I wanted to share my latest project with you – a colorful Cape Cod Home. This is a house located in Sandwich, MA is on a picturesque pond complete with ducks and geese floating by. I know the area well as my parents lived up the street for 30 years. This house is not old, but built to look like a traditional small Cape home. But, it was bland and my color loving client wanted to liven things up!
See what I mean?
Now, here is an example of why keeping an open mind is so important: my client wanted to do a painted trim and white walls. My initial reaction was – ugh, a little dated looking. I wasn’t overly enthused by the idea. Partially because that’s what my parents had. My dad was all about Colonial Homes and traditional style. He was as much interested in decorating as my Mom and he did all the work. He even built the kitchen and installed the beams on the ceiling. But, I digress…
One of the best things about magazine tear sheets (now known as Pinterest) is that a picture really is worth a thousand words. While my mind went directly to my parents 1990’s decorated home, this is what the client showed me as her inspiration:
Well, this made all the difference.
An important part of my design process – whether I’m working in-person or remotely with clients – is that I start with a Design Style Concept phase. After our initial discovery phase (where the tear sheets come in), I put together a mood board or 1st look (or two) for my client’s to sign off on. It lets me show them where I think the project is headed and give us a chance to course correct before I get too deep into the weeds of designing a space.
This was the cover of my initial design concept that I showed the clients. Taking the Baratta spaces as the primary inspiration, I fleshed it would with some fabric ideas and carpet style. When we were talking about stair runners, I knew immediately that I wanted to do a flat weave striped carpet on the stairs. The client also wanted a braided rug for the living room area and simple window treatments on the windows to add color and warmth, but not block the amazing views.
My client’s feedback was generally positive, but she reminded me that she wanted bright and colorful. And she didn’t really like the flat weave striped carpet idea. Hmm… But, I knew I was headed in the right direction. So I started pulling together fabrics and paint colors.
And we settled on these beauties below.
For paint we selected:
This is where we started:
And this is the new colorful Cape Cod Home!
Custom-made faux roman shades in this lovely botanical fabric were mounted just under the small crown molding above the windows and custom-made seat cushions were made from a goldenrod colored woven high-performance fabric.
I was so thrilled that my clients trusted me when I suggested that the entire stair case, except the treads, be painted blue! It’s a bold choice and most people are very against painting wood. But in this case, there were competing woods in the space and the honey oak was just not interesting enough to keep.
I was also able to show my client that a fun flat weave carpet with custom installation was the perfect choice for their stair case. Their house has an unusual floor plan – it looks fairly traditional on the outside, but the front door opens directly into the kitchen with the stair case on the left. So, it was important to draw the eye towards something really wow – and a bright blue staircase has a lot of wow! – versus the kitchen. The eye is then drawn to the dining area above and the sitting area with fireplace and spectacular views of the pond, which you can see in the “before” photo above. The day I took these photos was window treatment install day and it was raining like crazy – before it started to snow!
Isn’t this striped carpet amazing? It’s graphic and bold, yet completely traditional. The custom installation took my carpet vendor 4 hours as each step was cut and attached in a “Hollywood” style installation.
The reason I selected the Hollywood style is because my clients have a new puppy and she loves to sit on the stairs to look out the window. If their puppy is anything like mine, any looseness or gap in the stair runner would be discovered and destroyed in short order.
I can say, it was terrible weather when we installed the window treatments – but it felt warm and vibrant inside this colorful Cape Cod Home!