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The sofa, though deliberately neutral, has a chocolate-brown leather trim with nailhead detail. Atop sit the custom throw pillows in the fabric that inspired the palette. SOFA  Lee Industries COFFEE TABLE   Noir noirfurniturela.com

text by  CHARLOTTE SAFAVI photography by  ANNA ROUTH interior design by  ERICA BURNS INTERIORS



“My clients were looking for something traditional with a sense of whimsy. They love a classic Ralph Lauren vibe, but wanted more youthful, vibrant elements,” says DC-area interior designer Erica Burns.

Gold is the favored metallic finish in the home. Here, it is part of a three-tiered gilt and mirrored side table. PILLOWS Manuel Canovas, “Les Caveliers” SIDE TABLE  West Elm westelm.comLAMP  Bungalow 5 bungalow5.com SISAL AREA RUG  Fibreworks, to the trade HAIR ON HIDE RUG  Holland and Sherry, To the Trade

The young couple hired Burns to redesign the main living area in their new home. The canvas was mostly clean, except for a few existing pieces of furniture, like the dining room table and chairs.

Curtains in the living room have an aqua-and-cream Ikat pattern too, but it is in a smaller scale than that of the foyer. The lime green cowhide is layered over a natural sisal rug. BENCH Worlds Away, recovered in “Zig Zag” by China Seas/Quadrille worlds-away.com DRAPERY FABRIC  Kravet, to the trade

Burns began, as she often does, with a piece of fabric. In this case, a Manuel Canovas material selected for the custom-made throw pillows, which are on the living room’s sofa. The fabric, depicting an exotic hunting scene, is an unexpected take on a typical English foxhunt. Its colors are also fresh and Burns used them as a springboard for

her color scheme


The eat-in area in the kitchen has a beach-y vibe, with over-scale striped blue-and-white curtains. The copper lantern is a modern take on a traditional wrought-iron one. TABLE Owner’s existing  LANTERN  lanternandscroll.com DRAPERY custom, Perrenials fabric CHAIRS  Restoration Hardware French Barrel back

“It has tan and navy, with pops of lime green, aqua blue, and coral red,” she says of the textile’s colorful pattern.



In the library, a modern Lucite side table has a traditional pedestal base. The coffee table books on the blue library ledge include one on the master (Ralph Lauren) himself. CHAIRS antique Baker wing chairs, re-covered in Pindler fabric. LEOPARD PILLOWS custom madeLUCITE TABLE  Wisteria wisteria.com

Palette in place, the home’s once-boring white library built-ins took on a high-gloss blue lacquered finish, creating a cozy, classic space that is also bright and contemporary. The library now draws you into the home with its depth of color and sheen.

“Because it’s visible from the entry,” says Burns, “I also lacquered the front door in the same paint and picked out this great Quadrille patterned wallpaper to connect the two spaces.”



Large-scale Ikat wallpaper makes a bold statement in the foyer. The door’s polished hardware stands out against the deep blue paint.’ WALLPAPER China Seas” quadrillefabrics.com




Coral linen curtains hung high and espresso grasscloth shades freshen up existing dining room furniture. TABLE AND CHAIRS existing RUG (under table) Anthropologie anthropologie.com

Throughout the main level Burns continued to reinterpret the traditional, especially when it came to patterns, using jumbo checks instead of say ginghams, or Ikats instead of paisleys. She also played with safari chic. For example, a lime green cowhide rug is layered on the living room floor, or petit leopard print throw pillows adorn two comfortable armchairs in the library.

A settee in the dining room serves as additional seating as needed. The wallpaper has an organic wood grain pattern. WALLPAPER Schumacher “Faux Bois” to the trade SETTE  Noir noirfurniturela.comPILLOWS custom made in Holland & Sherry fabric (brown check) and China Seas/Quadrille (spotted) BIRD PRINTS AND SCONCES  from homeowner

“By changing scales in patterns or using unexpected color, you can take a traditional space and give it a fresh, fun, yet still timeless vibe,” adds Burns.