CH&L: This whole place has the feel of timeless coziness. What’s the secret?
Jennifer DesJardin: The homeowner told me she wanted a contemporary design, but then she showed me pictures of classic, elegant, timeless interiors. So we developed a style for her that integrates some contemporary elements—like metallic fabrics and a very cool stainless-steel table—with more classic elements. I think people respond to that marriage.
Is the pairing of old with new hard to get right?
In this case, we had no choice. The home is a riff on Mediterranean style, designed by Burnham Hoyt and built in the early 20th century. My attitude has always been that you want the architecture and interior of a home to be cohesive, and then you want continuity among the rooms.
Plus, the homeowner had some family heirlooms we wanted to include, like a settee covered in burgundy upholstery and a little yellow chair with red flowers—very Victorian. She had a few other pieces—a very traditional, ornate mirror, and that stainless-steel table—that she wanted to use, too. I had to find ways to make them all work together.
So let us in on your tricks.
In the master bedroom, the design is a play of textures. We picked soothing colors and layered the bed to make it feel soft, like you couldn’t resist touching it. Then I had the owner’s little yellow Victorian chair recovered in a contemporary, metallic print. It’s a bit unexpected, but that’s what makes design exciting to me.
The dining room also feels slightly unexpected.
It should! Originally, those chairs were upholstered in a Tuscan chenille fabric that was really heavy and ornate. The walls were burgundy and the drapes were velvet. Everything was so dark! So I painted the walls a lovely, spa green, and we covered the chairs in linen with sparkly nail head details—a nod to tradition. Then we hung metallic sheers over the windows and added a contemporary chandelier from Michael Graves and lamps from Scandinavian Design. One of the walls is covered in textured panels from modularArts.
It seems the moral of the story is you don’t have to choose one design style or era, even if you live in a historic house.
Definitely not. Every room needs a character piece, in my opinion. You want a few things that feel slightly out of context, and blending design styles really accomplishes that. I think the best part of this house is that when we were done, the whole home felt balanced. It’s really a happy place.
Interior Design: Jennifer DesJardin, Motif Design Solutions, Denver, (303) 325-5916, motifdesignsolutions.com
UPHOLSTERY (Custom pillows, bench seat, reupholstery of heirloom furnishings) Kravet, kravet.com LIVING ROOM FLOOR LAMPS Fine Art Lamps, fineartlamps.com; behind sofa: Sonneman, sonnemanawayoflight.com WALL PAINT Benjamin Moore Metallics Paint, benjaminmoore.com SOFAS Room & Board, roomandboard.com RUG Home Depot Felted Wool Rug, homedepot.com FRAMED MIRRORS Hobby Lobby (mirrors were cut to fit), hobbylobby.com DINING ROOM TABLE Henredon, henredon.com CHAIRS Bernhardt, bernhardt.com PENDANT “Clouds” by Michael Graves LAMPS Scandinavian Designs, scandinaviandesigns.com CANDLE HOLDERS CB2, cb2.com ART PANELS Modular Arts, modulararts.com MASTER BEDROOM BEDDING Z Gallerie, zgallerie.com LIGHTING Arteriors Home, arteriorshome.com FURNITURE Arhaus, arhaus.com MASTER BATH SINKS Kohler Memoirs, kohler.com TILE Capco Tile & Stone, capcotile.com KITCHEN NOOK TABLE Design Within Reach, dwr.com BANQUETTE Custom LIGHTING Pier 1 Imports, pier1.com PILLOWS Room & Board, roomandboard.com CHAIRS Gift from homeowner’s family POWDER ROOM SINK & FAUCET The Great Indoors, thegreatindoors.com COUNTERTOP 2 cm slab travertine, Capco Tile & Stone, capcotile.com VANITY Shanahan Collection, shanahancollection.com