December 5, 2023

wall papers

Your Dream House

Home design ideas: Blasting a historic Marblehead home into the future

Home design ideas: Blasting a historic Marblehead home into the future

The designer had helped her clients rehome much of their old furniture, but in the dining room she repurposed their dining table. She had it painted.michael j lee

After helping her clients downsize by rehoming the bulk of their furniture — much of it heavy and dark — on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, designer Clare Wheadon guided them toward a more personal look. “They were ready to try something different, a little more casual,” she says. “We included pieces that reflected facets of their personality that weren’t represented before, including their fondness for travel.” While the clients granted the designer creative license, they also took ownership over the process, learning about styles they felt drawn to. “It was a whole new journey for them,” Wheadon says.

1 The client’s love of Missoni fabrics informed the cut-velvet zigzag fabric, by Colefax and Fowler, for the seat cushions, while Venetian jester artwork they had purchased in Italy dictated the color.

2 In the dining room, Wheadon repurposed the client’s 1990s Ethan Allen table by having The Paint Shop in Salem lacquer it in Benjamin Moore’s Cypress Green.

3 A Woodbridge Furniture display cabinet, which has a Benjamin Moore Black Tar finish with a warm wood interior, was the room’s finishing touch. The dark color grounds the space, but the glass doors keep it from feeling heavy.

4 Wheadon initially proposed Visual Comfort’s Cynara pendant, an update of an iconic midcentury design, for the home’s sunken living room, but after settling on another one in that room, the clients swung back around to this. “It lifts the vibe from formal to fantastic,” Wheadon says.

5 Schumacher’s Mohave Stripe wallpaper is an alternative to a grass-cloth wallcovering. “It mixes in global travel-inspired texture without the heavy formality,” she says of the hand-blocked print sensibility.

6 Chinoiserie-style rattan pole chairs play off the pagoda wallpaper in the adjacent powder room. “We specifically looked for an open back chair with unexpected, not too serious lines,” Wheadon says.

Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to [email protected].