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Happy Holidays in a Cheerful New England Home

In this New England household, cheer and sparkle are gifts enjoyed year-round

Written by Kari Costas
  • Eric Roth

    It was only a matter of time before Catherine Walkey enlisted the help of Gerald Pomeroy for her Dover, Massachusetts, home. The well-known Boston interior designer had already completed projects for Catherine’s mother and sister, and he had become a close friend of the family. But it was the holiday spirit that finally prompted the collaboration. “I was working on her mother’s house in Florida when Catherine came to visit,” Pomeroy recalls. “She said, ‘I told my mother what I want for Christmas—you!’ ” Over the course of two and a half years, this same festive spirit guided the design of the Walkeys’ home.

    Nestled on acres of woodland in the New England countryside, the 9,000-square-foot Colonial Revival house was certainly fitting for the region, but after 15 years in the home, Catherine felt the interior didn’t reflect her family’s dynamic personality. Husband Rod is an investment banker by day, but by night he swaps his suit for a guitar as the front man for a rock-and-roll band. Daughters Isabella, Samantha, and Charlotte share dad’s passion for performing, taking weekly piano lessons and spending summers at acting camp. Within a half-hour’s drive are Catherine’s parents and five siblings, making for a lively, energetic household that is witness to the comings and goings of 16 children (not to mention two pets). With the start of the holidays comes an annual neighborhood get-together and, of course, the Christmas decorations. “I love everything that sparkles and glitters,” Catherine says, laughing. “Christmastime is my time.”

    With that sentiment in mind, Pomeroy set out to introduce a sense of exuberance and fun to the home, without neglecting its traditional bones. Likening the process to “walking a tightrope,” he combined classic design elements with pieces that appeal to Catherine’s more modern tastes, resulting in a delightful and sophisticated mix.

    The classic white Colonial provides the perfect backdrop for beribboned wreaths, evergreen plantings, and white string lights.

    Photography: Eric Roth
    Produced by Estelle Bond Guralnick

    Interior design: Gerald Pomeroy, Gerald Pomeroy Interiors, 168 Newbury St., Suite 22, Boston, MA 02116; 617/227-6693,

    Window treatment fabrication: Joanne Mills, Miles River Sewing,
    Flowers and holiday decorations: Winston Flowers, Newton, Massachusetts,  800/457-4901,

  • Eric Roth

    Grand Entrance

    In the grand entryway, visitors are greeted by a whimsical, large-scale floral wallpaper in Catherine’s favorite lavender and green color palette. “The exterior has such a classic New England feeling,” Pomeroy says. “We created something very unexpected when the front door opens.”

    In the foyer, a Niermann Weeks iron table adorned with feather trees, votive lights, and green hydrangea sets the stage for the season. 

    Wallcovering (“Gardenia” #60403, Juniper Collection by Harlequin): Zoffany,
    Paint (“Slipper Satin” #2004): Farrow & Ball,
    Octagonal iron table (“Camargue” #31-1196A): Niermann Weeks,
    Octagonal rug and stair runner (“Sliver”/Heather, by Gerald Pomeroy): Stark Carpet,

  • Eric Roth

    Welcoming Living Room

    As extensions of the foyer, the living room and dining room needed to coordinate visually with the entryway, Pomeroy says. Shades of lavender, chartreuse, and mossy green, inspired by the wallpaper in the front hall, make cameos throughout each space in the form of sumptuous silk drapes, velvet throw pillows, bullion fringe, and cozy upholstery. 

    Two rooms were combined to accommodate large groups and a baby grand piano. Jewel-tone ornaments on the Christmas tree draw from the existing color scheme. Glass balls and shiny trinkets are the perfect garnish to the silver-wrapped coffee table in the living room.

    Wallcovering (grass cloth, existing): Phillip Jeffries,
    Trim paint (“White Dove” #OC-17): Benjamin Moore,
    Ceiling paint (custom): Joan K Design,
    Drapery (“Circe”/Mauve #HO 0006 0495, by Lelievre): Stark Carpet,
    Sofas (“Charleston Button Seat Sofa” #H4530B-7); chair with skirt in foregoround (“Daniel” #HT4705-20): Lee Jofa,
    Sofa fabric (“Skye”/Croft #750002-05): Rogers & Goffigon, 203/532-8068.
    Green pillows on sofa (“Fulham Linen Velvet”/Olive #990010.303): Lee Jofa,
    Chair without skirt (“Rye Chair” #B210): Kravet,
    Fabric on “Rye Chair” (“Wayford”/Cream #J551F-01, discontinued): Cowtan & Tout,
    Chartreuse pillow on “Rye Chair” (“Sargent Silk Taffeta”/Linden #22652): Schumacher,
    Coffee table (design by Gerald Pomeroy): fabrication by Art Applications,
    Carpet (“Didier”/White and Light Beige (#29706): Steven King Inc.,
    Floor lamp by sofa (“Madeleine”/Gilded Iron #SK1505, by Suzanne Kasler): Circa Lighting,
    Lamp (“Helen Green Table Lamp” #TL356): through Lee Jofa,

    Piano area—
    Sofa by piano (“Deborah” #HT4706-6); sofa fabric (“Dragonfly”/Beige and Snow #GWF-2640-1-1, by Groundworks, colorway discontinued): Lee Jofa,
    Beige pillow with medallion (“Venetian”/Rye #31326.1111): Kravet,, with appliqué (“Alma”/Absinthe #4730-02, by Manuel Canovas): Cowtan & Tout,
    Purple pillow (“Teatro Chenille” #F5990-03): Osborne & Little,
    Green pillow (“Sargent Silk Taffeta”/Linden #22652): Schumacher,
    Coffee table by piano (custom, by Gerald Pomeroy): Altec Plastics, 617/269-1400.
    Lounge chair by sofa (“Daniel Chair” #HT4705-20): Lee Jofa,
    Chair fabric (“Papilio”/Green #F5760); Osborne & Little,
    Table between sofa and chair (mahogany): antique.
    Table lamp (“Stratus Linen Wrap”/White #TL555-LW): Hwang Bishop,

  • Eric Roth

    Perfectly Purple Dining Room

    While a toast-colored grass cloth unites the hues in the expansive living room, the purple wall in the dining room is the star of the show—and, as it turns out, fulfills a long-held fantasy for Catherine. “I had always wanted a purple dining room!” she says.

    The happy purple hue lends itself perfectly to the baubles and ornaments of the holidays. Christmas decoration in the Walkey home commences the first week of December, and with Pomeroy’s guidance, the household gleams. “With the lavenders and purples in the house, jewel tones and mercury glass just fell into place for accessorizing year-round and for the holiday season,” Pomeroy says. “Catherine has an effervescent personality, and that carries over into the pieces she loves.”

    “Purple and lavender can be tricky; they can seem cold,” designer Gerald Pomeroy says. He used a strié technique to get just the right shade and texture. The Klismos dining chairs are from Hickory Chair.

    Wall treatment (custom strié glaze); ceiling paint (custom): Joan Kingsbury, Joan K Design,
    Trim paint (“House White” #2012): Farrow & Ball,
    Dining table (design by Gerald Pomeroy); mirror (design by Gerald Pomeroy): fabricated by Art Applications,
    Host chairs (“Renaissance” #2437A): Artistic Frame,
    Host chair fabric (“Palermo Mohair Velvet”/Lavender #64900): Schumacher,
    Side chairs (“Gabrielle”/Antique Ivory #9851-02): Hickory Chair,
    Side-chair fabric (“Maeva” #MLF 1123-04, by Lorca, discontinued): Osborne & Little,
    Carpet (“Waltz, Transitional Rug”/Ivory #J21553): Landry & Arcari,
    Sconces (“Early Dutch Sconce”/Silver #WA0029.SI): Vaughan,
    Drapery (“Tdo”/Ivory, by Bergamo Fabrics): Donghia,
    Blinds (“Katsu”/Mist #3909): Castec,
    Candlestick holders: (“Escalier”): FDO at Boston Design Center,
    Crystal butterflies (“Papillon Lucky Butterfly”): Baccarat,
    Chandelier: owner’s collection. 

  • Eric Roth

    Festive Dining Table

    Catherine's collection of Versace porcelain plates, along with French linen placemats and gold-rimmed wineglasses makes for an opulent holiday table. The centerpiece, which includes Christmas greens, is kept low to to faciliatate across-the-table conversation.

  • Eric Roth

    Pretty Mantel

    A silver wire reindeer and other Christmas finery top the dining room mantel. Silver-leafed pinecones and ornaments sparkle against an antique-inspired mirror and crystal chandelier.


  • Eric Roth

    Cozy Family Room

    The family room and kitchen were designed for everyday family festivities—informal weeknight meals, fireside lounging, and doing homework—but there is no shortage of pizzazz and drama in these spaces. The family room features great vaulted ceilings with exposed rafters. Come Christmas, shearling stockings and homemade gingerbread houses accentuate the inherently lively atmosphere.

    “I especially love the vibe in here, which I think of as Ralph Lauren meets South Beach,” Catherine says.  “It is a room well loved by all, including the animals.” An abstract painting, a retro coffee table, and an antique English spool chair mingle effortlessly. The shearling stockings on the mantel are embroidered with the family’s names.

    Paint (“White Dove” #OC-17): Benjamin Moore,
    Coffee table (design by Gerald Pomeroy); game table (design by Gerald Pomeroy): fabrication by Art Applications,
    Sofas (design by Gerald Pomeroy): Connors Design 508/429-4980.
    Sofa fabric (“Crossroads”/Ivory #30954.1): Kravet,
    Chair by mantel: owner’s collection.
    Animal-print fabric (“Mnyama Chenille”/Gold #GWF-2708.416, by Groundworks): Lee Jofa,
    Chairs at game table (#2884A): Artistic Frame,
    Chair and Roman-shade fabric (“Betwixt”/Water and Ivory #62615): Schumacher,
    Carpet (“Oriental Paradise”/Fantasy #17861): Steven King Inc.,
    Painting above mantel: Jules Place,
    Andirons: Adams Fireplace Shop,
    Hanging lantern (“Winslow Square Lantern, Large” #CL0243): Vaughan,
    Sconces (“Small Regency Wall Lantern”/Polished Nickel #CHD2031): Circa Lighting,
    Window-seat cushion (“Charisma”/White #ED85189-100, by Threads): Lee Jofa,
    Pillow on window sill (“Woodland Chic”/Mineral #30271.630): Kravet,

  • Eric Roth

    Colorful Kitchen

    A striking palette of mustard and blue takes center stage in the kitchen. The color combination was another dream of Catherine’s, which Pomeroy was happy to indulge thanks to the room’s generous scale.

    Fireplace: fieldstone.
    Wallcovering (“Juicy Jute Grasscloth”/Meyer Lemon #4822): Phillip Jeffries,
    Cabinetry (custom painted): Frankenstein Refinishing,
    Cabinetry paint (“White Dove” #OC-17): Benjamin Moore,
    Countertop (Calacatta polished marble): Cumar Marble and Granite,
    Drapery (“Prospect”/Lake #Prospect.5): Kravet,
    Hanging lights over island (“Alecia’s Necklace” #P194-084): Metropolitan Lighting Fixture Co.,
    Bar stools (“Castille Counter Stool” #H3182-C); fabric (“Ultrasuede” #161); dining table (“Grand Pedestal Dining Table”/Pickled White #WD6/60RD IP OG); dining chair-seat fabric (“So Chic”/Periwinkle #23956.5); dining chair-back fabric (“Prospect”/Lake #Prospect.5): Kravet,
    Dining chairs (custom, “Molitor Chair” #2902A): Artistic Frame,
    Lights over table (“Capucine Chandelier” #10-01299-4409): Niermann Weeks,

  • Eric Roth

    Cool Kitchen

    The kitchen cabinets are painted Benjamin Moore’s “White Dove,” and happily accompany the strong yellow and blue colors. Pomeroy designed a white tapestry of marble and ceramic for the backsplash. White marble also tops the kitchen island, where barstools upholstered in mustard suede gather and offer casual seating. 

  • Eric Roth

    Kitchen Seating Area

    A fieldstone fireplace and lounge chairs create a cozy seating area. Kravet’s linen-and-cotton “Prospect” ikat fabric, used on the kitchen windows and French doors as well as on the backs of the dining chairs, feels fresh and merry.

    Lounge chairs; side table: owner’s collection.
    Ottoman (custom): Connors Design 508/429-4980.
    Lounge-chair and ottoman fabric (“Tortola”/Marine #62841): Schumacher,
    Area rug (“Lynnfield” #4890, wool with border of tan saddle leather): Steven King Inc.,    

  • Eric Roth

    Chartreuse Office

    It’s a testament to Catherine’s dynamic sensibility that she calls her office, outfitted with chartreuse lacquered walls and jolts of bright green, her “nirvana place.” A round wall of windows—each bearing a festive wreath—and a coffered ceiling provide the room with architectural drama. 

  • Eric Roth

    Great Garland

    Meandering magnolia garlands pop against the detailed woodwork of stair rails and fireplaces, painted in a satiny white. The garland is embellished with mercury glass, pinecones and ornaments painted silver, and yards of ethereal platinum-and-white strié ribbon. 

  • Eric Roth

    Second Floor Landing

    The Palladian window on the landing was left bare to highlight the architecture. A pair of William and Mary-style wing chairs, dressed up in Duralee’s graphic “Katura” zebra print, give oomph to the graceful surroundings. Underfoot, a Pomeroy-designed rug in lavender and beige strié bordered with faux ostrich skin. The wallpaper is Harlequin’s “Gardenia.” 

    Wing chairs; footstools: owner’s collection.
    Fabric on chairs and footstools (“Katura”/Lilac #15382-45): Duralee,
    Table (“Ingold Center Table, Base and Top”/Kohl #185-11 and #185-71): Hickory Chair,
    Lamp (“Sofia Table Lamp”/Vintage Silver #JC.MB.SOF): Icon Group, 617/428-0655.
    Carpet (“Sliver,” by Gerald Pomeroy, custom): Stark Carpet,
    Wallpaper (“Gardenia” #60403, Juniper Collection by Harlequin): Zoffany,

  • Eric Roth

    Master Bedroom

    In contrast to the electric home office, the subdued master suite offers what most would consider a blissful retreat. Pomeroy used taupes and beiges to showcase rich textures—a velvet headboard, a silk satin bedcover, mirrored bedside tables, all with hints of gold and metallic for Catherine’s signature sparkle. “We wanted a space that’s very calming,” she explains. “But, in all those neutral colors, there’s a lot of gold!”

    Phillip Jeffries’ “Japanese Rice Paper” wallcovering and a scalloped-edge glazed table add a glamorous finish to the soothing space. 

    Wallcovering (“Japanese Rice Paper”/Pebble #869): Phillip Jeffries.
    Ceiling and trim paint: Benjamin Moore,
    Drapery (Flowering Plum” /Froth #31491.135): Kravet,
    Roman shades (“Brica” #21081 992, by Hodsoll McKenzie): Zimmer + Rohde,
    Pair of chairs (“Soiree”): Baker,
    Chair-and-pillow fabric (“Varna Weave”/Quartzite #31441.16): Kravet,
    Floor lamp (“Montaigne” #13-01305-16-02): Niermann Weeks,
    Table between chairs (“Starburst Scalloped End Table”/Milk finish #OT492): Kravet,
    Lamp on table (“Waves Table Lamp” #SA.7.80075): Icon Group, 617/428-0655.
    Wall sconces (“Hudson Reversible Swing Arm Wall Light” #TOB2204, by Thomas O’Brien): Circa Lighting,
    Bed (“Calla” #7660-10): Hickory Chair,
    Bed fabric (“Cervo”/Tusk # 92702-01): Rogers & Goffigon, 203/532-8068.
    Bedding: Bloomingdale’s,

  • Eric Roth

    Master Bathroom

    Above the vanity, crystal pendants from Dainolite are a favorite of Catherine’s. The metallic wallcovering is Maya Romanoff’s fittingly named “Abacadazzle.” Branches and greenery in the window celebrate the season.

    Wallcovering above chair rail (“Abacadazzle”/Galactic Celadon #DZ-2669-S): Maya Romanoff,
    Wall tile below chair rail (custom, Calacatta Oblong Octagon, polished; with Calacatta 1x2-inch Brick, honed; Calacatta Gold Pencil, 5/8x12 inch, polished; and Calacatta Gold France Ogee, polished); floor tile (“Satin Sabina” 12x12-inch tiles): Tile Showcase, 617/926-1100,
    Roman shade fabric (“Flowering Plum” /Froth #31491.135): Kravet,
    Bathtub: existing.
    Bench: FDO at Boston Design Center,
    Art by tub: Jules Place,
    Vanity cabinet: custom.
    Cabinet hardware (“Pomegranate” #C-P04): Du Verre Hardware,
    Hanging light over cabinet (round crystal mini pendant #1278R-PC): Dainolite,
    Upholstered bench (custom): Connors Design, 508/429-4980.
    Bench fabric (“Cobble Stones”/Quartz #15220/179, discontinued): Duralee,

  • Eric Roth

    Family Portrait

    “I think their energy level is wholly reflected in the design choices they made,” Pomeroy says of the Walkey family. “It’s a very happy household, and I think the design reflects that.”

    An antique English settee, reupholstered in an awning stripe, adds a dose of drama against an elegant silver-leaf and mirror panel in the grand entry where Rod and Catherine Walkey sit with daughters Isabella, 16, Samantha, 13, and Charlotte, 11. Roxanne, the Walkeys’ Golden Retriever, is named after The Police’s famous song. 

    Settee (“Mangeaise” #SF5000): Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman,
    Settee fabric (“Dingle” #F6162-06): Osborne & Little,
    Four-panel screen (antique mirror glass with silver-leaf frame, design by Gerald Pomeroy): fabricated by Art Applications,

  • John Bessler