Falling in Love with Colorful Spaces

Local designers reveal how vibrant paint, tile, fabrics and wallcoverings can add personality and an uplifting atmosphere to your home.

 by Maria Allen

We’re all spending a lot more time at home these days. If you’re tired of staring at white walls and looking for ways to beautify your surroundings, you might want to consider dialing up the color in your home. Since making bold decorating decisions isn’t easy, we asked local designers to share the inspiration behind some of their most brilliantly colored home projects.


Brass and Blue


Incorporating both classic and contemporary elements, this bright blue kitchen is a breath of fresh air. Great pains were taken to find just the right shade of blue for this impressive culinary space that was designed by Good Life New England as part of a larger renovation. The winning color--Benjamin Moore Southern Belle 819--is both bold and timeless.

The expert interior designers at Violandi + Warner teamed up on the project to guide the client through more of the decorating process. A dramatic blue ombre mosaic glass tile with a fan design was sourced from DiscoverTile at the Boston Design Center. Warm brass accents incorporated throughout the kitchen add character to the space. A set of picture lights were positioned over a pair of small windows and an antique brass sconce was situated near the sink. Finishing details included large Hicks pendant lights, suspended over the kitchen island, and sleek counter seating sourced from Design Within Reach’s About a Stool collection.

Good Life New England  |  Norwell  |  781-545-1500  |  goodlifenewengland.com

Violandi + Warner Interiors  |  Scituate  |  781-378-0121  |  violandiandwarnerinteriors.com

*Kitchen accessories provided by Welch Company, welchcompany.com

Photo Kjeld Mahoney


Radiant Red Guest Room


Allison Mattison, the owner of Trellis Home Design in Hingham, is fearless when it comes to colorful decor, and her clients and followers love her for this. Her design shop, located below her studio, is filled with eye-catching upholstery, lighting and decorative accents. A favorite bedding set by Jane Wilner Designs served as the inspiration for this cherry red guest bedroom in Mattison’s home. A bold banana leaf wallpaper by Pierre Frey sets the tone in the room and is complemented by custom window valances. To temper the red a bit, Mattison pulled in rattan pieces, including a decorative headboard. A Ficxs Reed lounge chair and matching ottoman, purchased at a vintage dealer in Palm Beach, was reupholstered in a Robert Allen fabric with a smaller red and white pattern, so as not to “fight with the other patterns” in the room.

Trellis Home Design  |  Hingham  |  917-678-5861  |  trellishomedesign.com 

Photo Jessica Delaney

Chairs in navy ikat fabric by Pindler

A Nod to Nautical


 As part of the redesign of a young Hingham couple’s home, Beth Bourque, owner of Beth Bourque Design Studio in Milton, gave the living room a fresh look by incorporating bold color choices.

“The homeowners wanted a coastal vibe, but we didn’t want to be kitschy,” explains Bourque. “They had this cool oriental rug with a navy blue, salmon and cream pattern, which inspired the color palette.” Bourque transformed a worn brick fireplace into a strong focal point with a deep shade of blue paint, called “Naval” by Sherwin Williams. A framed oil painting from the couple’s collection found a home in a small niche above the fireplace and brass sconces were added to amplify the elegance. Bourque created a sitting area with a pair of chairs upholstered in a navy ikat fabric by Pindler. A suede and hemp rug by Serena & Lily was placed over the wood floors to bring in a more neutral beach-grass tone, and a bit of shimmer. She completed the look with blue and white curtains from Anthropology, brushed brass curtain rods from West Elm, and a rattan bar cart by Serena & Lily.

Beth Bourque Design Studio  | Milton  |   617-407-1912  |  Bethbourquedesign.com

Photo Jessica Delaney

Schumacher wallpaper called Citrus Garden in the color Pool.

A Citrus Twist


As guests arrive at designer Christine van der Kieft’s Hingham home, they are greeted by a bright, cheerful entryway. Originally an open-air portico, the space was enclosed a few years ago. To help bring the beauty of the outdoors inside, Van der Kieft covered the walls with a verdant Schumacher wallpaper called Citrus Garden in the color Pool.

“When we bought our house, it had a little English garden,” says van der Kieft. “I saw this wallpaper and thought it would be a fun play on extending the garden area into our home,” For the floors, she went with a durable Montauk blue slate tile in a herringbone pattern, sourced from Bellew Tile in Rockland. A sweet seating area was created for the hallway by giving an older set of chairs a facelift. The chairs were painted in a saturated Benjamin Moore Deep Royal blue and reupholstered in cotton-linen Romo fabric in a light blue called Skylight. Van der Kieft also had pillows made for the chairs using indoor-outdoor Schumacher Stella Chambray fabric that had a small-scale star print. “I like anything blue,” says van der Kieft, “I just love how the colors make me feel.”

Van der Kieft Designs  |  Hingham  |  781-366-4217  |  vanderkieftdesigns.com

Bainbridge Blue by Benjamin Moore Study

A Stunning Study


The elegance of a newly constructed transitional style home in Cohasset, designed by Heidi Condon Residential Design, is amplified by its beautiful interior decor. Homeowner Barbara O’Neill has worked at The New Upholstery Shop in North Scituate for 18 years and used a favorite Schumacher fabric (Chiang Mai Dragon) as the inspiration for her entire home’s color palette.

“I’m someone who really loves greens, blues and creams,” says O’Neill, who chose a vibrant paint, Bainbridge Blue by Benjamin Moore, for the office she shares with her husband. “It was a nice match for the water outside our windows.” A velvet sofa was tucked between the built-in bookshelves to create a cozy reading nook. A large framed mirror, hung over the sofa, lends a grandness to the space. O’Neill finished the look with roman shades made from Osborne & Little fabric and throw pillows featuring Schumacher Tabriz Ikat Velvet. “It’s turned out to be a cozy getaway where we can shut the doors to make a zoom call or relax with a cup of tea and a good book.”

Heidi Condon Residential Design  |  Scituate  |  781-545-5700  |  heidicondon.com

The New Upholstery Shop  |  Scituate  |  781-545-0589

Photo Jack Foley



Modern Magic


While working on the interior design for a newly constructed contemporary home in Hingham, Sarah Scales, owner of Sarah Scales Design Studio in Milton, created this one-of-a-kind bedroom for a young girl who loves the outdoors. “She’s super into the woods and enchanted forests, so that’s where the concept started,” says Scales. A dynamic Cole & Son wallpaper called Woods sets the tone with a refined birch tree pattern. Keeping with the home’s modern aesthetic, Scales added a custom-made contemporary nightstand from SawTimber Woodworks in Hingham and implemented a color blocking technique for the custom window treatments. The burnt orange hue on the lower part of the drapes lines up perfectly with the windowsills. The same color is echoed in a tiny flower pattern on the Yves Delorme bedding and a trio of abstract art prints displayed over the bed in high-gloss white metal frames sourced from Room & Board. “We included a few girly touches, like the flowers on the bedding, but we kept the look sophisticated so the room would have longevity,” says Scales.

Sarah Scales Design Studio  |  Milton  |  617-901-6796  |  sarahscales.com

Photo Jessica Delaney


Modern Magic


A classic color combination of navy and white makes a perfect pair in this Cohasset kitchen. The overall design for this versatile space was conceptualized by the award-winning design team at Good Life New England as part of a substantial renovation of the home’s first floor. To contrast the bright white kitchen cabinets, the kitchen island cabinetry was painted a deep navy, and this color was continued into the pantry. The custom cabinetry in both spaces was designed by Good Life New England. The design experts at Violandi + Warner Interiors were brought in to assist the homeowners with the selection of more decorative touches, such as a royale navy artisan glass backsplash tile, sourced from Classic Tile & Stone in Hingham. Galbraith and Paul wallpaper in the pattern Casita helps tie the pantry area together and continues with the navy theme. Adjacent to the kitchen, a window seat cushion was customized with a cheerful Schumacher Tortola fabric in the color Marine and set off with bright green pillows featuring a Schumacher Fuzz design.

Good Life New England  |  Norwell  |  781-545-1500  |  goodlifenewengland.com

Violandi + Warner Interiors  |  Scituate  |  781-378-0121  |  violandiandwarnerinteriors.com

Classic Tile & Stone, Inc | Hingham | 781-741-5230 | classictile-stone.com

Photo Danielle Robertson


Lively Lime Green


Every once in a while, a homeowner comes along who wants to toss caution and convention to the wind in favor of unique and exciting decor choices. Such was the case with this brightly colored bathroom, which was part of a much larger renovation in which the experts at Good Life New England completely reimagined the layout of the antique Marshfield home. Violandi + Warner were brought in to help bring the client’s colorful dreams to life. The bathroom features a pink hexagon tile, sourced from Classic Tile & Stone in Hingham, and an eye-catching Schumacher wallpaper in a Chiang Mai Dragon pattern in the color Blush. The vanity, made by Wood Decor Inc., was painted in Sherwin Williams Parakeet green and outfitted with a Brizo Litze Widespread Faucet in polished nickel. The look was completed with a Grace Bay Mirror by Oomph Home Furnishings and Castle Peaks Wall Sconces in Polished Nickel from Visual Comfort.

Good Life New England  |  Norwell  |  781-545-1500  |  goodlifenewengland.com

Violandi + Warner Interiors  |  Scituate  |  781-378-0121  |  violandiandwarnerinteriors.com

Classic Tile & Stone, Inc  |  Hingham  |  781-741-5230  |  classictile-stone.com

*Bathroom accessories from Welch Company in Scituate.

Photo Kjeld Mahoney


Lively Lime Green


When it came to decorating her cozy waterfront cottage in Duxbury, interior designer Linda Merrill, owner of Linda Merrill Decorative Surroundings, knew she wanted to have a cheerful color palette.

“Green has always been my favorite color since I was a little girl, but pink has been a close second,” says Merrill, whose dining room is filled with the colors of a spring garden bouquet. “The colors work so well together—they’re warm and upbeat.” An accent wall, painted with Benjamin Moore Bouquet Rose, sets the tone in the room. Vibrant pink and green window treatments, featuring a Robert Allen Bulverde Peony pattern (discontinued), were custom made by Cathy’s Concepts in Hanover.

Merrill designed a custom tablecloth in a light green Faux Bois fabric from Spoonflower for a small circular dining room table and outfitted her Ballard Designs parsons chairs with custom velvet slipcovers from Cathy’s Concepts in Hanover. A vintage settee, sourced from Elite Repeat in Hanover and reupholstered by Merrill with a floral fabric, provides additional seating beneath a gallery wall of framed artwork. “Since most of my furnishings are vintage pieces, I wanted the colors and fabrics to be a youthful counterpart,” says Merrill. 

Linda Merrill Decorative Surroundings  |  Duxbury  |  781-585-0275  |  lindamerrill.com

Photo Michael J. Lee


Green Charmer


With space at a premium, the design team at Topnotch Design Studio in South Easton made sure to utilize every available inch in this kitchen renovation project. When it came to the color of the custom cabinetry, they settled on Sherwin Williams Mount Etna--a luscious shade of green.

“We didn’t want a stark white kitchen,” explains Topnotch founder Patty Winberg. “The paint color added a sense of warmth and charm and tied in well with the wood floors.”

They added a small kitchen work table with a walnut butcher block top by Grothouse Lumber (that cleverly conceals a microwave drawer). Built-in cabinets and a tall walnut pantry were created to maximize storage. An unsightly radiator was elegantly enclosed beneath a small window ledge with a decorative brass mesh radiator cover.

Winberg enlisted the help of interior designer Kim Shapiro of Nesting Designs in Sharon to help the client with lighting, wall coverings, tile and other finishes. For the countertops and kitchen backsplash, they selected Muse by Viatera, a bright white quartz with smoke-gray veining. Warm brass details were incorporated in decorative hardware and on the custom-made range hood. Shapiro also helped create a small dining area by sourcing a brass table base from Chairish for which she had a custom glass top made. She finished the look with a Meri Drum Chandelier by Oly in frost white. 

Topnotch Design Studio  |  South Easton  |  508-230-7082  |  topnotchds.com

Nesting Designs  |  Sharon  |  781-389-1882


Tantalizing Teal


This Lakeville home was transformed into a bright and cheerful summer getaway, complete with a one-of-a-kind contemporary kitchen designed by Topnotch Design Studio. “The homeowners were from New York and they knew they wanted the kitchen to be bright and fun because it was their vacation home,” says Topnotch founder Patty Winberg. After considering different color options, they settled on painting the top cabinets Sherwin Williams Tantalizing Teal and the lower cabinets with Brushed Aluminum. This color palette was complemented with a beautiful Kohler Farmhouse Sink and glass tile with a mix of silver and turquoise that was used to create a glittering backsplash. The same Caribbean-inspired colors were carried into the bathroom and other rooms in the house. “Not everyone can handle a color this bright, but they were daring clients and it was a fun project to work on,” says Winberg.

Topnotch Design Studio  |  South Easton  |  508-230-7082  |  topnotchds.com

Photo Lynn Maschiarelli