When you inherit an antique of any kind your first thought probably isn’t to integrate it into your home for everyday use especially when you have small kids. Living with kids and antiques sounds like an oxymoron of sorts, but the following images presents an opposing argument. While flipping the the pages of Lonny Magazine I came across the home of San Francisco-based designer Susan Greenleaf of Greenleaf Design Studio. Located in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, her Georgian style home shared with her husband and eight-year old twins inspires us to dust off our “relics” and breathe new life into the upholstery through the use of vibrant pattern and colors.
“With travel as a major influence in her work, Susan works to integrate ethnic finds with both modern and traditional pieces to create homes that have soul and texture, avoiding anything that feels “cookie-cutter”.
“A little juxtaposition is always a good thing, especially in a home with a traditional exterior. It helps ensure that nothing feels too serious.”
Susan offers these four tips for pulling together her eclectic look:
- Plan for unifying elements throughout individual rooms. Paint is an easy and affordable way to do just that.
- Create a focal point by identifying one or two elements in a room that will draw attention—a fireplace with a mantel on which art can be arranged, a tableau of books and objets on a cocktail table, a large-scale piece of photography that grounds a living room, or a grouping of chinoiserie vases with sculptural blooms.
- Add an element of surprise to each room. For example, wingbacks and Louis XVI chairs are much more interesting when upholstered in a colorful, graphic fabric, such as those from Christopher Farr, Quadrille, or China Seas.
- Give special attention to detail. Small decorating decisions make your home feel carefully thought out and less formulaic. Instead of using wallpaper, cover a powder room in a favorite fabric; buy an inexpensive mirror frame and install antique glass. For example, Susan found vintage St. Regis doorknobs on eBay and installed them on closet doors in the butler’s pantry and kids’ rooms.