Truman Capote once wrote of islands:
“To set foot on one is like starting up a gangplank. One is seized by the same feeling of charmed suspension: It seems nothing unkind or vulgar can happen to you» That sentiment still holds today on Coronado Island, off the southern tip of California.
“It’s like stepping into another time,” says California native and Las Vegas-based designer Taylor of the isle where she transformed the interior of an unusual 1890s Cape Cod-style green-shingled residence into a playful beach house befitting its funky architecture and the young family that spends time there.
“My clients don’t live here full-time, so we were able to take much more liberty with pattern and color than if they lived here year-round,” says . “This house has an eccentric vibe about it.”
Craving more energy than the all-white slate chosen by the developer provided, Borsari and her clients decided on a “hip granny feel.” They layered madcap wall
Family room A Moroccan-inspired fabric from Martyn Lawrence Bollard anchors the headsugar- room. The patinated coffee table is from Restoration Hardware. Preceding pages On the front coverings and patterns that “almost could have been there before,” says Borsari.
Starting in an attic room complete with a steep-pitched tongue-and-groove ceiling, Borsari papered the walls with a funky yellow rose pattern, then layered in patterns—acid lemon on the custom upholstered headboard and coral rose shades in bedding—to give it a fresh kick. p “Their 7-year-old daughter loves this room, p and it will be something she can grow into,” n says Borsari.
Because the pattern-play results were so thrilling, Borsari and the homeowners continued on their bold and playful path.
Pattern acted as more than a tool for adding layers of soul. In the kitchen, employed a graphic tile pattern “to mitigate the huge bright blue La Cornue range.”
Exotic patterns flow into the adjoining family and dining rooms, using Near and Far East-inspired textiles. “We wanted to avoid the red, white, and blue cliché of a beach house,” says Borsari.
Family room Beach elements reference the home’s location. Earthy indigo accent cushions from Raoul Textiles and Quadrille continue the exotic pattern play of the curtains.
Exterior The Cape Cod-style green-shingled home.
Living room “We built a story around the yellow China Seas curtains from Quadrille,” says designer Taylor Borsari. “We wanted it to be inviting, bright, and playful.” Staying within a second-house budget,
Borsari added only new lamps, accessories, side tables, and fresh natural fabrics, giving the space a “come sit with me feel.”
Kitchen To embrace the existing blue and brass La Cornue range, surrounded it with Moroccan tiles from Mosaic House.
A custom-designed butcher-block-topped island with Moroccan-inspired details brings exotic charm to the room.
Dining room Eames fiberglass chairs with Prince Charles dowel bases provide an industrial edge and are virtually indestructible in the oft-used breakfast and dining area
Master bedroom This bedroom is defined by its perfectly paired pattems—Galbraith & Paul wallpaper, drapery fabric from Schumacher, headboard upholstery from Mark Alexander, and bench upholstery from Michael Devine. A custom-designed chair is covered in a neutral fabric from Malabar. The overscaled wallpaper offers a dramatic backdrop for the vintage desk.
Taylor Borsari’s tips of the trade
Use texture It’s important to recognize and play with contrasting textures—like an embroidered pillow with a beautiful linen weave against a clean cotton print.
Apply pattern Use bold pattern liberally to enliven a space, and offset it with small doses of other patterns in differing shades. Rethink your existing pieces Re-cover pieces in a fun fabric, or repaint them in an unexpected color to give them new life. For example, an old brass mirror felt frumpy, so we painted it a bright yellow.
Embracing color can be liberating Instead of s keeping the standard white on iron bunk beds, we painted them bright turquoise. Just dive in!
Experiment in small places You’ll gain the w courage to take on bigger projects with ^ your small-space successes.
Loft bedroom The wallpaper from Sanderson was inspiration for the home’s scheme. The mix of patterns—headboard fabric from Christopher Far Cloth, bed cover from Manuel , and curtains from Harlequin—embodies the Bohemian-granny spirit of the attic room (and the rest of the historic-yet-lively 1890s beach house).
Boy’s bedroom A patterned wall covering from Textiles sets a playful yet stylish theme in this young boy’s room. A striped rug from West Elm offers the perfect scale, while a pair of paintings from Pottery Barn Kids play off r, : the wallpaper’s palette.
”; Girls’ bedroom Tropical shades of aqua, yellow, and coral enliven the imagination in this wanderlust-theme bedroom. wallpapered the formerly bland white walls in slumber-party-ready “Regina Fiesta” from Pindler & Pindler and painted Restoration Hardware’s standard-issue white “Millbrook” iron bunk beds a cheeky turquoise.
Location, location, location. The mantra of real estate agents is also the unspoken foundation for good interior design.
Case in point: the Upper East Side apartment that designer Katie Lydon pulled together for longtime clients. The “bizarrely amazing” light dictated everything that followed, according to Lydon, a London transplant. “It was the first thing that hit me when I walked in the door.”
Lydon wanted every element to enhance the luminosity of the space, starting with the ceiling, which she lacquered to a pale moonlight sheen. The rooms were left lightly furnished—a nod to the downtown loft the family had just vacated and nirvana for the family’s two energetic young boys.
The clients wanted a clean, spare look that discouraged clutter: modern and minimal but not cold and unwelcoming. Their art collection was the bridge. “Great art allows you to keep a room simple and easy without it feeling staid or bare,” shares.
Living room Designer Katie Lydon helped unify the two halves of the space by using the same rug from Merida on both sides. A classic leather bench from Design is used as a coffee table in the light-filled space. The sofa is a custom design . Preceding pages The built-in bookcases are original, but Lydon updated them by removing the molding, adding picture lights, and replacing shiny knobs on cupboard doors with oil-rubbed bronze.
Living room Vintage lamps with black paper shades and side tables with travertine tops— mix with chairs from George Smith and a sofa custom-designed by Lydon. Textures pillows on the sofas and gray Farrow & Ball paint on the back of bookshelves add depth to the space.
Modern meets traditional in the living room. Separated into two distinct seating areas—a more modern side often co-opted by the children and a more traditionally styled area with an elegance that begs for a Mad Men-style cocktail party—the room is unified by furniture with similar lines.
The children’s rooms also demanded careful planning. The tight spaces begged for ^ built-ins, which would be visually interesting p while still keeping the inevitable collections n of toys and treasures in check.
And while some pieces in the apartment were moved from the downtown loft and re-covered or refinished to fit into the new space, others were sourced upstate or from auction houses. Lydon loves to use vintage pieces, believing they add a layer of history and warmth. “I do believe it’s the only way to make things feel unique,” she says. Set against the soft grays, blues, greens, and creams of this apartment, they imbue a patina of richness, immediately making the space feel like homemining room Baker dining chairs upholstered in gold leather cluster around a table from Room. The cityscape photograph by Joel adds a hint of drama to the otherwise light space. The white pottery pieces are of German origin and were bought at an auction in England.
Entry arranged an artful vignette in the entry. The console is from Baker.
Katie Lyons tips of the trade
Lacquer the ceiling It will give the surface a wonderful reflective quality that can make a room feel completely rich and bright. Consider multiple seating areas This is especially important in a big room because it allows areas of intimacy that create a more complex and grander whole.
Artwork is important It sets the tone for a room and adds and style. If the budget is tight, consider a selection of smaller items to hang salon-style or in a graphic grid.
Paint the backs of bookcases in a rich shade. It’s an easy way to give a space a quick update and inject a pop of color into a room.Master bedroom A headboard upholstered in a Peter Fasano linen and curtains from Larsen play off the room’s soft palette bed linens are paired with a duvet and throw pillows from John Rob show. The mint-green lamps from Circa Lighting insert a subtle dash of color.