two armchairs, which the wife inherited from her great grandmother. Made from dark, polished wood with mustard upholstery, they hardly blended, so Pribell had them painted with several coats of that same hot red paint and glaze, and covered with a fun fabric by Romo.
The columns dividing the living and dining room were original to the house.
For the dining room wall Pribell used sorbet shades of butterscotch and salmon, again inspired by bougainvillia. Pribell says, “As bougainvillia grows and ages, the petals transform from yellow orange to magenta.”
The indoor/outdoor striped rug is perfect for family living. The white dining extension table with curvy legs—the Regency by Calligaris—was purchased at local furniture store City Schemes. Pribell says, “I love the rococo nature of it.” Swirly orange chairs from Indonesia have ikat print cushions about which Pribell says, “I think they’re kind of soulful; and they relate to the Arts & Crafts nature of the home.”
Pribell clustered six mirrors from Global Views above the Asian style sideboard to help bounce light around the room.
Walls were removed for an open layout. The orange Kartell barstools were a splurge, but they loved the color and flexibility they provided, since the kids were different sizes and growing.
The white kitchen was already designed when Pribell came on board. She added funky red lacquer hardware.
The master bedroom was originally two rooms, so they broke down the wall to enlarge it. The vintage light pendant, made from clear fishing line on Lucite, purchased at local modern design shop Abodeon, adds character. A persimmon door leads to a balcony.
The master bathroom walls are covered in large format marble tiles from floor-to-ceiling, thanks to a major sale at Tile Showcase. They added a custom Silestone countertop to a store bought vanity. The floor is done in cotton candy-colored penny tile. Pribell says, “It’s extremely small for a master bathroom, but it has the graciousness of a 5-star hotel.”
On, the first floor, which has essentially the same layout, the color scheme is repeated, providing a perfect atmosphere for the kids who use the space to watch television, do art projects, and practice piano.
The downstairs living room provides the family with another, slightly more casual, hangout spot. The swirly vine rug is by Dash & Albert and the coffee table on casters is the Strind from Ikea. “The downstairs space really caters to the kids,” Pribell says.
The exterior entry doors are persimmon and the porch ceiling is lilac.
Pribell says, “I wanted the home to seem fresh and crisp and have a modernism about it, but not be devoid of character. The homeowner is very theatrical and energetic; this house became an expression of her personality, and I think that’s what delights her most.”
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Recreate the style of this colorful makeover by Heidi Pribell with pieces from StyleCarrot partners.
In addition to the features, I put together the StyleWatch product page, which highlighted seven colorful upholstered swivel chairs. Swivel chairs are a perennial favorite of interior designers. A pair of swivel chairs can bridge the two separate conversation areas in an oversize living room. In the family room, swivel chairs can face either the sofas or the television, allowing for multi-function flexibility. Designer Alys Protzman, who decorated this yellow and white cottage on Cape Cod, likes to place a cluster of swivel chairs around a table to create an entire seating area that delights kids and adults. (Spin, spin, spin.)
There are lots of different types of swivel chairs available for living spaces, including mod styles on pedestals. Other than the one Jonathan Adler swivel chair I included here (because I just couldn’t resist it), these upholstered swivel chairs resemble traditional easy chairs that one would not expect to rotate. These upholstered swivel chairs would work in any room, whether to serve two functions near a television or open kitchen, or used as a reading chair by a window in the bedroom. (Or just use it to pile clothing on and swivel it away from you when it becomes overloaded.)
Here are 45 upholstered swivel chairs in every color as well as some patterns from StyleCarrot partners and others.
By New York City standards, the 1,400-square foot condo in JP that interior stylist and bloggerErin Gates shares with her husband Andrew and their two little dogs isn’t all that small. Or so points out our dear friend Jen, who lives in a tiny studio in the Village with her husband Luke, just upstairs from her in-laws. However, as my husband constantly reminds me, we’re not in New York. Really?
Erin’s place is quite the showpiece, in a very accessible, Domino magazine sort of way. And, she did everything totally on a budget, with the exception of a little splurge here and there. She did it herself too – painting walls, painting actual paintings, refinishing furniture inherited from Andrew’s grandparents, and scouring estate sales and design-conscious chains.
I loved the trendy but sophisticated hi/low sensibility so much, I hired her to help me with our condo. The piece I wrote about her home, “Small Is the New Black,” is on the cover of today’s Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. Both Erin and the interiors look fabulous.
Here are the photos, shot by everyone’s favorite photographer, Eric Roth.
Above left: The cover shot – Erin and Baxter in the entry. The painting is an Erin Gates original – she was a studio art major at, coincidentally, Connecticut College (I went there too, but graduated sooo much earlier).
Above right: Erin sitting in her brand new, wanted it so badly, Louis Ghost Armchair designed by Philippe Starck. The Kelly green walls were inspired by a page in Domino. The zebra print rug is from West Elm. The blue artwork in the background is a framed piece of wallpaper.
Above: Erin has inspiration boards hanging in her office, filled with all sorts of fun images. (I took these photos, not Eric.)
Above: Standing in the living room, looking into the dining room. I can’t even tell you how many inquiries Erin and I received about the bookcases. Listen up people, they’re the Sapien Bookcases from Design Within Reach. They’re actually on sale right now, $168.30 – $253.30. West Elm makes two similar models, the Cadman Spine and Spine Wood bookcases, and CB2 has the Array (in grey and orange). They’re less expensive, but not quite as sturdy.
Above: A full view of the living room. The sofas and chairs are from Boston Interiors. Who knew they had such clean-lined pieces? The rustic coffee table was a splurge from Crate & Barrel. The white pedestal side table is a Saarienen copy, called the Trumpet from Target, just $24.99. The white vase on it is a Jonathan Adler knock-off – IKEA’s Färm vase, just $1.99. The starburst mirror above the fireplace is from Pier 1. The curtains are from JC Penney – apparently a great source for custom drapery. The luscious Oriental rug was on loan for the shoot from Landry & Arcari, with the expected hefty price tag. Erin’s mom bought it afterwards!
Above: The dining room table and chairs were hand-me-downs from Erin’s husband’s grandparents, who relocated from Chestnut Hill to Sea Island, Georgia. Erin painted the pretty chairs white, and recovered them in an $8/yard zebra print fabric. When they bought the condo, the paneling in the room was a dark stained wood. Against the advice of their realtor, Erin painted them white. In the background is a glimpse of the glass-fronted pantry, which is what sold Erin on the place.
Above left: The pantry, Erin’s favorite part of the house. She papered the back in Jonathan Adler’s Bamboo Reverse wallpaper in white and metallic silver. A pricey paper, but she only needed a small amount. Notice the bamboo Roman shades on the window? From Target. Erin and Andrew built the wine storage slots and added the wine fridge – there were cabinets there originally. I love the vintage French opaline glasses as much as Erin does. “I’m literally mad for them,” she told me.
Above right: The bedroom. I adore this room. It’s so pretty and peaceful, and I love the grey accents. The funky grey ikat pillows are from Fabricadabra (did you see them in Daily Candy? Thanks for the tip Erin!) The double prints over the bed are framed pieces of vintage Schumacher wallpaper. (A wallpaper designer left loads of vintage samples to Erin’s dad.) She has French Provincial style dressers that are equally romantic, plucked from the grandparents. The Venetian crystal chandelier is from Great Chandeliers. It was only $100, but a real pain to put together. Here’s a funny little tidbit: When I visited the bedroom was yellow. Erin made her husband paint it blue the weekend before the shoot. What a guy!
Above left: Here’s Erin and Baxter in the entry again, this time we’re seeing the wall across from the bench. Erin scored the buffet for just $75 at an estate sale in JP that she happened to stumbled across. The interior was originally a sunny yellow, but she repainted the two end interiors turquoise. Atop sits her cherished Fu Dogs, found on Ebay. The arrangement of framed photos and artwork on the wall above includes all sorts of fun memories, like their wedding, the store her grandparents founded when they came here from Ireland, and a fun silhouette of Baxter, that Erin made herself. (See closeup below.)
Above right: The kitchen cabinetry and appliances are not so snazzy, but Erin made the seating area plenty spicy, with the black and white scheme and saffron runner. She loves her plate wall, with $1.99 plates from Home Goods. The blackboard is from Home Goods too; the frame was gold, but she painted it white. This seems to be one of Erin’s favorite pastimes! When I visited the Mandarin orange branches were on the mantle, but they look perfect here.
Above left: Erin’s handiwork, a silhouette of Baxter on a grassy background. (She sent me this image the weekend before the shoot. I think she made it to give the picture wall some punch.)
Above right: Erin’s brother, Sean Tubridy, who is a graphic designer and photographer, sets up and shoots these very clever Polaroid portraits, using LEGO figures. This one is a bride and groom, posed in the same way as Erin and Andrew’s favorite wedding picture of themselves. Sean also started the artsy and clever website Save Polaroid.