Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek |
Designer Mara Malcolm uses a bold color combo, mix of patterns, and eclectic accessories to turn a catchall room into a chic, feminine space
“Jill lives in a house full of boys,” designer Mara Lamb Malcolm says of her client, on-the-go real estate agent Jill Childers. “As the mother of three young men [as well as stepmother to a daughter and son], she needed a space that was only hers, a place to get away from the guys to simply read, watch TV, or enjoy a glass of wine with girlfriends,” Mara says.
Luckily, Jill and her husband, Joe, already had the space in the form of a catchall room, where Jill says she often folded laundry. The area had been a porch at one time but was enclosed in a previous renovation. Jill and Joe turned to Mara—who also happens to be responsible for introducing the now-married pair—to help revive the aesthetic and breathe new, inspired life into the room. “It was pretty bleak but had such potential because of its location right off the kitchen and the fact that it had its own adjacent half bath,” Mara says.
A palette of orchid and cobalt set the tone for the makeover. “Joe had given me a blue lapis ring for Christmas, and I had just gotten my nails painted the prettiest shade of lavender,” Jill recalls. “I looked down, saw the two together and thought, ‘That’s it!’” She also notes that her mother, who passed away six years ago, loved purple, which helped to sway her palette choice. “Jill loves color and isn’t afraid to use it,” Mara says. “Her mother, Donna, was larger than life and passed along her love of color and fun and fashion and style to Jill. I thought about her the entire time we were working on this project. I knew it had to be bright, happy, and inspiring—and thankfully, it is. I have never received a sweeter compliment than when Jill said, ‘OMG, Donna would love it!’”
Pieces such as the two-drawer chest and bar cart mix practical with pretty. “Because this is a small space, every item needed to be beautiful (of course!) but still functional,” Mara says. The cart serves as a side table for the armchair as well as a bar. “Because of the room’s location right off the kitchen, it’s also the perfect place to locate a signature cocktail station when the family entertains,” Mara adds.
“Now, I drink my coffee in here in the mornings and wine at night,” Jill says. “I love to have girlfriends over because we have a space of our own to sit and visit. And, I still fold laundry in here, but it’s just so much nicer now,” she laughs.
Interior design Mara Malcolm, Lamb’s Interior Design Accessories The Shade Above, Lamb’s Interior Design, and Obsessions Interiors Art, furniture, lighting, and rugs Lamb’s Interior Design Window treatments Linda McNeill, Decorative Home Accessories