SMALL SPACES: BIG DESIGN
Wallpapers and Small Touches Make Big Differences in the Home
Story by Sam Byrd | Photos by Molly Culver
If big things come in small packages, then great design can transform even the smallest of spaces into a boutique-sized stunner. Jennifer Barron, owner of Jennifer Barron Interiors, recently worked on two different properties that exemplified this rule — Briar Meadow and Annapolis — each with an owner who had a unique desire for the home’s polished interior design.
Briar Meadow’s previous owner used mostly beiges and whites. Barron looked at it as a blank slate ripe for creative design. The client told Barron she loves colors and patterns, which gave her plenty of imaginative range. It also helped that the client is a creative type who makes jewelry and produces art, so Barron knew the sky was the limit.
“What makes a designer and home stand out is pushing the limit and being bold and unique from anyone else’s house on the street. People hire me to push them, and that’s where I start out. In this case I got lucky, and she went for it,” Barron says.
Briar Meadow had a youthful, almost midcentury feel with a touch of retro. In keeping with that style, the designer brought in animal and Indian print rugs, neon colors and midcentury lighting. Touches like the Bungalow 5 mirror and wallpaper from Kravet in the entryway enhance the look, as does the Ro Sham Beaux chandelier in the breakfast area, the Pindler draperies, the Samuel & Sons trim in the study, and the Pierre Frey pillows in the master bedroom. Animal print wallpaper in one room fits nicely with accessories in other rooms such as animal print pillows and a deer head mount for continuity.
Annapolis, while still small, was a different story. The client was moving from River Oaks and downsizing to a bungalow in West University, so every detail mattered in the abode’s overall design. The owner wanted to keep only what she loved and have Barron put the interior look together, with a few additional updates.
“What’s cool about Annapolis is the client owned a lot of antiques, so I was able to mix a lot of old and new to create a transitional space,” Barron says. “I brought in tons of patterns and color. Wallpaper is my favorite medium to use, especially in a small space because it can be bold and fun. It gives you so many options to set that tone than using paint or art.”
Annapolis was more traditional and more English in the way that it was styled and with the owner’s antiques. Barron started by painting the kitchen with Benjamin Moore’s Normandy Blue, a step that set the expectation for the rest of the house. The designer brought in florals and birds in the bathroom wallpaper to remain soft on the eye. The master bedroom centers around purple bedding from Lettrefina. Never afraid to mix patterns and prints, Barron installed Fireclay tile in the bathrooms, along with Alabaster paint from Sherwin-Williams and wallpaper from Schumacher in the powder room. The guest bath has wallpaper from Farrow & Ball, while the den utilizes goods from Lisa Fine Textiles on the chair.
For both properties, Barron carefully chose each color and texture to create a commonly shared narrative throughout the home. Despite the penchant for eye-catching colors, she still stays within the boundaries of each home’s character and finds value in weaving the theme from room to room.
“I want the color and the pattern to be an unexpected pop, but I want it to flow with the space. The wallpapers are different from Annapolis to Briar Meadow, but they work in the spaces. Annapolis was traditional; Briar Meadow was a more contemporary pattern. There’s a wallpaper for every space in every home, but I like to keep it consistent with the other design elements of the house.”
For small spaces like a hallway or bathroom, Barron again recommends taking advantage of her not-so-secret weapon: wallpaper.
“One thing I always tell people is that it really isn’t an old-fashioned thing. Wallpaper is back, in full force. A lot of people are scared to take that plunge because it seems retro or old-fashioned, but it adds such a layer to a space that paint can’t do,” Barron said. “It can range from subtle to loud, and even the subtlest adds dimension to the space.”
Bottom line? Don’t be afraid to mix patterns and prints, and venture outside your comfort zone to experiment with bold paints and designer-approved wallpapers.
Jennifer Barron Interiors
2705 1/2 Bammel Lane
1-866-708-9181 (architects, designers)
1201 Oak Lawn, Dallas
Farrow & Ball
1320 West Alabama
5120 Woodway, Suite 150
Lisa Fine Textiles
Stetzel & Associates
5120 Woodway, Suite 2010
5120 Woodway, Suite 4021
Ro Sham Beaux
2000 North Stemmons, Dallas
Samuel & Sons
5120 Woodway, Suite 4018
5120 Woodway, Suite 4017