Blue and White Is Always Right: See Inside This Family-Friendly Dallas Home

Amy Berry Designed Dallas Home with White Exterior with Blue Shutters
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Jenny O'Connor

Sometimes you just know. When a Dallas couple was looking for a guide to help hone their style, they were sure Amy Berry was that person. They shared with her their dream of creating a home that blended traditional decor with family-friendly touches, choosing foundational pieces that were timeless, and using color so it always felt like spring inside.

Only one piece of the puzzle was missing: the actual house. But they knew Berry could help with that too. After touring a few homes together, the choice emerged. The stately brick house with Colonial and Georgian touches in Dallas' Greenway Parks neighborhood was a little older than many they looked at, but Berry's clients knew her next-gen take on the classics would liven it up for them and their two young girls. "They love traditional design, florals, pattern, and color," Berry says. "I was just happy they liked the same things I did!"

The in-sync quality of their relationship led to easy yeses during the redecoration: French blue as the through line in the color palette, what Berry refers to as "bright and happy" accent hues, fun and fearless deployments of wallpaper to dress up blank walls, and heirloom-quality pieces resting side by side with a handful of contemporary picks.

Because the owners are realistic about possibly relocating someday, Berry says she put every decision through a "now and later" filter. "For them, the question was 'How do we fill each room without putting a bunch of money into the house itself?' " she says. "Finding pieces that will work in other spaces is so important." That meant including comfortable sofas with traditional lines and upholstery versatile enough to slide right into any future home and investing in items they'll keep forever (like the dining set) rather than renovations. Colors and patterns throughout rejuvenate the home.

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Make A Welcome Statement

Amy Berry Designed Dallas House Neutral Entryway with Blue Front Door
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Jenny O'Connor

Berry's best tip for giving old-school style a new look? Turn up the volume a notch. "This design is traditional in that the patterns are timeless, but the colors are a bit younger and brighter, even the whites," she says. The entry's rug—a classic motif that's cast in an updated blush-green-and-orange colorway—shows off the plan right at the front door.

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Pick A Pretty Pattern

Amy Berry Designed Dallas Home Formal Dining Room with Chartreuse Wallpaper and Blue Accents
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Jenny O'Connor

With go-anywhere furnishings locked in, Berry turned to color and pattern to add visual interest to the walls. "Wallpaper instantly filled up those rooms that would have stood out as seeming unfinished or blank," she says. Thanks to openings into the living and family rooms, the dining room's chartreuse Quadrille San Marco paper energizes the adjacent spaces too. Was it a risk? "It didn't feel like one," Berry says. She sprinkled that same green throughout the rest of the house so the paper wasn't a one-off move.

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Invest Selectively

Amy Berry Designed Dallas House White Living Room with Pops of Color
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Jenny O'Connor

Spend your money on big-ticket items that need to be comfortable—like sofas, chairs, and a dining set, says Berry. It's okay to scrimp on the rest. While shopping for this family, she zeroed in on pieces with traditional lines then upholstered them in long-lasting indoor/outdoor fabrics in solids and stripes. "Simple patterns aren't hard to move around if you need to switch things up," she says.

The long living room's dimensions called for visual trickery. "The sofa isn't exactly centered on the fireplace opposite it, so making it white like the wall helps camouflage it," Berry says.

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Go Off Script Once or Twice

Amy Berry Designed Dallas House Breakfast Nook with Tulip Table and Wooden Chairs
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Jenny O'Connor

The occasional well-placed contemporary accent piece shakes up the home's formal style in a way that's in step with the owners' personalities. "That mix is important so the house feels less serious," says Berry. In the breakfast nook, the modernity of a marble-topped tulip table is balanced by a set of casual wood chairs. A pretty collection of botanical-print plates doubles as artwork in the sun-filled breakfast nook.

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Find Room For The Unexpected

Amy Berry Designed Dallas Home Yellow Powder Room
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Jenny O'Connor

A small, contained room is just the spot for a change of scene, as the yellow-papered powder room shows. "When people like color, the powder room is an easy place to put something bright and fun," Berry says.

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Contrast Finishes

Amy Berry Designed Dallas House Neutral Family Room
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Jenny O'Connor

The family room is a master class in unstudied polish, but there's no complicated secret to nailing the details. Berry says, "It's like having a checklist. Did you add something old and something wood? Are you representing all the finishes?" She pairs items like the organic texture of a rattan side table with a glossy garden stool to keep the eye moving and interested.

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Go Custom When Necessary

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A custom rug not only delivers on the size the family room requires but also lets the piece neatly mirror the unique shape of the space. Four wicker armchairs surround a smooth white-painted wood game table, making the space perfect for family night.

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Repeat The Theme

Amy Berry Designed Dallas Home Bedroom with Blue and Green Accents
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Jenny O'Connor

French blue (the homeowners' favorite color) stars in virtually every room. It's bold and strong in some spaces, like the living room, and softened in others, like the primary bedroom, where Berry toned it way down on the Schumacher wallpaper so it would read as a neutral and balance the floral fabric upholstering the bed (Lee Jofa's Grenville). "It's quieter but still gives them a pattern so their walls don't feel forgotten," she says. Brass accents in the lighting and nightstands add a bit of patina and glamour while complementing all the cool blues and greens in the palette.

09 of 12

Sneak In Some Budget Pieces

Amy Berry Designed Dallas Home Pink Little Girls Bedroom
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Jenny O'Connor

The candy-sweet girl's bedroom pairs a fancy flowery wallpaper (Bob Collins & Sons Inc.'s Bamboo Floral) with retail finds that look more high-end by association, like an Anthropologie chandelier and Pottery Barn bedding. The daybed is the investment piece here, since the homeowners can continue to use it as their daughter grows. "You don't have to start from scratch," Berry says. The home's previous owners left the ivory drapes when they moved out. She took them down, put a coordinating pink trim on the valance, and hung them back up.

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Know A Good Thing

Amy Berry Designed Dallas Home White Playroom with Blue Accents and Stuffed Animals on the Wall
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Jenny O'Connor

The playroom's tongue-and-groove walls were in great shape and fit the casual style of the space, so all Berry ordered was a coat of fresh paint. The clients moved these window treatments from their old nursery and Berry shortened them to fit the room's dimensions. "I tried to use as much of their things as I could." Toys are a playroom must, so Berry's rule of thumb is to keep play spaces as clean-lined and neutral as possible and to fill the space with plenty of baskets for quick tidying.

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Add Pops Of Color

Amy Berry Designed Dallas Home Neutral and Blue Guest Bathroom
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Jenny O'Connor

Even in the subdued guest bath, Berry managed to work in a hint of the home's signature blue hue in the window's playfully patterned Roman shade. While the rest of the room veers toward neutral territory, colors within the rug match the shade's vibrancy, keeping the bold accent from standing out too much. Marble floor tiles installed in a running bond pattern are a new take on a common material.

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Go With The Space

Amy Berry Designed Dallas Home Back Patio with Climbing Ivy
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Jenny O'Connor

The generous patio and landscaping was move-in ready when the couple bought the house so they did little more than pull large potted plants into the seating areas. Custom cushions dress up a patio set from Ballard Designs. "Outdoors, I tend to stick to blues and greens, like the sky and grass," says Berry.

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