fb-pixelRedesign brings ‘a more modern feel and flow’ - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

Redesign brings ‘a more modern feel and flow’

Dining room: Most of the 1920s home’s beautiful elements remained intact and were revived with white paint, including the built-in window seat. With two leaves, the dining table seats up to eight comfortably. Photos by Michael J. Lee/Michael J Lee

The architectural details of this center-entrance gambrel colonial in Needham are striking — diamond mullioned windows, wainscoting, and crown molding. Yet the interior design left more than a little to be desired. “When I arrived, there was green shag carpeting in the living room that hadn’t been updated in 35 years or longer,” says Phoebe Lovejoy Russell of Lovejoy Designs.

It was time to update the living and dining rooms’ furnishings and color schemes. While the homeowners, who have three young children, wanted the spaces to have a modern feel and flow, the key was to create a “traditional, timeless, and not too trendy” aesthetic, she says. “It needed to be a space the family can grow with.”


As an homage to the years she spent living by the coast in her youth, the wife wanted a color palette that recalls the colors of seaside locales. In the dining room, green grass cloth Kravet wall covering grounds the space; chairs are upholstered in an orangey coral cotton velvet.

In the adjacent living room, the sofa reflects a green hue similar to the dining room walls. Shades of cobalt, aqua, and teal are combined to create a nautical feel. Brass finishes and bright white woodwork have a fresh classic appeal. “The rooms are serene, cozy, and elegant,” the designer says. “The colors are evenly balanced so the space feels very soothing.”

Living room: Drapes with a chinoiserie print by Schumacher and a print depicting a Chinese pagoda house in shades of blue bring in an unexpected flair. The homeowners already had one of the club chairs and the designer found a second with a slightly different shape. “In this world we throw everything away, it’s good to try to use what you have. You can make a piece feel totally different when you reconsider fabric, location, and the color palettes.”Michael J Lee

Jaci Conry can be reached at jaci@