Houston, Texas-based designer Jennifer Barron delivers her youthful, layered style to the home next door. Photography by Molly Culver Photography.
When neighbors follow each other from one street to another, they must have a lot in common. This was the case for House of Harper blogger, Caroline Harper Knapp and her (now-twice) Houston, Texas neighbor Jennifer Barron, principal of Jennifer Barron Interiors. Caroline was looking for a decorator who shared her vision for relaxed and timeless interiors. “I had so many images filled with color and pattern, but I could not have pulled the look together on my own,” says Caroline, who didn’t need to go far to find Jennifer, a self-described transitionalist. It did not take long for the decorator to assemble classic, but updated mood boards for the house with lighting, furniture and fabric. “After the presentation, Caroline and I sat at the dining room table wearing masks and moving fabrics around until everything clicked into place,” says Jennifer who balanced the fresh with the fine all throughout the house. Here the decorator spills her secrets for designing a traditional family home with forever fresh appeal.
Bridge the Gap Between New and Old with Layers
“In my opinion, the most important part of a design is the layers,” says Jennifer. “For instance, in the sitting room, those animal print stools catch your eye immediately and pop against the piles of traditional pillows on the sofa.”
Make it Comfortable
“Layered rugs, lots of custom pillows and patterned upholstery pieces like the delicately patterned yellow fabric on the swivel chairs warm up the big family room to seem cozy and approachable. Most people don’t think it’s possible for a room to be casual and beautiful, but it is.”
Use Color to Set a Room's Mood
“There’s a mix of subtle and powerful palettes depending on the space. We stuck with quieter shades in the formal living room and bolder ones as the spaces became more family friendly.”
Let Nothing Look Stale
“Antiques mixed with contemporary patterns and artwork give character and life to a space,” explains Jennifer. “While there may be an abundance of classic design elements like chinoiserie and Turkish rugs used throughout, soft color palettes and new lighting infuse freshness.”
“In the kitchen, durable and pretty Taj Mahal quartzite countertops pair well with handsome brass finishes and flow nicely into the open family room scheme. The clean and simple pantry features butcher block countertops that wear well and stay consistent with the rest of the home.”
Design for Everyone
“A combination of light-hearted patterns like the striped bench cushion fabric coupled with modern art gives the family room’s banquette eating area a playfulness that’s inviting to children, but polished enough for adults.”
Connect Indoor and Outdoor
“The exterior’s copper lantern and Dutch door stayed consistent with the interior’s traditional selections. The outdoor lounge area’s breezy color palette and white wicker extends naturally from the indoor family room.”