Layered art adds dimension to an otherwise thoughtfully simple home.A peek of the dining room.
After purchasing a fully furnished home in Lexington, one client decided that she didn’t love anything in the home. Her solution? Have Dane Austin (daneaustindesign.com) completely redesign it.
Austin and his team had formerly worked with the client, who is an economist in the medical field, on her previous home in Arlington. After living in Switzerland for a few years, she decided to move back to Massachusetts. “She called and said, ‘I’m looking at a property. I want your opinion. I want to see if you think you could do something with it. It’s not my forever home, but I will be there for another five to 10 years,’” the IFDA New England 2022 Diamond Award Winner says.A closer look at the living room with the client’s dog.
“Livable luxury” was the theme of this project, which also needed to be family and dog friendly. Among other things, the client valued functionality, quality and ease of use—all with a punch of color. “She is joyful and fun-loving and celebrates life often,” Austin says. ”Her style is very chic and well-tailored. She has a refined but playful fashion sense and an interesting clothing collection filled with beautiful handbags, Max Mara coats and lots of bespoke, handmade jewelry created by independent artists and designers. We wanted her interiors to intentionally reflect that fashionable side of her personality.”
Art and friends played an integral part in the design aesthetic of the Lexington home, starting directly in the foyer with the stairway. Th ere, seven frames hang, each of which house artwork from the client’s friend. “With each holiday or special occasion, he will gift her with a new piece. She had them throughout the house in various places,” Austin says, noting his choice to bring them all together for a more impactful statement. “Design details like these are an interesting way to bring meaningful touches that add character and personality to the decor because they are pieces she already owns and loves having around,” he adds. A repetition of stacked artwork continues within the stairway, where one dozen black-and-white photographs are accented with brass frames. The dining room, where a sunny tangerine hue backdrops small treasures.
While the client wanted some color, she also opted to keep most of the home a neutral tone—with the exception of the kitchen, which features an aubergine-painted island (her favorite color). From here, Austin juxtaposed the dark purple hue with yellow accents, seen in the connected dining area. There, Modern Relik (modernrelik.com) chairs shine in vibrant golden boucle, which is replicated within the shelving of the built-ins behind the orblike table. The drapery fabric pulls the space together, accented with lavender gray. A custom-cut rug in the same room carries color throughout the home, according to Austin.Giant Modern Relik mobiles dangle from the ceiling to continue the artwork displayed on the Venetian plaster fireplace.
Look to the family room as an example. The cavernous space is pulled together with a similar muted blue hue and gold accents. Plush furnishings draw guests to sit and relax when the client entertains, but it’s the Venetian plaster fireplace designed by Pauline Curtis at Patina Designs (patinadesigns.com) that stands out with a piece that Curtis installed from Artists for Humanity (afhboston.org). It seems to symbolize the same bubbly and celebratory spirit of the client herself. “I love the graphic nature of it… that it feels like Champagne bubbles or celebratory confetti,” Austin says. The bubbles continue into the center of the room as they dangle from the ceiling as mobiles. Overall, the textures and art give the space a layered feel, providing dimension to the otherwise simple color palette.
Tangerine shows up again in the pillows of the primary bedroom, while Bunny Williams table lamps add fun texture.
Rounding out the first floor is a study, which features grasscloth wallcoverings from Phillip Jeffries (phillipjeffries.com) and a Greek key-inspired rug from Landry & Arcari (landryandarcari.com). Headed upstairs, a big lavender moment is featured in the primary bedroom, which was inspired by the drapery fabric in the area. Swanky gray paint by Sherwin-Williams (sherwinwilliams.com) coats the walls, while a patterned rug with lavender undertones adds warmth. Above, a petite, feminine light fixture designed by Barbara Barry for Visual Comfort (visualcomfort.com) completes the space.
While a single console is still backordered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the client was elated with the outcome of the home. “It’s not going to be smooth at every step. The whole process is very much about the journey—realizing needs, wants and wishes, working through the challenges and obstacles as a team and having the comfort of knowing that as your trusted advisers and design guides, we are here to lead you through the process every step of the way. The end result is always a beautifully finished home that reaches beyond your imagination and expectations,” Austin concludes.
No small corner was spared detail.
LANDRY & ARCARI
ROBERT ALLEN BEACON HILL
Fretwork chairs, living room
Table lamps, primary bedroom
Drapery, dining room
Floor lamp, primary bedroom
Drapery, primary bedroom