Hello readers, and hello FALL!
We’re straddling summer & autumn here in New Hampshire, with 45 degree mornings and 70 degree days. The edges of the maples trees are getting a tawny tinge, and there’s a coolness in the evening air.
I thought it would be a good time to give you a sneak peek at a project that is almost done — a brick 1880 Aesthetic-era Victorian home in downtown Nashua, NH.
It’s a project with hues & patterns that ALSO straddle summer & fall, as you will see!
Creating a Unique Forever Home Style
With every client project, I try to create a unique but timeless Forever Home style, one that will stand the test of time and not be outdated in 5 years. How do I do that? By creating a style relationship — one that reflects the homeowners’ personalities AND their unique homes’ bones.
This is what I teach homeowners to do for themselves & their OWN unique homes in
In this case, the architecture of the house is an 1880 Aesthetic era brick home. William Morris would have been right at home!
It has a grand staircase with a massive lead & stained glass window and a dining room with original leather embossed wallpaper from Japan.
The homeowners LOVE the historic & ornate style of their home (so there was really no disconnect there), but they hit the following roadblocks:
- They NO IDEA of how to furnish their antique house without its looking like an auction house. Therefore, they were afraid to buy any furniture at all!
- They didn’t know how to combine patterns & colors in a way that was appropriate to the style of their home, but also were more current and a little more “youthful.”
- Lastly, they didn’t know how or where to find furniture that was comfortable & good quality.
The tasks & challenges:
- Design 2 connected but distinct front parlors for entertaining.
- Incorporate a hand-knotted rug that the homeowners had recently purchased.
- Make space for music playing, occasional work-from-home, and evening entertainment.
- Make the spaces feel fresh & yet connected to the ornate dining room across the hall.
- Oh yeah, and keep it in a budget that is realistic. (No shopping at John Rosselli Antiques!)
I showed a little preview of this project in this post.
Making Spaces Flow Through Color & Pattern
This is another topic — how to make rooms flow through color & pattern — that I address with my students.
I have some super-duper, super fail-proof transition techniques that I don’t reveal to blog readers. Sorry! You have to be inside the course!
Here is the rug that was the jumping off point (in conjunction with the dining room wallpaper and ornate oak moldings) for the design’s color & pattern scheme.
The two parlors are across the entry hall from the grand dining room. To connect but brighten the home, we’ll be using this AMAZING English wallpaper.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any pics of the hallway yet, as the wallpaper is being installed right now! (It will take a couple of weeks — it’s a BIG staircase!)
We reimagined the 2 parlors as having 2 separate functions:
- A Ladies’ Salon, for music practice & tea. This space would be brighter and take advantage of the natural light.
- A Men’s Lounge, for after dinner drinks. This space would be clubbier & cozier.
The “Ladies’ Salon”
The “Men’s Lounge”
In the interest of time, I did my own 3D renderings, which are no where near as good as my gal Annilee’s, but they got the job done!
The “Ladies’ Salon”
The “Men’s Lounge”
Now, we’re still missing the new portieres between the rooms, a green violin cabinet, the white arm chairs, and a bunch of accent pieces, but we’re SOOOO close!!
My iPhone pics
Sheer roller shades still to come for the street-side windows. Roller shades are SUPER Victorian, did you know that?
Art makes the space.
The light fixtures are original gas AND electric. We weren’t going to remove those!
A little pattern-on-pattern with space to breathe!
Can’t WAIT to get new portieres hung! It will be so lush. We’ll be doing them in a lighter weight linen blend, as opposed to the original velvet.
Since we’re still missing the tufted armchairs. I scooted the the club chairs closer for this picture, but there is plenty of room for the armchairs!
The curved wall is to die for!
The custom carved mirror was a splurge, but with a house like this, you need to have some showstoppers to keep up with that leather wallpaper across the hall!
Historically Accurate vs. Historically Inspired Style
A historical house doesn’t need to be decorated in a historically accurate way, even if it needs to take architecture into account. I tend to treat each home’s decor as “historically-inspired,” but then tweak it for each owner’s personal style. You may enjoy these other historical home project reveals:
Want to learn The Home Glow Method® for YOUR Forever Home?
Learn to transform your forever house like a designer would!
Or maybe you’re just looking for that “quick style fix….” to get you started RIGHT!
I’m hoping to get some pictures of the finished foyer/stairs of this project soon. But I would LOVE to know what you think of the color & pattern flow of this project!
‘Til next time!