Great Spaces: A Sunny, Citrusy Dining Room

Sometimes creating the perfect room is a process that can't be rushed.

Photo by Jenn Verrier

Arlington designer Marya Karlton wasted no time furnishing Amy and Jack Smith’s Lacey Woods home when they moved in with their twin 2-year-olds (and another baby on the way) in 2014—a week before Thanksgiving.

“The immediate push was to make everything functional,” says Karlton, who found the dining room’s major furnishings in stock at Restoration Hardware. But that’s where the urgency ended. The Smiths had four kids by the time the space was finally completed earlier this year.

The room’s defining pattern—draperies made with Schumacher’s exuberant Citrus Garden fabric—arrived in 2016. “I knew I wanted something cool to stand out, because it’s one of the first things you see when you walk through the front door,” Amy explains, “so I didn’t want to rush it.”

Three years would pass before the couple’s next major investment: a painting of a giant heart by Connecticut artist Kerri Rosenthal in yellow. It was the favorite color of Amy’s late sister Mary, who died of cancer in 2013. “That heart marks her presence when they’re gathering with their family,” Karlton says.

Heart painting by Kerri Rosenthal. Photos from DC by Design

“We have that color everywhere. Even our front door is bright yellow,” Amy adds.

The final element—textured blue wallpaper by Cowtan & Tout—was installed this spring. “It gives the room a crisp, tailored look,” Karlton says. “We knew we wanted it to work with the art, which is part of the reason we held off.”

Though Karlton has decorated homes “top to bottom” in less than six months, she says she appreciates when clients take a collector’s approach. “If people want to take their time to find just the right thing, those rooms end up being extra special.”

In this case, the result was worth the wait. “Amy and Jack are very stylish and fun and cheerful and positive,” she says, “and this room totally reflects that.”



Karlton Kelly Interiors;

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Categories: Home & Design