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The foyer sets an inviting tone with its bright, primary colors. © Angie Seckinger

Proxmire updated slipper chairs with vibrant fabric from Manuel Canovas. © Kip Dawkins

Navy blue and bright yellow characterize the dining room. © Angie Seckinger

A child-sized bed is complemented by a lavender color scheme. © Kip Dawkins

A deep-blue accent wall offsets bright-green window treatments in the boy's room. © Kip Dawkins

A custom skirt is a vibrant addition to the girl's room. © Kip Dawkins

The serene master bedroom boasts a muted palette of blue and green. © Kip Dawkins

Lilly Pulitzer duvets inspired one daughter's room. © Kip Dawkins

A whimsical animal print from Clarence House inspired the living room. © Angie Seckinger

In Living Color

Kelley Proxmire animates a Virginia home with a bold, cheerful palette

How well a client trusts me makes all the difference,” says designer Kelley Proxmire, who is known for the strong use of vivid color in her work. This was certainly the case during a project for a Vienna couple with young children, who asked her to redecorate their colonial-style house over the span of several years. Proxmire suggested a palette of bright primary hues throughout—and the wife embraced her vision.

They started in the foyer with yellow-and-white striped wallpaper from Thibaut, combined with a blue carpet and a vintage settée that Proxmire discovered and reupholstered in coral linen from Clarence House. The colors set the tone for the home. “It’s happy and youthful when you walk in,” Proxmire explains.

The designer enjoys decorating with color—as a glance through her portfolio will confirm—but she has definite rules regarding how it should be used.  “The biggest thing about color is it has to flow between spaces,” she says. “You have to be able to see from room to room that it all connects.”

Throughout this house, shades of blue, green, yellow and red—all inspired by fabrics that caught Proxmire’s eye—crop up in varying combinations. The living room picks up the adjacent foyer’s blue and red hues, adding fresh green on the walls. The dining room walls are deep blue striae, enhanced by bold yellow silk drapes with custom blue trim. In each room, white woodwork and white-painted furniture create a crisp contrast to all the colors.

In the master bedroom, Proxmire dialed back the intensity of the palette to a more restful level, giving the owners an inviting refuge. But the kids’ rooms are playful, ranging from pink and purple to blue and green. “Working with color is more of a challenge than neutrals,” Proxmire observes. “And I like that no room looks like the next.”

Interior Design: Kelley Proxmire, Kelley Interior Design, Bethesda, Maryland. 

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HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

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The H&D Portfolio of 100 Top Designers spotlights the superior work of selected architects, interior designers and landscape architects in major regions of the US.

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