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Showhouse Rooms in Neutral Palettes
Soothing and refined, netural rooms make a statement
Atlanta Symphony Showhouse
If Cheryl Womack and her daughter, Alison Womack-Jowers, slotted the master suite they designed into a color wheel, it would hover delicately on pale neutrals, never sliding into the spectrum’s deep, vivid tones.
Although dressed mainly in ethereal hues, the room has flashes of citron to spark its refined spirit. “There has to be some color in a room,” says Womack. “It’s all about balance and distribution.”
Interior design: Cheryl Womack and Alison Womack-Jowers, Womack Interiors, 404/256-0704, womackinteriors.com.
Photography: Emily Followill
Produced by Lisa Mowry
The grand architecture of the suite includes large windows on two walls, allowing streams of sunlight. Linen drapery panels patterned with gray embroidery hang from rods high above the tops of the windows, exaggerating their height.
An array of crisp white and yellow bed linens make little noise, leaving an upholstered bench in citron-colored velvet at the end of the bed as a call for attention. Tucked in one corner are an antique chest and a mirror made to look old. Next to an armchair, a ceramic garden seat is unexpected, adding glossy texture and complementing the neutral scheme.
A graceful seating area is arranged in front of a window framed by linen panels with beaded trim. A chenille-covered chaise longue topped with a Greek key-patterned pillow is served by two tables: an airy acrylic tiered piece and a weightier mahogany side table illuminated by a Murano lamp from the 1950s in the room’s signature yellow accent hue.
Decorative crystal orbs throughout the room reflect the citric accent hue in their kaleidoscopic surfaces.
Mother and daughter design duo Cheryl Womack and Alison Womack-Jowers.
Wall paint (“Alabaster” #SW-7008): Sherwin-Williams, 800/474-3794, sherwin-williams.com.
Bed (custom): Womack Interiors, 404/256-0704, womackinteriors.com.
Headboard fabric (“Lustre”/Silver Birch #ED85075.780, by Threads): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563, leejofa.com.
Yellow pillow shams; bed linens; duvet: S.D.H. Fine European Linens, 707/864-8075, sdhonline.com.
Quilted coverlet: Belle Chambre, 404/816-5333, bellechambre.com.
Bench (“Katherine Bench” #H4503-25): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563, leejofa.com.
Bench fabric (#27486-40, discontinued): Kravet, 888/457-2838, kravet.com.
Drapery (“Tendresse”/Silver Birch #ED85047.780, by Threads): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563, leejofa.com.
Drapery hardware (gilded silver finish): Kravet, 888/457-2838, kravet.com.
Art over bed (White Love, oil on canvas, by Jen Bradley): Jen Bradley Portfolio, jenbradleyportfolio.com.
Table lamp on bedside table (“White Opaline Deco Murano Lamp”): The Mercantile, 404/816-0060.
Commode (18th-century Italian inlaid commode with marble top): Parc Monceau Antiques Ltd., 404/467-8107, parcmonceauatl.com.
Lamp on commode (“Berkshire Obelisk Table Lamp” #CHA8961CG): Circa Lighting, 877/762-2323, circalighting.com.
Mirror (traditional Queen Anne mirror with antique silver leaf): from F. Schumacher Showroom, 404/261-2742, fschumacher.com.
Painting by commode (by Kate Long Stevenson): Kate Long Stevenson, studiokate.net.
Lounge chair (“Prelude Chair” #49T-J-89-RR): Kravet, 888/457-2838, kravet.com.
Chair fabric (“Nara”/Ivory #GWF-2807.101, by Groundworks): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563, leejofa.com.
Garden seat; chandelier (“Murano Glass Pendant” #4738, by Myran Allan Chandelier): through Smith Grubbs & Assoc., 404/239-9206, smithgrubbs.com.
Chaise (“Celeste Chaise” #H5400-60R): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563, leejofa.com.
Chaise fabric (“Syon Weave”/Linen #BF10316.850, by GP&J Baker); bolster pillow on chaise (“Peony & Butterflies”/Gold, Silver #BF10318.1, by GP&J Baker); geometric pillow on chaise (“Fretwork”/Gold #BF10049.830, by GP&J Baker): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563, leejofa.com.
Chaise trim (“Friars Gimp”/Castle #T30460.16): Kravet, 888/457-2838, kravet.com.
Drapery (“Lustre”/Silver Birch #ED85075.780, by Threads): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563, leejofa.com.
Drapery trim (“Open Weave Braid” #T30496.106): Kravet, 888/457-2838, kravet.com.
End table by chaise: discontinued.
Murano glass lamp (c. 1950): The Mercantile, 404/816-0060.
Acrylic table (“Hammon Occasional Table,” Allan Knight Acrylic): Allan Knight & Assoc., 214/741-2227, allan-knight.com. Through Grizzel & Mann, 404/261-5932, grizzelandmann.com.
Crystal accessories on table: through Lush Life, 404/841-9661.
Chair (“Madrid Chair” #FS451); ottoman (“Bilbao Small Oval Ottoman” #FS304): Kravet, 888/457-2838, kravet.com.
Chair fabric (“Syon Weave”/Linen #BF10316.850, by GP&J Baker): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563, leejofa.com.
Chair trim (“Friars Gimp”/Castle #T30460.16): Kravet, 888/457-2838, kravet.com.
Ottoman fabric (“Lustre”/Silver Birch #ED85075.780, by Threads): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563, leejofa.com.
Trim on throw pillow in chair (“Fretwork”/Saffron, Dove #TL10097.418, by Kelly Wearstler): Lee Jofa, 800/453-3563, leejofa.com.
Art behind chair (Inside Yellow, oil on canvas, by Jen Bradley): Jen Bradley Portfolio, jenbradleyportfolio.com.
Table beside chair and ottoman (“Tall Monaco Table with Cream Lacquer Top”/Burnt Silver #CRT-02, by Porta Romana): through Jerry Pair & Assoc., 404/261-6337.
Finials on table (crystal and opaline balustrade finials): antique.
Vase on table (Ming vase with ivory crackle finish): Baker, Knapp & Tubbs, 800/592-2537 for showrooms.
Silver tray holding apples (antique Chinese silver hat): A. Tyner Antiques, 404/367-4484, swedishantiques.biz.
Lake Forest Showhouse
Lake Forest, Illinois
Designer Gerri Wiley had the best intentions. The views of the garden outside the sunroom she was designing were so captivating, it seemed unfair to steal nature’s thunder. But in her effort to give the room quiet chic—with sophisticated fabric, a smoky-gray palette, and tailored furniture—she created a room so beguiling that it entices guests to stay inside.
Positioned against the wall under a landscape oil painting that melts into the background, a 19th-century Syrian wedding chest displays dazzling mother- of-pearl inlays.
Interior design: Gerri Wiley, Gerri Wiley Design Group, 221 Central Park Ave., Wilmette, IL 60091; 847/784-1003.
Photography: Werner Straube
Produced by Hilary Rose
Even before Wiley added furniture and accents, the sunroom’s long stretches of windows made it an appealing place to be.
She enhanced the setting by tinting the walls a warm, gentle dove gray and choosing a taupe sisal rug with a contrasting Moroccan motif stitched into its ground. Lacy stripes of flowers dance from end to end on the ceiling, leaving no surface ignored. The room is lit by a crystal chandelier in the shape of an oversized tulip.
“When I established the neutral color scheme, I knew that each piece needed to be well-thought-out, unique, and able to stand on its own, since there was no color to highlight it,” explains the designer.
The politely reserved seating arrangement includes a sofa with simple lines in luxurious gray velvet and a pair of graceful armchairs with white linen on their fronts and embroidered cotton on their backs. Tufting and contrasting gray piping add exquisite details. A tufted ottoman, also in white linen, marries the seating pieces.
Sofa (“Geoffrey”); sofa fabric (dark gray velvet): Bradley Hughes, 312/624-9997, bradley-hughes.com.
Fabric for pillows on sofa (“Sloane”/Lagon #4695-06, by Manuel Canovas): Cowtan & Tout, 212/647-6900, cowtan.com.
Ceiling wallpaper (“Earl Stripe”/Pearl #213/03, discontinued): Villa Romo, 800/338-2783, romo.com.
Chairs (custom, “Showhouse Lounge Chairs”): Gerri Wiley Design Group, 847/784-1003. Chair fabric, front (“Arden”/Parmesan #7452/01): Romo, 800/338-2783, romo.com.
Chair fabric, back (“Daphnis,” by Etamine): Zimmer + Rohde, 212/758-7925, zimmer-rohde.com.
Pillow on chair (“Suri” alpaca fur bolster pillow, by Rosemary Hallgarten): throughHolland & Sherry, 212/355-6241, hollandandsherry.com.
Upholstered ottoman (“Tufted Coffee Ottoman”): Restoration Hardware, 800/910-9836, restorationhardware.com.
Drapery side panels (“Twill”/Lye #910056-01): Rogers & Goffigon, 203/532-8068.
Drapery bead trim (“Metal Bead Fringe” #NCT452, by Nina Campbell): Osborne & Little, 212/751-3333, osborneandlittle.com.
Knobs for drapery (“Sea Crown Knobs” #17904616, not available online): Anthropologie, 800/309-2500, for store locations.
Fabric for shades (“Hiroko”/Wool White #7677-01, by Larsen): Cowtan & Tout, 212/647-6900, cowtan.com.
Area rug (“Indochine Sisal”/Platinum): Stark Carpet, 212/752-9000, starkcarpet.com.
Chandelier (“Lille Chandelier” #10-00204-3406): Niermann Weeks, 212/319-7979, niermannweeks.com.
Wall paint (matched to “Alloy” #C2-458, by C-2 Paints); trim paint (matched to “Pristine” #OC-75, by Benjamin Moore); lacquer: Fine Paints of Europe, 800/332-1556, finepaintsofeurope.com.
Bridal chest (19th-century): Akbik Gallery, 800/963-7224, akbik.com.
Floor lamps flanking bridal chest (antique iron, monk’s floor lamps): Susan Kroeger For The Home, 847/446-7611, susankroeger.com.
Painting above bridal chest (Medium Square Landscape, oil on canvas, by Donna Hughes): Bradley Hughes, 312/624-9997, bradley-hughes.com.
Bench by window (designed by Gerri Wiley Design Group): SMG Furniture, 847/677-4219, smgfurniture.com.
Embroidered bench fabric (“Talleyrand Chenille Embroidery”/custom color #DE022, Heritage Embroidery Collection): Holland & Sherry, 212/355-6241, hollandandsherry.com.
Zinc footed ball: Restoration Hardware, 800/910-9836, restorationhardware.com.
Greenwich Designer Showhouse
As he created this guest room, designer Matthew Patrick Smyth imagined a jet-setter enjoying the soft color scheme and restrained decor that would encourage relaxation.
“I would love for this room to be somewhere waiting for me in another city—a city like London or Paris,” says Smyth, “or in a private home as a retreat where one might go in the afternoon to read.”
Inspired by fence grating he once saw on a trip to Dublin, world-traveler Smyth drew a plan for the room’s custom sisal rug in a gray-and-beige quatrefoil pattern. The handsome rug sets the palette for the room.
Interior design: Matthew Patrick Smyth, Matthew Patrick Smyth Interior Design, 136 E. 57th St., Suite 1700, New York, NY 10022; 212/333-5353, matthewsmyth.com.
General contractor: Daniel J. Murphy Inc., 845/634-8085.
Photography: Bruce Buck
Produced by Bonnie Maharam
Against the wall is an iron-and-brass Empire daybed with a regal corona that has been part of Smyth’s personal collection since he moved to New York. The panels flowing from the corona are fashioned from two fabrics—a glazed linen also used on the room’s Roman shades and upholstered walls and a gray linen used as its lining. The pleated corona is embellished with nailheads and a silk trim.
Designer Matthew Patrick Smyth.
With little architecture in the room, Smyth devised a scheme to make the ceilings, wallpapered in pale green, seem higher, thus more in keeping with the dramatic height of the corona above the bed. Framing each window are custom wood panels that Smyth designed and had fabricated and decoratively painted.
On the opposite side of the room, an ottoman can be pulled out from under a console table for extra seating.
Sisal carpet; area rug (“Cashel,” Matthew Patrick Smyth Collection): Patterson, Flynn & Martin, 212/688-7700, pattersonflynnmartin.com.
Glazed linen fabric on walls and window shades (“Beleek Glazed Linen” #50925, colorway discontinued): Schumacher, 800/523-1200, fschumacher.com.
Paper backing on wall fabric: Custom Laminations, 973/279-9174, custom laminations.com.
Ceiling paint (“Whispering Spring” #2136-70); trim paint (“White Dove”#OC-17): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667, benjaminmoore.com.
Painting contractor and wallpaper hanging: Kevin Campbell, 718/796-9216. Shutters (design by Matthew Patrick Smyth): fabricated by Daniel J. Murphy Inc., 845/634-8085.
Decorative painting on shutters: Chris Cozzarin, 917/538-1115.
Daybed (custom): Paul Jones at John Boone Inc., 212/758-0012.
Daybed cushion fabric; pillows on daybed: Schumacher, 800/523-1200.
Canopy fabric, exterior (“Beleek Glazed Linen” #50925, colorway discontinued); canopy fabric, interior (#51086 in Dusk, discontinued); canopy trim: Schumacher, 800/523-1200, fschumacher.com.
Canopy buttons: Tender Buttons, 212/758-7004. Pillow trims: Samuel & Sons, 212/704-8000, samuelandsons.com.
Small paintings (by Lisa Hoogland); photographs (by Lisa Fiel): Matthew Patrick Smyth Inc., 212/333-5353, matthewsmyth.com.
Framing: Jin Art Frames, 212/308-4340. Ceramic garden stool: Lexington Gardens, 212/861-4390, lexingtongardens.com.
Lucite table: Interiors by Royale, 212/753-4600, interiorsbyroyale.com.
Floor lamp by Lucite table: Hinson Lighting, 914/881-1473, hinsonlighting.com.
Chair (1940s French armchair): Lee Calicchio Ltd., 212/588-0841, leecalicchioltd.com.
Armchair fabric: Schumacher, 800/523-1200, fschumacher.com.
Console table: The Alpha Workshops, 212/594-7320, alphaworkshops.org.
Venetian mirror; horse sculpture: Sutter Antiques, 518/822-0729, sutterantiques.com.
Lamps on console (1940s “Charles” lamps): Jean Karajian Gallery, 212/751-6728.
Upholstered ottoman (custom): Interiors by Royale, 212/753-4600, interiorsbyroyale.com.
Ottoman trim (“Aristotle Greek Key”): Samuel & Sons, 212/704-8000, samuelandsons.com.
Metal chair: R.T. Facts, 860/927-1700.
Regency table (antique): Florian Papp, 212/288-6770.
More Showhouse Rooms
To see spaces that embrace dramatic color, visit Showhouse Rooms with Red Accents.