House Tour: Fun and Fearless Decorating
Risky design choices reap big, breathtaking rewards in this family's Larchmont, NY home, courtesy of HGTV Magazine.
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Decorating is personal, something homeowner Raeleen Yoon takes to heart. As she says, “If people come to my home and think it has too much color, well, it’s not their home!” Luckily her husband, Charles, is easygoing, and their kids, Kendall and Brady, enjoy a pop of color or two…or 20. Raeleen cultivated her vibrant indoor-outdoor West Coast style while living in Los Angeles in her twenties. She was seriously excited to go all-out when the family moved from a Boston, MA, brownstone to a roomy Colonial fixer-upper in Larchmont, NY. Raeleen worked closely with designers Kendra and Brad Dufton of Color Theory Boston to fill it with personality through bright hues and patterns.
There are vivid blue kitchen cabinets, eye-popping wallpapers, and surprising elements, like an out-there fireplace and a yellow foosball table. “I may not be a completely fearless person—I have no desire to try skydiving!—but one thing I don’t find scary is taking decorating risks,” she says. “It’s an adventure to see how it all comes together!”
When Raeleen spotted a hanging wood-burning fireplace on Pinterest, she decided she had to have one—she just needed a living room for it. “I asked our architect to include it in his plans, without even knowing where I could buy one,” she says. She finally found this powder-coated-steel stunner by Fireorb. A tufted teal velvet sofa from Anthropologie, pink swivel chairs from Room & Board, and a geometric rug by Aelfie are typical of the no-holds-barred use of color around the home.
With blue cabinetry in mind, Raeleen tested a bunch of paint shades before landing on Van Deusen Blue by Benjamin Moore. She hired local designer Sarah Robertson to work on the kitchen, and together they decided to paint just the cabinets around the fridge and the base of the island for maximum impact. The extra-long island has a white quartz countertop while the counters along the perimeter are marble. Instead of a bold backsplash, which might compete with the blue, they did white subway tile and dark grout all the way to the ceiling. Charles’ request: comfy barstools. These upholstered ones are by
Since the kitchen flows into this area, Raeleen continued the subway tile for a seamless look. The banquette, where the family piles in for dinner, has cushions upholstered in brushstroke fabric by Kelly Wearstler for Groundworks and a similarly lively mix of pillows in blue and pink. Above the oval table from LexMod, Raeleen hung five pendants from Rejuvenation. Staggering the heights was designer Kendra’s idea: “I’d never seen that before, but I love it—we get lots of compliments,” says Raeleen.
The art is by a pair of renowned painters: the Yoon kids! For a gallery effect, Raeleen had everything framed in black. She bought the vintage Eames chair online and had it reupholstered in fabric by Stark. Yes, she redid an iconic leather chair in stripes: “There are no rules that you have to follow tradition!” she says. “It’s more fun this way.” A perfect addition: a geometric rug by Ferm Living. Family dog Finley Bear approves.
The 11-year-old is very outgoing and full of personality, says Raeleen, “so his room needed extra pizzazz.” They Brady-ized the space with blue paint (Mineral Alloy by Benjamin Moore) and a wall of graphic gray-and-white wallpaper by Cole & Son. “He likes math and was drawn to the shapes,” says Raeleen—which also makes him a fan of the rug, made of Flor tiles. The funky red metal dresser was a find at an ABC Carpet & Home warehouse sale, and the lofted desk bed is from RH Baby & Child. Brady’s little hideaway: an aluminum-clad spherical chair from RH Teen.
Since her teen loves to hang out here with friends, Raeleen put in seating beyond the bed: a roomy built-in bench (the cushion is twin-bed-size, perfect for sleepovers) and a hanging swing from Anthropologie. The bird-and-cloud wallpaper by Hygge & West is a nod to Kendall’s love of nature, and it gives the room an ethereal vibe. Playful-chic touches: the tassel pillow and the pom-pom throw, both from PBteen; Robert Allen fabric on the shades and bench; and domed brass sconces from Schoolhouse Electric.
The yellow foosball table from allmodern.com isn’t just a hit with family and friends—it’s part of the decor. Raeleen wanted some sunshine in the basement. To turn up the energy, she chose a multicolor geometric wallpaper by Cole & Son and light-up letters from the Etsy shop Smithers of Stamford that spell out goal.
Raeleen took this room’s color quotient down a notch because “not everyone loves color as much as I do,” she says. Her version of neutral is this mix of soft colors and cool patterns. The walls are painted a pretty gray with a subtle hint of green (Imperial Gray by Benjamin Moore). The small print on the DwellStudio bedding pairs well with the shapes on the throw from Loloi and the CB2 rug. The print above the bed, with hands spelling out love, is from One Kings Lane.
With its bold mix of patterns and metals, the room seems more like it belongs in a posh hotel than in the ’burbs—exactly the vibe Raeleen was going for. The wallpaper is by Brunschwig & Fils; she bought the spiky mirror years ago from Horchow. “The fact that somehow the mirror and the wallpaper work together is the thrill,” she says. The marble vanity with polished nickel legs is from Restoration Hardware.
You don’t see a ton of three-season rooms in New York, but Raeleen had her heart set on an indoor-outdoor living space. “It’s my favorite, even though we don’t use it in the winter,” she says. The area is connected to the formal living room via a wall of glass doors by NanaWall that fold flat when fully open, so Raeleen didn’t want it to feel too casual (i.e., no wicker). Instead there’s a platform sofa, chair, bone-inlay coffee table, and hammock, all from Anthropologie, and a polypropylene Persian-inspired rug from allmodern.com.