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Style Watch

In a Wellesley Victorian, a living room with verve

The formerly bland space gets an update that combines contemporary and traditional elements.

Gregory Perko

With its unusual curves, angles, and fanciful windows, this Wellesley Victorian, built in 1900, is stunning from the street. Yet just inside the front door, the living room “was beige and bland,” says interior designer Jamie Keskin. Its furnishings were formal, very traditional, and too big for the space. The homeowners hired Keskin to give the room more vitality. Now raspberry and pink tones have livened up the space, and gold accents bounce sunlight from the generous windows. Furnishings are a mix of high-end and moderately priced retail items. While some traditional elements are present, the room feels current, fresh, and balanced.

1 | Distressed-white low-back barrel chairs by Hickory have seats upholstered in a Schumacher fabric with a floral and bird motif that was the jumping off point for the room’s color scheme. “We used the robin’s egg blue and raspberry tones all around,” says Keskin.


2 | A bright blue cabinet with antiqued-gold detailing from Simply Stated Interiors in Needham replaced a formal Sheraton-style console table.

3 | Grass-cloth wallcovering offsets the white molding and trim. “It’s warm and inviting,” says Keskin, “and adds texture, too.”

4 | An original leaded-glass window has the look of a piece of art.

5 | The neutral settee works as a backdrop for the room’s pops of color. “It’s a traditional piece,” Keskin says. “The tufting adds texture to the space.”

6 | Antiqued-gold link lamps from HomeGoods are quirky and modern, says Keskin.

7 | Nesting tables were purchased at Target in a pinch, intended for temporary use but destined to stay. “The homeowner ended up really loving them,” says Keskin. “Many pieces in the room have curves or soft edges; the tables ground the settee on the back wall.”

8 | A glass-topped coffee table with gilded wrought-iron legs is the sole piece of furniture from the old decor.


9 | A sculptural “martini table” from West Elm in antique brass provides a handy perch and brings a little modern bling to the room.