Roger’s “jarring juxtapositions”—unfinished cypress flooring installed on the wall around the fireplace and woven shades paired with elegant wool curtains—balance the living room’s traditional aspects with casual flair. Blue wool curtain fabric is from F. Schumacher & Co. Shades are from Hunter Douglas.

Walls in the den were upholstered to camouflage dated pine paneling.

Roger bought the etchings of Florence, Italy, at a yard sale. “I love etchings and drawings without color,” says Roger. “They can move easily from room to room.”

Roger based his decorative wall treatment (he drew it himself) in the hall on a de Gournay wallpaper he used for a client’s project. “I was snowed in and had nothing else to do,” he laughs. “So I just started drawing.”

Bronze-lacquered walls set off chartreuse taffeta curtains in the dining room. “I love the contrast between the taffeta, the lacquered walls, and the sisal rug,” says Roger.

Cabinets in the kitchen are a color not easily defined. “They’re sort of a yellow-green-gray-putty color,” laughs Roger. “Those colors you can’t describe in one word are the best colors. Everyone sees them the way they want to.”

For a “continuation of color,” Roger chose taffeta curtains that are the same shade of blue as the ceiling. Curtain fabric is from Robert Allen with Samuel & Sons trim.

Walls in the study off the master bedroom are the same pale blue as the ceiling. Trim was painted a darker shade of blue for contrast. The desk and sofa are from Hickory Chair.

“I like to use punctuations of white,” notes Roger. “White mats on the artwork, white architectural details, white accessories, white dining room chairs—it’s important to use enough so that it looks intentional.”

The Williamsburg-style brick house was built in 1970. A wooded lot and creative landscaping add privacy from the busy street.

Ann Shipp and Roger Higgins.

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Sophisticated Redesign

Cringeworthy '70s-era decor didn't stop a couple from transforming this house with flair.

Written by Jenny Bradley
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“I like to use punctuations of white,” notes Roger. “White mats on the artwork, white architectural details, white accessories, white dining room chairs—it’s important to use enough so that it looks intentional.”

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