This Century-Old Bungalow Is Full Of Playful Patterns And Happy Colors

For painter Dorothy Shain Henderson’s revived family home in Greenville, South Carolina, home is where the art is.

Dorothy Shain Henderson exterior
Like the interiors, the front yard tells a story with roadside-rescue boxwoods and flowers inspired by Henderson’s childhood garden. Photo:


For artist Dorothy Shain Henderson, her inspiration extends beyond her studio. “Our house is like a piece of art. It’s a creative outlet,” she says of the Greenville, South Carolina, abode she shares with her husband, William. At first glance, the bitty cottage reminded her of the 120-year-old home she grew up in only a mile and a half down the road—it’s steeped in history, charm, and character.

“I’ve always had an obsession with bungalows and pulled ideas from them into my art,” she says. “When this house popped up, I immediately had a vision for it and was sold.” Her dream? A place filled with meaningful design choices that suit her growing family (the couple had a baby girl in 2022).

Dorothy Shain Henderson living room
"When William and I started dating, we decided to buy a work of art together every year. It didn't have to be fancy, just something that we both loved," says Henderson.


She and William started with an overhaul of the plain-Jane facade. They kept the neutral siding, brightened the brick with a fresh coat of white paint, splashed the shutters in a cheerful custom blue-green shade, and perked up the porch flooring with Sherwin-Williams’ Naval (SW 6244). They then framed the columns with evergreen clematis vines. The star-patterned railings were a sentimental choice; she has loved the style since she was a child.

Inside, they kept many of the century-old house’s original features (like the pine floors and glass doorknobs), but the rooms benefited from their all-in approach to color and collaborative brainstorms with designer Taylor Hill, who was their neighbor at the time. Together, they carried the couple’s love for storytelling throughout.

Dorothy Shain Henderson
Dorothy Shain Henderson.


Go Wild On The Walls

“I really wanted to be cognizant of collecting items that have significance and filling the house with things from my parents and people I know,” says Henderson. While some of the art that hangs here is her own, most of the pieces were made by friends, including her favorite—a portrait of her French bulldog, Lucy, by Beth Lacefield.

Dorothy Shain Henderson home


Experiment With Color

True to Henderson’s fun and quirky style, the dining room sings with exuberant hues and textures, including the walls painted in Sherwin-Williams’ Lullaby (SW 9136), the chandelier from Stray Dog Designs, heirloom vases, and her own art on display. “I think of a painting a lot like a puzzle; you place color where it needs to go,” she explains. “I believe my house is like that too.” Hints of red and orange always weave their way into her artwork, and Henderson says that she’s found herself doing the same around her home.

Dorothy Shain Henderson home


Strike A Balance

“I like the contrast of pairing old and new, so my house is a constant mix of antique pieces sitting next to modern ones,” she says. In the den, there’s a blue map of Van Zandt County, Texas, with William’s grandfather’s handwriting that hangs alongside her own black-and-white prints. Henderson lent her creativity with the textiles too. For the three pillows in the center of the sofa, she used her Painted Stripe in Blue along with her Star Zinnias print. The other two are covered in fabric from the line of her friend and fellow artist Lulie Wallace.

Dorothy Shain Henderson kitchen


Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Paint

Instead of replacing existing dark brown and tan elements in the kitchen, the homeowners gave them colorful facelifts. For the cabinetry, they chose a bold blue, Sherwin-Williams’ Blustery Sky (SW 9140). They painted the walls in Farrow & Ball’s Strong White (No. 2001) trimmed in Sherwin-Williams’ Lullaby, a shade that appears throughout the house. Atlanta-based decorative painter and faux-finisher Hayden Gregg was brought in to update the countertops, backsplash, and floors.

Dorothy Shain Henderson bedroom


Nod To Things You Love

Above the bed in the primary bedroom hangs a piece by Glory Day Loflin—a reference to the couple’s favorite place, Lake Jocassee, located about an hour away. Weaving colors from the artwork throughout the room, Henderson collaborated with North Carolina furniture brand Coley Home on a custom bench wrapped in her Tiny Petals fabric and then covered pillows with Plaid in Blue and Buttercups in Yellow, also from her collection.

Dorothy Shain Henderson nursery


Carry Out Your Vision

“I wanted to design textiles and paintings specifically for the room because, as an artist, it’s not often that you get to create something for yourself,” says Henderson about her daughter’s nursery. Her friend interior designer Weaver Carroll pulled together the whimsical space as a baby gift, painting the walls in Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground (No. 202) and complementing the shade with Henderson’s Painted Stripe on both the curtains and stool and Tiny Petals Reverse on the bassinet.

Dorothy Shain Henderson bathroom


Create A One-Hit Wonder

“Since it’s a single-bathroom house, I wanted this space to pack a punch like a little treasure box,” says Henderson.

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