Two physicians with three young children purchased this Tudor home built in the 1930s in Shorewood, Wisconsin, and made significant improvements to it for a year before contacting interior designer Amy Carman and her team. “They had recently completed a kitchen renovation, refinished the hardwood flooring on the first floor, and had the walls painted, but the rooms were barely furnished,” she explained. “They joked that they felt like they had just moved in and hadn’t had a chance to unpack.”
Concerned that if left to their own devices they would make bland decorating decisions, they leaned on Amy to ensure that they avoided “going gray” and implemented color and pattern to brighten each room. “The house is a traditional Tudor, built in the 1930s, and is a style of architecture that can sometimes feel dark and heavy,” she explained. “The living room, for example, is anchored by a carved limestone fireplace and features original plaster moldings, leaded glass windows, and oak flooring.” The homeowners wanted to soften the space. Amy selected deep turquoise velvet chesterfield sofas that are both kid-friendly (one of her clients’ requirements) and make a bold statement for the room. “The beauty of a chesterfield style sofa is the tight-back construction,” she said, “the shape will endure constant use, no cushion-fluffing or turning required.”
Continuing the concept of glamour and the richness of layers, Amy included a mix of styles and materials. The one, though, used the most was brass – a large leaning brass framed mirror acts as a nod to the home’s history, while the brass Bertoia wire dining chairs are a testament to the couple’s more avant-garde taste.
But nothing is quite as successful as Amy’s ingenious idea for including a much-used TV without it sticking out like a sore thumb. “It was important that the TV remained mounted on the main wall of the breakfast nook so that it could be viewed from the kitchen and dining area,” she said. “But our clients didn’t want it to be the main focal point of the space. Our solution was to add a curated collection of graphic prints around it. The television itself is mounted in a frame and is able to project a coordinating graphic print on the screen, allowing it to disappear into the wall of artwork when not in use. Most people think it’s a print, and are shocked when the TV is first turned on.”
With the right mix of contemporary and classic, practical and opulent, Amy was able to give her clients the home that they had been hoping for and that pushed them slightly out of their comfort zone. “We provided a turnkey move-in experience, which is always a thrill for us and our clients,” the designer added. “It feels a little bit like Christmas, as we unbox the accessories, hang the artwork and place the final décor in place.”