A mad scientist (or a madcap designer) is probably the only person who could pull this off. “You have to know your tolerance for change,” says Annie, who admits she has plenty. When the Selkes bought the house in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, seven years ago, they did extensive remodeling. This latest undertaking was different: Without physically altering space, Annie changed both the look and the tone of the house, yet preserved its emotional resonance. “This is a happy house. It’s not intimidating because it’s in the country and was built as a summer house. There’s an informality to it. I didn’t want anything heavy.”
A sunny palette with easy elegance has replaced a richer, heavier one. The living room now boasts colors of the sea, especially in the Farrow & Ball “Plain Stripe” wallpaper. A pair of Annie’s “Town Settees” face each other in front of the fireplace. A display of pillows adds color, comfort, and pizzazz to the bargello-like “Ila” pattern of the upholstery. The “Bamboo Cocktail” ottoman is covered in Vanguard’s “Delphine” fabric in clover.