Looking to Design a Home with Depth and Texture? Use This Baltimore Residence as Your Guide
Interior designer Elizabeth Lawson couldn't wait to transform this expansive home set in Northern Baltimore's Homeland, a neighborhood rich in history and landscape design—and rightfully so. "The house was very traditional and very colorful to begin with. I knew I wanted to achieve a more cohesive neutral palette with clean lines," she tells Martha Stewart Living.
A major driving force for the overwhelming success of the project? "It helps when your client has really good taste!" Lawson divulges. Together, the two made magic happen while creating a space that was both reflective of Dawson's clean, restrained aesthetic, and functional for her client and her two young boys. "I don't like to limit myself to a certain style, but rather design with pieces that I love that also reflect my client's taste, which ultimately ends up working with my aesthetic," explains Lawson. Still, there are certainly common threads seen throughout Lawson's pool of work. "I love clean lines and interiors that aren't fussy. People often mistake our [Maryland based] firm as being on the West coast, as we have a bit of a California vibe," she tells us.
Beyond offering the home a more neutral, sophisticated palette, Lawson also let the project develop organically over time—her preferred course of action, overall. "I typically find a piece that I love for a space and that serves as a jumping-off point for the rest of the room," she explains of her method.
As for the result? From the bay window seating to a show-stopping vintage living room rug, this Baltimore home is rich in architectural details and stunning textiles—a particular passion of Lawson's. "Although I love designing kitchens and bathrooms, my favorite spaces to design have always been living spaces. I have been a textile fanatic from day one!" But do be sure to venture beyond the living room—just wait until you see the kitchen.
Original Antiqued Mirrors
Though Lawson changed the majority of the home's original features, she made it a point to preserve several architectural moments. "The living room had stunning antiqued mirrors over the fireplace that I intentionally worked into the design," she shares.
A Bay Window Seat
As a self-proclaimed "textile fanatic," Lawson made sure to select beautiful fabrics that would hold up to her client's lifestyle. "We worked a gorgeous performance velvet into the bay window nook. Durable and easy-to-clean fabrics were a must for a client with two young boys," she explains.
A Transformed Layout
Of all the home's rooms, the jaw-dropping black-and-white kitchen underwent the biggest renovation, says Lawson. "We started with an extremely choppy, small space for such a large house and ended with a much more open floor plan by removing a vertical beam that cut the space in half," she explains.
The massive island is the perfect prep space for her client (who loves to cook), with plenty of room to accommodate her sons at the same time.
"The countertops and backsplash are a soapstone and granite hybrid that my supplier happened to have in stock. It has subtle veining and a honed finish which adds a modern element to the space," Lawson explains. She paired the white cabinetry with luxe hardware which she admits was "pricey" and took a long time to arrive, but maintains it was "well worth it!"
A Breakfast Nook
In keeping with their modern design approach, Lawson and her client opted out of a traditional dining space. "She wanted a space that fit their everyday needs and felt more casual, so we actually gave her a larger dining nook in the kitchen and decided to forgo a more formal dining room," Lawson tells us.
A Place to Entertain
This cozy, elevated sitting area is situated just off the breakfast nook, and provides a place for more formal entertaining.
Lawson decided on a moody vibe for the study, setting the tone with an enveloping wall color. "When selecting a fabric for the sofa, I just happened upon this vermillion velvet and a little bit of magic happened!" she shares.
Pop of Salmon
Lawson credits the wallpaper as the jumping-off point for this powder room. "That salmon color is one of my absolute favorites. The tile is another one of my favorite parts of this room. It's a tiny matte hex and it's just adorable," says Lawson.
While the homeowner was mainly starting from scratch with furnishings, there were a few select pieces she hoped to integrate into the new design plan. "The client had the metal four-poster bed that she wanted to reuse, but I knew I wanted to soften the space a bit with natural woods and textiles," she notes.
The rich drapery panels create a striking contrast against the white walls, while seamlessly tying in the floral art above the bed.
The hallway guest bathroom strikes the perfect balance between the modern and the classic thanks to a timeless color palette and clean finishes. "We all fell in love with the Cle tile on the floor. From there, I selected a Calacatta subway tile for the shower walls, beautiful plumbing fixtures from Kallista, and a black light fixture from Allied Maker to tie in the floor tile," Lawson explains.