It was an unusual request for designer Kristen McCory: Tackle a 1903 Hartford, Connecticut, fixer-upper using a single audacious color—hot pink. The reason? One of the homeowners wanted to honor her 99-year-old grandmother through her signature lipstick, an old Revlon shade called Parisian Pink. “Most of my clients in Connecticut are pretty tame, so I loved it!” laughs McCory, who used the hue throughout the house as an energetic counterpoint to the owners’ vast collection of inherited art and antiques.
Eventually, it came down to one massive decision: What to paint the fireplace mantel? “We all looked at each other and asked, ‘Are we doing it?’ ” McCory recalls. “And we did.” No surprise, the client loves the result: “It brings us joy every time we see it.”
The fireplace was just the beginning. McCory was able to incorporate the color in a variety of ways throughout the house. For example, family portraits become unexpectedly playful when paired with bright colors. "I love how the paintings add a friendliness and warmth to the house," says the homeowner. Old World Weavers' Strie Velvet in Blossom covers the vintage settee, and the rattan table is one of many hand-me-downs. "We've schlepped it with us to every home we've ever lived in!" says the owner.
While certain valuable antiques required careful restoration, other less-precious pieces—like a dilapidated secretary—gave McCory a chance to experiment a bit. "It’s such a simple piece, so we wanted to have some fun with it," she says.
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