Why raspberry in particular?
It’s a beautiful backdrop for a dining room, a flattering color for people and food, and the black-and-white art pops against the walls. It’s not a seasonal color, and it makes the best of London’s light, or lack thereof. The room is heaven in the bright sunlight of summer and heaven in the dreary gray of winter. It also happens to be a color my client loves, that makes her feel good. She encouraged me to use it, and she was right.
Is it a color she wears?
No, but she used it in the first house I decorated for the family, in Greenwich, Connecticut. London is their primary residence now.
Would you say you’ve given this 19th-century English townhouse a 21st-century American sensibility?
Oh, unequivocally. There’s a simplicity without being modest — an ease of use. Although this is an architecturally formal house — I mean, look at those crown moldings! — it’s easy to live in. It’s easy for their 23-year-old son, believe it or not, to come over with his friends and pile up in the living room. Comfort was key.
What’s the most important element of comfort?
A variety of seating, and fabrics that feel good. We’re not all the same size, shape, gender, or age; seating should be representative of the population. So you see deep club chairs, small bergères, medium-scale sofas, an ottoman to perch on when they’re entertaining, even a two-sided slipper chair.