In this D.C. home, animal prints can be neutral, scale becomes particularly important when layering patterns, and you should take time when sourcing vintage pieces for a thoughtful and curated look. Those are some of the biggest takeaways in the recent overhaul of a colorful British-inspired home designed by Zoe Feldman.
The clients, a family with two small children love color and pattern and were super interested in British style, Feldman recalls. She notes that English interior designer Kit Kemp was one of the major influences for this project. "She has a maximalist approach and uses color in unexpected and unconventional ways," Feldman says.
While the outside of the home is unsuspecting—a standard post-war brick home set back from the street—the interiors are now wow-worthy.
The brief started off simply with a few rooms but soon dominoed, and the whole home was completed in waves over two years. “It was really exciting to have the clients be a part of the process and expose them to new vendors, designers and ideas,” Feldman says. Furthermore, the intentional display of patterns and color in the home challenged the team to think outside-the-box and channel their inner maximalists.
The chartreuse room, which was designed after Feldman’s visit to The Urban Electric Company in Charleston, was the launching point for the project. “The paint in there was one of the first things that happened, and the rest trickled in because it was such a bold statement,” she says.
A Schumacher daybed in Serengeti Tigre, burl wood console, 1960s lucite coffee table, vintage rug and 1920s secretary desk make the room feel surprising, yet intentional. The interior of the desk was painted in blush as a way to add new life to the 100-year-old piece.
“I love to create these serendipitous design moments, they're like party tricks,” she says.
I love to create these serendipitous design moments, they're like party tricks.
The adjacent entryway and dining room feature equally rich aesthetics. “The whole idea was to create these spaces that read individually, but are still cohesive,” she says. An animal-print runner flanks the darkly painted staircase, while a floral Hines & Co. paper offers a clever juxtaposition. And in the dining room, instead of fighting its lack of natural light, Feldman turned it into a jewel box with floor-to-ceiling striped blue wallpaper.
Pattern continues into the kitchen, family room, and even in the primary bedroom, but now rests in relaxing blue tones. “In a house like this where every space is designed to every corner, you need to have an area that is easier on the eye,” she says. The kitchen with brass hardware and marble countertops is especially calming, yet still aligns with the overall conceptual approach.
For those wanting to dive into pattern play, Feldman suggests using the same fabric in multiple applications. A Quadrille Fabrics blue floral is seen in the Roman shades and pillows, while a cozy Holly Hunt sectional makes the room ideal for family movie night.
When it came to the bedrooms, Feldman picked up on even more color and funky geometric patterns. The daughter's room displays a non-gender normative print, a powerful and playful pink dinosaur paper, Dinosauria in plaster, from House of Hackney. In the master, a coral silk chevron pairs against an upholstered Ballard Designs bed.
“Bedding and upholstery can easily be swapped out, so having a neutral backdrop in the bedroom allows you to have a flexible design that can change with you over the years,” she concludes.