Emily O'Brien/Emily O'Brien

With their four children gradually leaving home for college, interior designer Kim Macumber and her husband felt it was time to downsize. They left behind their 4-acre property and settled into a small Cape in Sherborn. “When they downsize, a lot of people just give up on design,” says Macumber. “But living in a small space can be just as fabulous, maybe even more fun than living in a big house.” The home’s small den was dark and dingy with brown wood paneling. “We live in the land of farms and very traditional Colonials,” says Macumber. “I wanted to have fun here.” Walls are now painted high-gloss Rembrandt Red by Fine Paints of Europe. Gold and black accents, many from Macumber’s former home, pair beautifully with the room’s new radiance.


1) Built-in shelves showcase Macumber’s design books and items collected over the years. “Now people run out and buy accessories to make their shelves look stylized,” she says. “The best bookcases should be filled with personal things that you love and are interesting to you.”

2) The ceiling is painted with Benjamin Moore’s “Gold Dust” glaze, which has a

warm glow.

3) Roman shades are made of Anna French silk fabric. “The light purple softens the red walls, and the gold stripe brings in the color of the ceiling,” says Macumber.

4) The 20-year-old sofa was revived with a Kravet linen slipcover. “Invest in nice quality things that you love and they will last a long time,” Macumber advises.

5) The brass chest is a piece Macumber has had for decades.

6) A chair that was upholstered in a floral embroidered fabric is now sheathed in a lively black-and-khaki graphic linen print.

7) A 6-foot-tall gilt framed mirror gives the small space a more open, expansive feel.


8) A vintage brass Frederick Cooper pineapple lamp with a black shade suits the room’s scheme perfectly.

9) The table is a thrift-store find re-purposed with a new glass top and gold spray-painted legs.

10) A zebra-hide rug sits on top of a traditional oriental rug, both Brimfield finds.“I love the layered feel of combining traditional and modern,” says Macumber.