wrapped in color

Interior Designer Lindsey Coral Harper takes a small room and packs it full of big style with daring floor to ceiling color, an intriguing rug, and revamped furnishings.

interior design by lindsey coral harper
interview by alice welsh doyle
photographs by blayne beacham

Ever want to break out of your comfort zone a little by taking just one room in your home and making it a showstopper, a space that engrosses you, takes you somewhere else without ever leaving your home? Well, Lindsey Coral Harper is here to tell you how to go about it. She recommends trying something like she did in this library in smaller spaces and rooms that you might overlook.

A lot of color and pattern can go a long way in a small space. I say go all out in foyers, hallways, powder rooms, dressing rooms, and ceilings. Do something unexpected – it’s fun to kick it up a notch!

This room has so much going on – where did you start? And please share that vivid paint color! My starting point for this room was the Eskayel carpet – the pattern is so unusual. I absolutely love the color combination, so I pulled this mulberry shade from the carpet’s palette. There is only a small dose of this pink in the carpet, which is why it works. The paint color is Benjamin Moore Mulberry 2075-20.

That carpet looks like a work of art itself, tell us about it. I agree! This carpet is made by Brooklyn-based artisans who make wallpapers and textiles. I definitely consider it a work of art. It stopped me in my tracks when I saw it, so I built the room around it.

Tell us about the mood you were trying to create in this room. Who is using it? Technically the room is a library and although it is quite small in size, I thought it could still double as a home office. The carpet looks like an inkblot or Rorschach to me, so I thought it was perfect for a psychiatrist!

Tell us about the furniture choices and fabrics. The chairs look rather retro, but revamped with new upholstery, perhaps? Exactly. The house and this room in particular are very traditional, so I wanted to put a spin on it – to give it something unexpected and show that you can blend both traditional and contemporary. So I went for mid-century furniture, used modern fabrics, and lacquered the walls, trim, and shelves floor to ceiling in the same punchy hue.

We love hanging art on the bookcases themselves. Is this a signature of yours or did it just work for this room? I love the way art looks hanging in front of the bookcases. There isn’t much blank wall space for art, so hanging it this way is a great trick in this room. There are so many shelves as well, so a large piece of art helps take up some space. Plus it just looks great.

Any tips on styling and arranging items in bookcases? There is definitely an art to it. I like to mix interesting objects with books. It’s all about layering and balance. Practice makes perfect!

This interview was conducted early 2013.

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