Tradition with a Colorful Twist
Spicing Up the Traditional
When interior designer Megan Young and her husband, Erik, moved from New York City to Pinehurst, North Carolina, they found a one-level house with plenty of space for 20-month-old Effie to play and for Megan to play out her design ideas. The interior puts a twist on tradition with graphic colors and patterns, frugal finds, well-chosen luxuries, and one-of-a-kind art.
In the casual sitting and breakfast nook off the kitchen, as in nearly every room, Megan has laid a traditional foundation and jazzed it up with unexpected color combos. “Neutrals can be so beautiful, but I am always drawn to bold color because it brings a room to life,” Megan says. “Using a variety of colors adds to the sense that furniture and objects have been collected, not just bought for the space.”
Showcase Bold Colors
Toile fabric in bright hues on the kitchen chairs partners stylishly with a contemporary table from the inexpensive retailer IKEA. The kitchen’s white cabinets and backsplash allow Megan’s fabric choices in the breakfast area to really shine.
The formal dining room jazzes up a traditional foundation with unexpected color combos. “I started with the gold-and-orange toile wallpaper," Megan says. "Then I chose the chair fabric. I wanted a graphic pattern to contrast with the toile, something casual to balance the fancy.” A painting from a local antiques shop and blue silk draperies round out the vivid scheme.
“Everyone who comes in here tells me if I had shown them those things separately, they’d have said, ‘No way!’ ” she says, laughing.
Megan and Erik’s bedroom is a great example of putting a sophisticated spin on the basics. The setup is really quite simple—matching side tables and lamps, an area rug, draperies, and a headboard—but the result is stunning.
The room’s colors are toned down, but the mix of patterns definitely isn’t. An animal-print rug and the floral fabric on the headboard are perfect examples of Megan’s “mix, don’t match” mind-set.
Boomer the dog enjoys the comfortable décor as well.
Megan custom-designed the upholstered headboard to get just the right shape and size. Tailored silk cording punctuates the curvy shape of the bed's custom-upholstered headboard.
“I wanted to create a more interesting shape than you find from typical online sources,” she says. “A custom headboard makes the space if you can’t really afford to redecorate the whole room.” She now also offers custom-upholstered headboards through her design business.
The formal living room blends antiques-store finds and high-end fabrics, but the room isn’t too formal for dogs and children. The furnishings look just right with the natural texture of a sisal rug, which also stands up to wear and tear.
“The room developed out of my collecting things I love. That’s how I work on most of my projects. I see what I like for the space, as opposed to going in with a set of parameters,” Megan says.
Megan also isn’t afraid to make changes to the items she buys. Almost every chair in the room was refinished: Two armchairs were whitewashed, and the blue velvet chair was gilded.
Mix and Match Original Art
When she couldn’t find the artwork she was looking for in a store, Megan took the projects into her own hands. One of her paintings adds a splash of contemporary color over an antique bureau in the entryway.
“You have to use art boldly and not be afraid that it’s not going to match the room,” Megan says of selecting art. “I actually don’t think it should match the room. It should be the right thing to hang in that space.”