Quest for Color
Enjoy the warmth that the right balance of vivid hues brings to a home. Express your creativity by following the example of this family room and kitchen.
Transforming the look of a room begins with fresh, dynamic color. Paint a wall, add some artwork, or bring in a new rug. Then, if you like what you’ve started, keep going, as Molly and Rick Hood have done.
The couple wanted to move from their large Tudor home in Richmond, Virginia, to a smaller cottage-style house. The perfect starting point turned out to be an 1898 carriage house that once stabled horses for homeowners in the neighborhood. The Hoods bought the carriage house in 2005, and during the remodeling, added a dining room, a bedroom, and a spacious kitchen that’s contemporary in tone yet respectful of the original architecture.
Bright and bold hues interplay on the furniture, art, and accessories in the family room. “I’ve always liked color,” says Molly. Her preference for the primaries shines all around the room. With designer Susan Lankenau of Charlottesville, the Hoods chose fabrics in clear shades of red, yellow, and blue and accented them with contrasting pillows. The carriage house’s original exposed-stone fireplace adds a rugged presence to a room filled with refinements. Contemporary still life and figure paintings, turned out with wide mats and gold frames, echo the palette. Dramatic full-length patterned draperies accentuate the four tall windows.
For the new kitchen, residential designer Morgan Pierce of Grace Street Home Additions planned intersecting timbers that cross the ceiling to capture the character of the former carriage house. A shed dormer at the front of the house admits light into the ceiling vault and brightens the room.
The Hoods devised an easy way of bringing the garden inside, even in the coldest months: They painted the island cabinetwork red, used green for the sink and stove areas, and chose yellow for cabinets along one side of the room. There’s also a slice of orange cabinetwork in the adjoining desk area. To give continuity to the space, they used black honed-granite countertops throughout.