A classic center-hall colonial turned out to be the perfect canvas for a surprising color palette and a fresh, new look. After buying the traditional DC house, a young couple turned to designer Sophie Prévost to give it some pizzazz in the form of vibrant hues, eco-friendly furniture and finishes, and a playful, whimsical vibe.
The husband “wanted color—I mean really bold,” Prévost recalls, laughing. “His choices were fun and unusual.”
The trick, the designer discovered, would be in conveying a sense of calm and serenity in spite of bright hues that are generally energizing rather than restful. “Our approach was to use large swaths of color on the walls,” she explains. “That way you can rest your eye on one color plane at a time and then move on from it. We used the furniture and rugs for pattern and texture.”
Prévost started in the front hall, where Sherwin Williams Bitter Chocolate provides a deep, neutral foil for the strong hues to come. “The brown tone complements the walnut furniture in the other rooms, too,” the designer notes.
A Roche Bobois rug with an abstract motif in shades of green created a departure point for the living room’s color scheme. According to her client’s wishes, Prévost combined walls in Benjamin Moore’s Mystical Grape with crisp, contrasting white trim. A hot-pink shade, Benjamin Moore’s Pre-dawn Sky, adorns the insides of the built-in bookshelves—the result of a debate between the designer and her client, who originally wanted that color everywhere but settled for using it more sparingly.
“I had to insist that the hot pink was too much for the whole room,” Prévost recalls, amused. She and her team designed the custom, pale-green sofas to ensure that they were fabricated entirely with eco-friendly materials, which was important to the owners. Pink and purple pillows and poufs by Herman Miller add cohesiveness.
At New York’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair, Prévost came across a wall made of freeze-dried natural reindeer moss by Polarmoss, a Finnish company. She showed it to her clients, who embraced the quirky material, which spoke to their love of nature—and fun. Prévost covered a wall in it, now fronted by a Biedermeier bench as a whimsical nod to an outdoor seat. She punctuated the moss surface with Ingo Maurer light fixtures that look like fluttering birds.
In the dining room, Prévost suggested the walls and decorative moldings be painted in one strong hue—Sherwin Williams’s Marquis Orange—to keep the space from looking busy. She designed the multi-colored sideboard with that saturated shade in mind and introduced a strong pattern in a Nepalese rug from Timothy Paul. A playful suspension light by Belux “looks like a big, fat cloud over the table,” Prévost says. She designed the live-edge table and selected airy, open-backed chairs by Thos. Moser. The owners’ photographs and paintings, which mostly depict animals, add to the home’s lighthearted sensibility.
Interior Design: Sophie Prévost, ASID, ColePrévost, Washington, DC.