DEEP, GLOSSY GREEN MAKES THE ROOM REFLECTIVE AND ENVELOPING AT THE SAME TIME”
Rich green high-gloss walls envelop a Manhattan living room, giving it a dramatic sparkle. To get both the lacquered effect and color she wanted, designer Phoebe Howard had Fine Paints of EuropeHol-landlac Brilliant tinted to match a favorite shade of green. Roman shades in Michael DevineFretwork add graphic punch; the pale natural tones in StarkNaturaseagrass rug the room up.”The white coffee table is from the designerstore, Mrs. Howard.
lisacregan: Ihypnotized by these walls. phoebe HOWARD: I wanted a rich, saturated color that would feel good year-round —cool in summer, warm in winter. We decided to do it in high gloss to capture light and add some sparkle, as well as depth. It makes the room reflective and enveloping at the same time. These walls are like a pool of water, a pond —your eye goes beyond the surface. My clients tell me this deep, glossy green has two personalities, so itlike having two different rooms —cheerful during the day, cozy and romantic at night. And when you have a dark, shiny envelope, the walls expand, so a narrow room like this feels wider.
Why this particular green?
Ita strong, flattering color thatreally a neutral. Everything looks good against it.
Especially all those brown accents.
Brown and green is a great combination. How could it be wrong with the colors of a tree? I think sometimes colors come from memories that stick with you. When Jim and I were first married, we went to northern California and walked through the Muir Woods, with the sunlight reflecting off the shiny green boughs of the giant redwoods. I think the mood stayed with me subliminally. There are elements of that mood in this living room. Ita soothing room to walk through. I like the way it feels in there. Just as I liked the way it felt in the Muir Woods even more than the way it looked.
And you added to the mood with that bold trellis pattern on the shades.
Iobsessed with this pattern. It lays out perfectly, with the center square falling in the center of the Roman shades. And the windows had to make a big statement to stand up to the intense color on the walls —no one thing should jump out at you.
Are there any colors you wouldndo in high gloss?
I would never do high-gloss orange. It would look like there was a fire burning in the room. Inot sure Iuse yellow without being very careful that itnot a yellow that would burn your eyes. That would be very bad. I think itthe deep colors that tend to work well in high gloss, like Prussian blue, chocolate brown, eggplant, red. Here, I first chose a green that was more yellow, and it was too bright, too acidic. The high gloss needed the grayed-out mossiness of this green to tone it down.
You certainly ran with deep blue in the study captivating.
Thatthe man cave. I knew his prized old American flag would be perfect against this blue. The color came out of the Rogers & Goffigon linen velvet on the sofa that I love so much. Itthe most beau–
tiful shade of blue, so I matched the walls and all the trim to it.
You really meant it when you said it was a cave!
A color can be dark and soft at the same time, and this one is. I kept the ceiling and the rug light, which keeps it from actually looking like a cave. And first I did white trim, but it looked like racing stripes —there was too much contrast. I think painting it all blue turned out great. Itdeep and mysterious and very manly.
Does dark blue always work for a man?
Always. Most men like navy blue. Itlike a navy blazer —every man owns one, right?
And does the wife get equal treatment anywhere?
I totally decorate master bedrooms around the woman. I donalways tell my clients Idoing that, because it sounds so cheesy, but it has proven to be a winning formula. I give her colors she looks good in. When she wakes up feeling pretty, thatjust good for everyone! This client is a beautiful blonde with porcelain skin and blue eyes —I knew gray-blue would be flattering.
Ita good bedroom color. You have to be very careful with light blue, though, so it doesnturn into baby blue. Baby blue is only appropriate in a nursery or a beach house. This blue is easier on the eyes, and so itrestful.
Who do you design a guest bedroom around?
Guest bedrooms should be unisex, and not too personal. Here we used muted neutrals.
What other colors do you consider unisex?
Beige, khaki, brown, pale gray, pale yellow.
Whatthe most unusual color youever tried? Probably the little girlroom I once did in the color of purple Kool-Aid.
Whatthe color your clients request most?
Blue. Blue and white. Thatthe most requested combination. I love that combination —itclassic and timeless. But in my own life Inot a big fan. What colors do you live with?
My own life is extremely neutral. My favorite wall color is in my bedroom, where I mixed blue paint with green paint, in equal parts. So you look at it and say, , itblue,’and then, , wait, itgreen.’Itvery subtle, though.
Do you have a favorite color?
I love all soft colors. But with color, I never say never, because as soon as I say that, I find that Iusing that color and loving it. Itimportant to have an open mind when it comes to color!
PRODUCED BY DORETTA SPERDUTO FLORAL STYLING BY NICOLETTE OWEN
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