A Hollywood Glam Townhouse Makeover

Penny Rutledge is vivacious and witty. So is her sense of style.
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The morning room finds electric blue velvet chairs (fabric by S. Harris) with metallic Romo wallcoverings, a Mastour area rug and a gilt cocktail table from Global Views. Gilded chandelier from Circa Lighting. Photo by William Waldron

Using the same fabric that had caught her client’s eye in the design house, Gross-Bryant placed a set of custom blue-velvet chairs in the morning room, setting a decisively bright tone for the entire project and its contiguous spaces.

Capturing Rutledge’s “boldly feminine but not too girly” sense of style, the new design goes full-on luxe with gold accents, saturated colors, attention-grabbing pop art and dashes of animal prints thrown in for good measure.

In the kitchen, a BlueStar range dazzles with brass cabinet hardware and a beveled mirror-tile backsplash. Other reflective and translucent elements, such as acrylic barstools and coffee tables, and antique-style mirrored screens, have the added effect of making small spaces look bigger.

The same is true of sight lines to the outdoors. One of the most high-impact design modifications was opening one kitchen wall to the dining room and living room beyond it, where tall windows look out on parkland in the summertime, and river views in the winter when the leaves are gone. “Why save that view for someone else,” Gross-Bryant says, “when you should be enjoying it every day?”

Next to those arched windows, a cheeky painting of Audrey Hepburn—its background awash in bright hues—overlooks a tufted chaise longue and other Deco-inspired furnishings.

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In the master bedroom, a Universal canopy bed is flanked by Bungalow 5 grasscloth nightstands and Uttermost mirrored screens. The chandelier is from Currey & Co. Photo by William Waldron

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A pop-art painting in the dining room brings pink to the mix. Photo by William Waldron

The dining room walls are painted in the same deep blue as the velvet inspiration chairs, but the home’s color palette evolved after Rutledge found an irreverent painting of gold soda cans on a fuchsia background by French artist Agnès Lefèvre.

“We started with the blue theme, and then another color started coming in, and it was inspired by this art piece,” Gross-Bryant says, alluding to the home’s now generous sprinkling of pink.

In the master bedroom, soft blush walls surround a brass four-poster bed with hot-pink bed pillows, all under an enormous gilded chandelier.

In a word, it’s fabulous.

When asked what her husband might think of the new design, Rutledge laughs. “He’d be having a heart attack!” she says.

But for her, it feels like a home of her own. “I walk in here, and it just makes me happy.”

Jennifer Sergent is a design writer based in Arlington. Her blog, DC by Design, appears online at jennifersergent.com.

Categories: Home & Design