"I'd love to live in an older home with tons of character," Janell says, "but this is a spec house without a lot of detail. When I decorate, I try to make each room reflect my family's interests, personalities, history and dreams."
Janell hangs her daughter Isabella's artwork around the house—but uses more than pushpins to do so. By considering how the colors in a given drawing play against the colors of a room's walls, furniture and draperies, Janell treats every piece the way she would "serious" art. She also uses white frames throughout the house, "to make the art pop," she says, and to create continuity from room to room.
Having grown up in a "large, financially challenged family," Elle spent countless hours pondering her fate and how to overcome the limitations of the metaphorical ceiling above her. The conundrum took a literal turn, and she developed a passion for bringing color to an expanse so often sheathed in white. "People are stuck on the feeling that a ceiling has to be light," Elle says. The opposite is true, she believes: The abrupt shift from a strong wall color to a white ceiling often "argues" with the room's architecture. Instead, she says, "I pull the ceiling into the conversation."
The question wasn't whether but what Elle would do to her kitchen ceiling. She chose this yellow plaid wallpaper from Scalamandré, which picks up the colors of her cabinets and speaks to the geometry of the room's floor tiles.
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