Tour a Beautiful 160-Year-Old Home Filled With Pattern

There's a pattern here! HGTV Magazine gives you a close-up look at the inside of a stunning Italianate-style home in Glenview, Kentucky.

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April 15, 2020

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

The Story

Some people shy away from pattern. Not Gretchen Black, who was basically raised on it. “A lot of my childhood home was covered in wallpaper,” she says, “and we also had fun sofas, pillows, drapes, everything!” She grew up to be an interior designer and met her match with Jason, her custom builder husband. “He’s fond of wearing patterned bow ties with patterned shirts,” she says. After living in a series of new-construction homes, the couple dreamed of owning one with history. Two years ago, they bought this 1860s house in Glenview, Kentucky. It had been maintained, but the kitchen was tiny and the place was filled with dated colors, like crimson curtains in the living room and green-gold carpet in the entry. Jason opened up the kitchen, and Gretchen refreshed the entire house with mixed motifs in shades of blue. “A consistent color gives you more freedom to play with prints,” she says, “so I went pattern happy.” Here, Gretchen and Jason sit with Noah, 18, and Max, 13, on the front porch.

The Home

Not one to pass up an opportunity to use pattern, Gretchen added Chippendale-style railings to the porch, and fretwork to the front door. The couple kept the original Charleston green shutters and paint job intact. “There’s nothing more timeless than a white painted house,” says Gretchen of the Italianate design. “The wraparound porch was another big selling point.”

Entry

This spot is spring-like year-round with its painted wall mural featuring hydrangeas, peonies and lilies and bird-motif pillows (the fabric is by Schumacher). Joining the pattern party: a buffalo-check print on the bench, also in blue and white. Hudson, a goldendoodle, is the cutest neutral.

Living Room

Gretchen put in 10-foot-tall drapes made with fabric by Trend for maximum impact. Like the entry, they feature botanicals and birds. “We call the house our nest!” she says. She chose an eclectic blend of pillows for the gray Arhaus sectional. Her theory of relativity: “Every stripe deserves a pretty floral.” Brass accents bridge the room’s modern and traditional elements.

Dining Room

Even in a smaller space, you can go wild with prints. Gretchen’s strategy was to do all the walls in one — a Thibaut wallpaper she calls a “modern-day damask” — and sprinkle the room with equally interesting touches, like the chinoiserie lamps from HomeGoods. Gretchen also wove in pattern subtly: the vertical lines of the rattan chairs contrast the diagonal fretwork of the blue ones, and there’s gold channeling on the sideboard from Wayfair.

Kitchen

“This room is a great mix of Jason and me — modern and classic,” says Gretchen. Jason got big pendants from Serena & Lily and gray-veined marble countertops; she got counter stools with a block print from One Kings Lane and brass hardware from Top Knobs on the cabinets. The navy island and cabinets? For both of them! The pattern on the stools lightens things up, as does a white fridge with brushed-copper handles from Café by GE Appliances.

Office

“I live with all boys, so I had to have pink in my office!” Gretchen says. She re-covered the sofa (it came with the house) in blush-color velvet and paired it with a tufted chair from Target. She also painted the ceiling soft pink (Pink Shadow by Sherwin-Williams). The gallery wall includes a silk scarf she found while antiquing and had framed: “It’s a unique way to incorporate pattern,” she says. A faded kilim rug by Zuma ties together the colors of the room.

Master Bedroom

Gretchen didn’t stop with soothing aqua on the walls — it’s on the ceiling and trim, too. “It envelops us and feels super cozy,” she says. With its wraparound sides, the Arhaus rattan bed is similarly comforting. Ikat curtains by Laura Ashley are echoed in a throw from Williams Sonoma Home. A sculptural Zeugma pendant and an abstract painting over the mantel give the room some edge.

Master Bathroom

“This is my place to chill, so instead of bold motifs, I used textures as patterns,” says Gretchen, referring to the mottled marble floor, the vintage cane chair, and the vanity with bamboo detailing that she designed. Another low-key touch: “striped” wallpaper (Gabrielle Stripe by Schumacher) that’s actually made up of tiny circles. The sweet sconces are from Shades of Light, and the pendant is from Anthropologie.

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Porch

“We live close to the Ohio River, so I worked in items out here that remind me of water,” Gretchen says. She painted a thrift store coffee table and a Pier 1 rattan chair sea blues, and anchored them with a nautical striped rug from Target. The sofa’s slipcover is made from outdoor fabric — it’s where the boys like to down their dad’s chicken teriyaki kabobs. The Shinto (traditional Japanese art) pillows are from Jayson Home.