In a classic Southern home, Melissa Rufty keeps the best of the past while injecting chic colors and patterns — from cantaloupe walls to animal prints — that say, "This isn't your grandmother's house."
To freshen a 1936 Georgian-style house in Monroe, Louisiana, Rufty painted the dining room walls a pretty cantaloupe — a hue lifted from the home's existing Fortuny curtains — and fine-tuned the color with a custom glaze. The designer paired traditional elements, including a crystal chandelier and an antique table, with chairs in a sassy Christopher Hyland leopard-print velvet
In the living room, the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore's Annapolis Gray in a lacquer finish, which Rufty likens to "lip gloss for the room." Beside the mantel, a wall sculpture of ceramic magnolias by Bradley Sabin feels modern while giving a nod to the Southern setting.
The living room's palette was taken from the colors in an antique tapestry that the clients purchased at auction. A Jim Thompson ikat on the armchair adds dynamism to the traditional decor.
A contemporary Meredith Pardue painting hangs above a Lucite-and-glass console from Uptowner Antiques.
"I wanted it to feel like being wrapped in a warm blanket," says Rufty of the library. To that end, she retained its existing color — Benjamin Moore's Mink — and added h fabrics like velvet and faux fur in the same rich chocolate brown. She designed the coffee table and had it custom painted with a faux-horn effect. The abstract painting is by New Orleans artist Richard Johnson.
Powder rooms are a designer's calling card," Rufty says. She reimagined this one with wallpaper by Celerie Kemble for Schumacher and a new custom metal sink apron hand-painted with a chinoiserie scene by Thomas Oppliger.
When he decorated this house decades ago, Mark Hampton draped this sunroom in yards of floral chintz. Rufty's impulse was to pare it back. To create a link with the garden, she covered the walls in a scenic Paul Montgomery silver-leaf floral paper. She also re-covered the homeowner's existing bérgères in a peridot Donghia satin and installed an eight-foot-long banquette upholstered in a Manuel Canovas fabric. The pale pink antique vestment pillow is by B. Viz Design.
On the covered porch, the family's heirloom wicker is topped with pillows in Peter Dunham Textiles fabrics. The jute rugs are from Cost Plus World Market.
New Orleans designer Melissa Rufty stands on the home's porch. Read more about her inspiration for this house here.
See something here you like? Check out our shopping guide for where to find it.
This story originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Natipernavigare.