This story, originally from our April 1968 issue, tells the tale of a made-over home.
It's an old house redone — the summertime and winter weekend cottage of Mr. and Mrs. Peter C. Welsh on a Cape Cod island. Color played the dashing role of renovator-in-chief — and, much to Miescisko's surprise, the whole is a sum of the colors we believe add up to inevitable stylishness in 1968.
A basic palette of White White and Black Black is sometimes lashed with Raw Lime and Delphinium Blue and English Mustard, sometimes sparked with Red Red and Black Brown, sometimes flavored with Apricot and Pink Pink — brisk, vivacious colors you have certainly seen before but never in such inventive combination, for that is what the new math of color is all about.
Benjamin A. Cook of Trade Winds, Inc., masterminded the redesign, gave the rooms the happy brightness of the sunlit ocean on a summer's morning and, of major moment to a seaside household that includes three children and a continual flow of guests, added the practical dimension of easy maintenance with vinyl floors, high-gloss paint, reversible rugs, and slipcovers — all so stylish you wouldn't guess their durability.
Spanking white, the dormered shingled house is of that particular genre which lends the Cape so much charm, hence structural changes were kept to a few — a sunporch brought within the house to extend the spaciousness of the living room; the entrance door repositioned from the front of the house to the side; a downstairs bedroom becoming a foyer-sitting room, shown on the opposite page.
The two-story living room, is a White White refreshment, sharply patterned in Black Black, spiked with Delphinium Blue accessories. Drama overhead: the gallery that leads to upstairs bedrooms. Wicker, the nostalgic age-old favorite of summer places, is given young, stylish zing, painted white, cushioned in a bold black-and-white print.
The foyer changes the black-and-white direction. This time black walls are foils for the whiteness of furniture and curtains, cooled with a zest of Raw Lime and flower-color blue. Floor is vinyl tile, patterned to suggest an elegantly scalloped rug.
In the Welches' dining room, galaxies of daisies in a black-as-night field of wallpaper, a stylish, summery crispness contrasted with white woodwork and vinyl floors. Chairs, painted in a Raw Lime trompe l'oeil of slats, are reproductions of English "page boy" chairs. French Directoire table has egg-shell-crackle surface, elegantly serviceable. Living-room floor blossoms with stylized flowers painted, by Thomas Rowlands on black, in colors that sing through the house — Delphinium Blue, Raw Lime, Mustard Yellow, Emerald.
Kitchen, smart as a parlor and in this lively household often treated as one, exploits the practicality as well as the sophistication of black and white in black-cased appliances and brick-patterned white vinyl flooring. Punctuation: red, glossy bright on chairs, streaking through the ticking-stripe curtains and matching vinyl wallcovering. Fresh, trim, thoughtfully planned, this is how color can revitalize the back-stairs part of a house, the stairway itself becoming a decoration. Behind the white louver doors, a laundry room.
Pool and garden area are directly visible and accessible to the living room, through its new glass wall. The Welches have kept landscaping simple—clipped lawn and shrubs.
Black Brown, Black Black, Red Red, cooled with white — as urbane a palette as ever colored the flat of a man-about-town — give the boy's room an aura of grown-up decoration with the extra virtue that these colors stand up well to juvenile wear and tear.
A sweet mix of flower color, teamed with the airy filigree of wicker, and the girl's room takes on the character of a little sleeping garden. Pink Pink, Apricot, and yellow prevail — a sophisticated combination to make any little girl feel like a young lady. In the interest of easy care in this summer place, double-hung shutters.
The wizardry of the paintbrush worked transforming wiles on all the bedroom furniture. In the master bedroom, above, the Apricot wallpaper background suggested the tint for painted headboards and a chest of drawers. In the baby's room an identical chest changes its character completely, painted a lighthearted yellow and topped with a decoupage of flowers cut from the wallpaper. A staid old rush-bottom rocker, painted white and striped in yellow and Pink Pink to match the bedspread, turns giddy as a pony on a carrousel.