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By Dylan Roche | Photography by Stacy Zarin Goldberg
This home is Colorful Sophisticated—sophisticated yet not overly formal, colorful and textured while skillfully coordinated. Cathy Newman of C. Newman Interiors knew this would be her approach when she started to design a residence in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Annapolis. Her concept of colorful sophisticated reflects a sort of classic, timeless style without any stuffiness or stiltedness. Instead, it’s comfortable, a place that’s equally suited to entertaining as it is to raising a busy family.
“We had to find the right mix of how to keep it elegant and sophisticated, yet still lovable and friendly and welcoming,” Newman says.
Built in 1930, this Dutch colonial home is from the tradition of ready-to-build home kits popular during that era and sold through catalogues such as Sears. With elevations and floor plans similar to the Glen Falls models by Sears, it was one of the larger and grander selections available at the time. It fits in nicely with the varying architectural styles of historic Murray Hill, a neighborhood formally established in the 1890s on land that once belonged to Annapolitan lawyer James Murray.
“The main thing was not to strip away the charm,” Newman says. “We wanted to focus on details that felt relevant to the home—the molding, the millwork. We wanted to keep it from feeling
Newman achieved a skillful balancing act by ensuring the home’s many elements came together well—so much so that the owners, Matt and Mary Turner, say they have trouble pinpointing any favorite room in the house or favorite aspect of the design.
Instead, for Matt, it’s all about the overall effect. “I love the home’s finished design because it never bores,” he says. “It’s like enjoying lots of characters in a good story, but it’s all in one book.”
Throughout the home, traditional décor elements pair with bold, playful ones, and every nook, cranny, and odd space is created for comfort. The dining room features bold floral wallpaper with a linen ceiling. Although its large windows and doorways evoke a sense of openness, the floor-to-ceiling curtains and newly installed pocket doors can instantly transform the space into a secluded retreat, ideal for a cozy dinner party or a glass of wine.
Similarly, the predominance of white in the kitchen feels clean and modern, but a colorful rug and Roman shades usher personality to the room. Textiles enliven the formal living room, where the rug served as a starting point for the rest of the design. Newman notes that the rug is traditional but not stodgy, and its dark color—which echoes the dark color of the restored fireplace—is offset by the light draperies, the off-white sofa, and the woven upholstery of the chairs.
A striking presence in the living room is the custom-built bar with its Italian marble top, beautiful door detailing, and unique hardware. The bar has the appearance of a piece of furniture. At the same time, it provides all the space needed for serving refreshments as well as storage space for the wine the Turners enjoy.
Once an open deck, the sunroom off the living room had to be closed in—one of many renovations by builder Jack Frazer of Frazer Company. “Doing home improvement is a whole new thing when you’re taking something apart and putting it back together,” Frazer says.
“Some parts of this, particularly the front porch, were like putting together a puzzle.” For him to succeed with renovations like turning the porch into a walled-in sunroom, he had to have an idea of how it would fit in with the rest of the house, he explains.
In the case of the sunroom, the space serves as a natural extension off the living room—one with plenty of natural light where the rug and pillows on the sofa introduce a bold personality. The reclaimed antique brick flooring distinguishes the room from the rest of the house. “I love the way it looks because it’s got some patina and gives it some history,” Newman says. “It has texture and an interesting pattern. No two bricks look the same.”
Opposite the sunroom, on the other side of the living room, another small sitting area awaits. An L-shaped sofa fits the room perfectly, maximizing the space, and colorful wallpaper brings lightness and fun. “It’s an elegant space without being boring by any stretch of the imagination,” Newman says.
The design works consistently and does double duty: it’s beautiful while also being functional. Its many elements have interest and lend themselves to comfort. It has moments of surprise in every room and at every turn. This is a house with personality and character—stylish and friendly. Or, as Newman puts it, colorful sophisticated.
ARCHITECT: Jim Sutter | CUSTOM BUILDER: Jack Frazer, Frazer Company | INTERIOR DESIGNER: Cathy Newman, C. Newman Interiors, cnewmaninteriors.com, Annapolis, Maryland | LANDSCAPE: Walnut Hill Landscape Company, walnuthilllandscape.com, Annapolis, Maryland
Curtains – Scalamandre fabric
Coffee Table – Woodbridge
Armchair – Chaddock with Romo fabric
Wall Paint Color – Sherwin Williams Intellectual Gray
Sofa – Custom with Kravet fabric
Wall Paint – Sherwin Williams Roycroft Rose
Wallpaper – F. Schumacher
Table – Woodbridge
Chairs – Vanguard with Lee Jofa fabric
Chandelier – Circa
Wallpaper – F. Schumacher
Bed – Vanguard
Wallpaper – Lee Jofa
Paint Color – Sherwin Williams Artichoke
© Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 13, No. 6 2022