In a rosy bedroom of her Maine cottage, Martha had a lampshade made to match the Italian alabaster reading lamp; the ruffled edge echoes the fluted top of the ivory lamp base. The sconce is one in a set of Italian lyre-backed pieces that belonged to Martha's grandmother.
While style usually succumbs to overall function in a busy kitchen space, there is no reason that style can't share a plate with storage. This white- and steel-accented kitchen in an American colonial has mahogany counters, a table on casters, and chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen.
In a pink room, gray wainscoting and bare floors soften the vivid walls, which are adorned with an asymmetrical array of paintings, sea fans, and a framed collection of starfish. The Gustavian settee is upholstered in gray linen to match a mid-19th-century stool, and the side chair is baroque. A mid-20th-century Danish lamp stands on a rococo side table with Victorian decanters.
Among the easiest colors to add to a room, grayish blue-greens are layered here to create a calming effect. The warm gray wall color was also used on the sides and interiors of the open-back bookcases, giving them the feel of built-ins. A minty green on the case's front adds definition. The same paint was used on baskets stowed in the lower cubbies. Rounding out the palette, the desk is painted a misty grayish blue-green.
Looking at this room of subdued peaches and tans, the color contrasts may not be obvious. However, the accent pieces -- end tables painted Lancaster Blue and a tray coated in Babouche yellow -- are complementary colors that bring modern pop to the formal setting. And the exterior of the lampshades are painted peach to project the flattering color.
A graphic damask fabric was used for the floor-to-ceiling curtains in the living area of this Manhattan Loft. A tan couch and wood-based floor lamps highlight the exposed ceiling eaves. The rug is by British designer Neisha Crosland and the deep blue upholstered slipper chairs are antiques.
White accents balance any heaviness associated with dark brown. In this sun-filled den, brown and white are combined with pale green. The dark window blind is reminiscent of big mahogany shutters used in colonial houses in the tropics. Polka-dot tapes make the blind more playful.
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