Finding ways to mix furnishings and finishes can seem daunting. In the Shaker-simple style a little goes a long way, but there remains plenty of room for styles, patterns, and colors, from subtle changes of wood tone to strategic use of bold paints.
Design Tips from a Pro
In the master suite, interior designer Sherie Thomas created a romantic mood by combining glazed and whitewashed finishes on furnishings from Ethan Allen's Swedish Home Collection. The carved wood frames add style without being ornate or fussy. Rather than pieces fighting for attention, Sherie says, choose furnishings that showcase the architecture. Then, use accents in small doses.
Although the color scheme for the main living area concentrates on autumn's harvest -- pumpkin, squash, sage, and goldenrod -- Sherie incorporated rose and violet alongside the dominant greens used elsewhere in the house, downplaying the orange tones. The soft hues in the fabric bring a hint of nature inside. By varying colors slightly from room to room, Sherie advises, you tie the whole house together, without things becoming predictable.
Nature-inspired patterns and designs with more pizzazz than purity lavish the sleeping areas upstairs with a dose of excitement. Yet the repeated use of maple trim, raised chair rails, and cabinetry follows the established Shaker design themes set in the main living spaces below. Built-in units, similar to those used in Shaker dormitories, fill every bedroom with functional drawers, cupboards, and cabinets for storage. Replacing closets, the built-ins free rooms of clutter while maximizing precious floor space.
Personal, Yet Practical
The bedroom furnishings give each room its own personality. For instance, in the girl's room the painted-white Victorian-style iron bed and a painted wood night table and desk create a distinctly feminine attitude. The guest room combines a Shaker-inspired jelly cupboard and pencil-post bed with a more contemporary upholstered oval-back side chair, giving the room an appeal that entices guests to linger.
The color palette energizes the bedrooms. Shades of green and gold paint act as neutrals against the raspberry accents in the girl's room, and the cranberry and rhubarb tones of the guest suite. Fans circulate air; the ceiling-hugger styles with lights from Casablanca Fan Co. operate by remote control. Natural wood blinds softened by fabric coverings filter light. The colorful drape-and-swag window treatments in the girl's room sport a carefree style, while the valance in the guest suite creates a more tailored look.