With the emergence of super-bright colors on the runway, it's not just our wardrobes that will see pastels pushed to the curb. Our homes will welcome vibrant tones too. Case in point: this stunning jewel-tone home in Austin, Texas. Built in 1983, the colonial-style residence was transformed from its traditional past into a hyper-modern abode with a vibrant color palette. Elizabeth Mollen of Stone Textile Studio told MyDomaine her client is a big fan of high-octane hues and jewel tones. The starting point for the home's unique palette was the vintage Turner artwork in the formal living room.
The formal living room is where you really need your shades. "The paint is Benjamin Moore Newburg Green, and it's one of my favorites to work with as the color reminds me of one of my grandmother's sapphire necklaces," explains Mollen. "We really hit all of my favorite jewel tones: teals, deep blues, purples, and fuchsias. We decided to mix these fun colors with the basic black, white, and gray tones. The house feels like fall to me, and it was only fitting that they moved back in a few weeks ago to enjoy their new color-filled house while the colors were also changing outside."
The entire house was completely gutted and redone from the kitchen to the bathroom. "The house had some strong bones to start out with so it was exciting to watch the transformation," she said. Ahead, Mollen shares her style notes for each room and how they incorporated color at every step.
This family room is actually an extension of the kitchen, so Mollen's clients wanted a tailored but comfortable look. "The room is centered around the custom asymmetrical bookshelves," she explained. "The back wall was painted the same deep blue color as the kitchen cabinets for balance. We chose neutral-colored finishes for the walls and flooring so we could then add the bold colors, which both my client and I love."
Some of Mollen's favorite jewel-tone moments in the family room are the abstract art pieces, the teal rug, and the reupholstered chairs, which they had reupholstered in fuchsia pink. "Both the kitchen and the adjoining family room have bold and unique elements that work together," she said. "This is a perfect example of designing for an open concept space."
With bright being the common theme, Mollen carried the jewel tones into the bathroom too for a spa-like feeling. "We pulled the teal tones from the wallpaper in the master and created a custom hex tile pattern for the tub wall," she said. "Bringing the tile all the way up to the ceiling makes the space feel larger. The vintage rug and reupholstered brass stool add fun and welcoming pop to the wall tile. The colorful Boucherouite (made from recycled rags) rug is from Morocco. After hours of scrolling on Etsy, I knew this was the one."
The majority of the client's budget was spent on completely gut-renovating the kitchen. The 1980s-style space was cut off from the family room, so Mollen opened it up to create a large eat-in kitchen. "I am happy that my clients trusted me with the super-dark cabinets and brass hardware," she said. "We added lighter elements for balance, including a custom backsplash in dove gray and white and large yet airy chandelier in the breakfast nook."
The jewel-tone vintage runner adds a touch of sparkle to the dark blue kitchen cabinets, but the gold breakfast chairs are the star of the show. "We had these brass beauties reupholstered in a vibrant sapphire blue to go with the kitchen cabinets," said Mollen. "Mixing different shades of the same color is always a good idea and creates a layered tonal look."
While the rest of the house was renovated, the furniture is a mix of new and existing pieces. Mollen updated the client's traditional furniture with abstract fabric and gave the wainscoting a modern black-and-white color-block makeover. "I really love how the whimsical artwork now pops against the dark walls," she said. "We stayed on theme and kept the beautiful original emerald green marble floors. My client is a collector, so we 'shopped the house' and created a jewel-tone gallery wall to bring out the rich colors of the floor. We worked on this room toward the end of the project, and I love how it all came together."
This formal living room is literally the jewel of the home. Mollen loves to work in her client's sentimental pieces and furniture to bring their personality to the space. In this case, all of the furniture is vintage and has been in the family for decades. "We stripped off the early-'90s fabric and reupholstered the loveseat, chair, and settee in a light lavender textured fabric to pop against the dark blue walls."
In keeping with the overall theme, this room is all about jewel tones. "I was first inspired by my client's collection of midcentury Turner Flamingo art," she said. "We pulled colors from these pieces (now hanging above the loveseat) to create the color story. I added a rich eggplant-colored rug, painted the walls a deep blue, and accessorized with jewel-tone tie-dye pillows from my own collection.
"Mixing brass and metallic accents with jewel tones always works, so we completed the space with a dramatic chandelier, brass coffee table, and crystal table lamps. The formal living room is the first room you see when you enter the house, and it really sets the tone for the entire project."
The home is a unique mix of personal pieces and Mollen's own passion for bright tones and interesting textures. "I like my client to walk into their new space and see a beautiful big picture, and then on second glance, the layers of the design start to pop out," she said. "I try to always achieve an eclectic layered interior by working with unique wall coverings and textiles, incorporating vintage one-of-a-kind pieces, and taking chances with color." And we're so glad she did.