While most people seek out artwork that match their home decór, homeowner Christine Derderian had different ideas. Chris wanted a living space that not only made her shabby cottage dreams come true, but also showcased her 27-piece collection of artwork by painter Susan Brown. Enter interior designer Catherine Wiley, who was happy to take on the project.
“Chris has a very strong sense of what she likes,” says Catherine. “She knew what she wanted.” What Chris wanted was a home that was soft, feminine, and filled with flowers. Pink was a must.
The 4,000-square-foot home was built in the the 1990s, but had already been through multiple remodels and additions, creating what Catherine calls, “extended cottage architecture.” She encouraged Chris’ ideas of filling the home with true cottage ambiance. “The house can become what you want it to be – in spite of itself.”
The multiple remodels actually helped them out. “It all seems to blend and flow into one another,” says Catherine. “We could get creative and make a cottage out of it because of all the remodels.”
The first step in the design process was deciding which paintings would go there. Once the artwork was placed, Catherine pulled colors directly from the artwork to build the color palette for each room. “I went from color to color, concept to concept, using the artwork as a guide. I pulled colors from the art for each room – pink, soft-green, gray, beige, rouge – so it resembled the romantic color palette of the artwork. That’s how all these soft colors came together.”
Custom paint colors was key to Catherine’s approach. “There wasn’t one paint color taken straight from the can. We mixed the colors tot get the desired effect. I haven’t used paint from a can in years.”
Hardwood floors replaced the carpeting throughout the house, stained to a dark and glossy hue to provide contrast the soft color palette. The effect is striking and sophisticated, highlighting the gorgeous colors and making features like the delicate pleating on the slipcovers and the breezy silk curtains really stand out.
“People don’t know how to tell you technically what they want,” says Catherine, “but they say, ‘This is what I love.'” This, of course, the secret of true romantic design – enveloping yourself in all the things you love the most.
“With the help of Catherine,” says Chris, “This house is everything I ever wanted in a home. It is a very peaceful, welcoming, warm home, and I do believe I will never move from here.”