Seamlessly blending traditional design with youthful style
Designer Eileen Kathryn Boyd is a master at creating vibrant and cheerful spaces. Seamlessly blending traditional design with youthful style—along with a healthy dose of vivid color—each of Boyd’s wonderfully crafted rooms is more charming than the last.
Mansions & Millionaires Showhouse 2004
Sands Point, New York
Designer Eileen Kathryn Boyd embarked on a colorful adventure when she splashed this multi-tasking bedroom/studio with intoxicating jolts of tangerine and fuchsia. A canvas of white walls with classic moldings contrasts with the youthful palette.
“You breathe in color from the moment you step into this space,” says Boyd. “You can’t help but connect with the strong orange, which has turned into a hot color.” Behind an elegant, cream-colored sofa that melts quietly into the wall is a grid of nine graphic artworks in tangerine frames, adding volume and verve.
Boyd wanted colored fabrics to take center stage, so the raffia-covered daybed is topped with a faux-leather coverlet and an exuberant array of pillows. Inspired by the fashion pages of Vogue, the paisley window treatments add chic.
Details on the following slide.
Fuchsia and tangerine pillows on the tailored daybed add spunk and color to the white walls and furniture.
Contributing to the geometric sense is the symmetrical composition on and around the fireplace; its classic surround is adorned with pairs of sconces, and topiaries on the mantel flank a starburst mirror and a gilt clock.
Mansions & Millionaires Designer Showhouse 2005
Long Island, New York
If the walls in this sunny solarium could talk, they would have soft, soothing voices. But if the furnishings could tell tales, they would do so in a lively tone. Boyd combined blue, green, and clean white for a snappy mix of furnishings that is traditional yet current, with classic shapes in a fresh, hip palette.
“I’m not a fan of rooms that have that harsh, modern edge,” says Boyd. “I like modern treatments of classic shapes with a little personality rather than furniture with straight, simple lines.”
Boyd enlisted a variety of circular shapes to give this sunroom a sense of movement. Instead of drapery hardware that has little decorative impact, she used large cobalt blue rings to join sections of the white sheers. The fabric melts into the pure white background that frames the arched windows, allowing the hardware to command full attention. A central lighting fixture with intertwining circles (shown on previous slide) and a green throw with white circles tossed on the slipcovered chaise continue the theme.
The sofa, painted in cobalt blue, is topped with a white matelassé cushion and pillows in complementary blue-and-white patterns. Other furniture frames, including the classic chinoiserie coffee table, were treated with a simple whitewash to highlight their sculptural forms. The hammered-metal mirror, also in white, completes the room.
Mansions & Millionaires Showhouse 2008
Mill Neck, Long Island
Boyd turned this octagonal living room of a Long Island Tudor Revival home from white, traditional, and predictable to handsome, current, and fashionable.
An unexpected Gustavian gray milk paint applied to the paneling and moldings creates a quiet envelope for a mélange of modern furnishings punctuated with exclamation points of saturated taxicab yellow. “I wanted to unify all of the paneling and moldings with one color so they wouldn’t compete against each other,” Boyd explains. “I relate color to music, and on their own, neither the gray nor the yellow works for me. But together, they are harmonious and complement each other perfectly.”
Centered on the room’s multi-paned windows, the seating area is a lesson in balance. A raw linen sofa with accent pillows in stone, yellow, and a bright, luminous blue captures the main focus. Flanking each side of the sofa, venerable tufted-back chairs are given a contemporary lift with yellow fabric and black frames.
To make the room a multi-task area, a glass-and-stainless-steel desk reads modern, while a vintage French cane-backed chair contributes soul and a suggestion of history. A pair of matching faux-crocodile upholstered ottomans provide additional seating. Eileen painted the artwork herself when she couldn’t find another piece that was the right scale and color for the wall.
To blur the edges of grids on the paneling and windows, elegant drapery panels in a gray-and-white burnout floral pattern cascade from moldings to the floor. A width of yellow grosgrain ribbon trimming the edges of each panel unites the other jolts of yellow. The ribbon is pierced with silver nailheads that give the draperies a measure of metallic shine.
Mansions & Millionaires Showhouse 2003
Greenvale, New York
Architectural elements are noteworthy indeed, but this living room delivers something new and energetic beyond great bones. “I wanted elements in this room to repeat themselves for a strong unity,” says Boyd. Symmetry was the primary driving force behind the design, which mirrors shapes in the room’s three seating arrangements.
Boyd chose quiet crea1 on the walls as an envelope for strong shots of chartreuse and hot pink, making the room traditional and timeless yet youthful in its interpretation of color and geometry.
“Green makes people feel peaceful, and hot pink gives a sense of excitement and renewal,” says Boyd. “These colors make people look and feel great.”
Hampton Designer Showhouse 2011
Water Mill, New York
Though she’s always been colorful, Boyd now had one more reason to turn up the color quotient. “My fabric line had just launched,” says Boyd. “It is a collection devoted to color! And what better opportunity to highlight color than a summer environment?”
Pearlescent accents around the fireplace maintain the beach theme. Texture is not lost on the white fireplace mantel, which complements the slipper chair from Duralee. A daydream-inspiring 1960s Murano chandelier hangs above the custom daybed.
Brilliant yellow is the main event here, accompanied by splashes of fuchsia and teal—all kept in check with white woodwork and a neutral rug. “I love the daybed,” says Boyd. “It anchors the space and is perfect for lounging après pool/sun!”
Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Decorator Showhouse 2009
New York, New York
When Boyd first examined the empty white box she was assigned to at the Kips Bay showhouse, she decided to echo its lines with furniture in relatively simple shapes. Then, naturally for her, she injected vibrant colors to bring the room to life.
The spring-like palette of the room is illuminated by sunlight that pours through a door that leads out to the terrace. A modern wool rug in varied shades of green grounds a tailored sofa upholstered in textured pumice-colored fabric. Vintage tables—a coffee table with a stacked acrylic base and a chrome-and-stone footstool from the ’70s—introduce interesting shapes and provide a bit of shine.
“I found myself drawn to the room’s clean integrity,” says Boyd. “I chose to leave walls white as a foil for a symphony of electric colors that work together without being overwhelming.”
Twin slipper chairs in outrageous fuchsias coordinate with pillows tossed on the sofa. As a unifying element, saturated orange winds through the décor.
Eileen Kathryn Boyd
“I always reference classic furniture and historical styles,” says Boyd. “When I look back at people who have inspired me, they always have pieces and elements that stand on their own with good taste and good editing.”