The story began with the enchanting botanical wallpaper that Ashley Whittaker selected for the living room of her clients’ Connecticut weekend hideaway. Since this space is the first thing you see from the home’s entry hall, “it needed to be a real showstopper,” says the New York designer.
With its birds perched on branches blooming with roses, the de Gournay chinoiserie backdrop was the jumping-off point for Whittaker’s design for the entire Greek Revival–style home — inspiring its fanciful mix of patterns and a palette that veers from jewel tones to sweet pastels.
Among the unexpected choices: a dining room with lacquered aubergine walls, a butler’s pantry in rich pomegranate, a breakfast room with baby-blue chairs and trellis wallpaper, and a master suite done up in lavender and celadon. Even small accents like the citron welt on the powder-room molding (a Whittaker signature!) were inspired by the living room’s garden print. “It was truly the thread that stitched this project together,” Whittaker says.
‘‘I’m constantly thinking about contrasting textures, like combining silky and coarse or velvet and linen. It doesn’t matter how many patterns and colors you have going on — the room will feel flat if it’s missing that sense of dimension,” Whittaker says.
Whittaker designs each room with the entire house in mind, so there's balance from room to room.“As I design a room, I’m always considering the space next door,” Whittaker says. “What are the contrasts, what’s the continuity, what do I want to see more of?"
"The library’s rich Prussian blue was inspired by the living room’s wallpaper — you see it in the bird feathers. I then pulled that deep blue back into the living room: It turns up on the table lamp, on the garden stool, and in the painting, as well as on the subtle welt along the seat of the side chair. Even the butterflies on the sofa’s pea-green pillows hint at that blue. You might not notice these little details, but they give both spaces a sense of harmony.”
Shop the Look
- Chevalier wool in Soleil,
- French grosgrain ribbon in Peacock,
- Chatsworth on India Tea Paper in Icefield,
- Tapa Stripe cotton in Sulphur Green & Off-White,
- Velours Olympia velvet in Frog Green,
- French Bullion fringe in white,
- Zebulon cotton blend in Phenix,
See more photos of this gorgeous home:
This Charming Weekend Escape Turns Floral Print into a Contemporary Accent
This story originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of Natipernavigare.