Like many professionals, Christiane Mitchell bought a new condo in a Ballston high-rise to take advantage of the conveniences associated with city living.
But her heart never let go of the country, the tranquil New England place she called home in her young adult life.
So when Mitchell decided to decorate her new home, she hired interior designer Charles Almonte, who helped her capture the color, serenity and delightful days she enjoyed in her youth.
“Most of my young adult years were spent in the Berkshires, along the New York-Massachusetts border,” she said. “I lived on a farm with lots of open land — orchards, hayfields, pastures. I was surrounded by soft and pale green meadows and vivid forests, as well as a lot of classic traditional perennial gardens and orchards.”
Challenged with bringing New England cottage style to an Arlington high-rise condo, Almonte began by introducing a light airy atmosphere into the bedroom, which has one window.
“We wanted it to be bright and fresh,” Almonte said. “We added pink and green elements to give the space a personal touch.”
They replaced blackout cellular shades with sheer shades to soften the window. Drapery panels in Arabella Blossom fabric from Pindler & Pindler flank the window.
Mitchell wanted “something feminine, but not too girly. Pinks and greens are her favorite colors. We were very careful in choosing the right shade of pink and green, though,” Almonte said. “We didn't want a 'Barbie' pink bedroom. We wanted a grown-up pink — strong but feminine.”
Floral patterns were picked for the textiles and wall coverings. “I avoided the puffy florals and fussy garlands,” Almonte said. “We went with stylized floral patterns as they give the space more of a contemporary feel.”
When Mitchell lived in the Berkshires, she would often go to Edith Wharton's summer home in nearby Lenox, Mass.
“It was one of my favorite places to visit,” she said. “I loved the cozy and feminine nature of her home, as well as the gardens that were being restored at the time. It had a very big impact on establishing my personal decorating style.”
The finished bedroom is a pleasant palette of pinks and greens. Elegant details, such as the chandelier, strike a grown-up balance with whimsical touches, like the pink lamps.
“I consider myself a New England country girl with a good sense of humor, who is building a new career in a very competitive and dynamic city," Mitchell said. “I want my home to be modern, current and bold, but I don’t want to lose my ties to nature, New England styles, and my love of cozy spaces.”