Drysdale began with what she calls “a driver,” in this case an Oushak carpet. “It’s very beautiful, not too formal, and very lively,” she says, “kind of like Bette Midler.” The rug’s hues inspired the goldenrod shade for the walls, a color that comes from the marriage of a yellow base coat with coats of tinted glaze. What’s in the glaze? “Burnt sienna, a few drops of red, burnt umber, just about everything but the kitchen sink,” says Drysdale, who always mixes her own colors. The trim is an intensified version of the walls, and the cabinets are yet another yellow.
In the sitting area, an orange chaise, custom-made for Bette Midler’s five-foot-two frame, telegraphs comfort. The early-20th-century Steinway is the perfect place for her to practice her scales. Patinated antiques abound: The yellow chair is a 1750 Massachusetts lolling chair, the green prie-dieu is a 250-year-old French piece, and the mantel dates to 1740.