We asked three of our favorite designers to work their magic with Schumacher’s supremely glam and unfailingly livable Orient Express collection. The evocative, mix-and-match fabrics, wallcoverings and trims (plus appliques!) will take you wherever you want to go. All aboard!
Chicago-based Shelley Johnstone zeroed in on the yin-yang power of two main patterns to unify separate but adjacent spaces, harnessing the complementary interplay of geometric structure and organic forms. The result? An office area covered in a wonderfully tactile fretwork paperweave that is in happy dialogue with the floral-bedecked potting room beyond. “I love working on the small spaces that are often overlooked,” Johnstone says. “A room doesn’t need to be grand to transform a home.” As a young decorator, Johnstone studied in London, and her exposure to that city’s cadre of top-tier craftspeople still informs her work. Bespoke details are part of her regular design vocabulary, as evidenced by the potting room’s trim-accented table skirt and the clean but statement-making window pelmet above the desk. “It’s proper but not fussy,” she explains, “a juxtapositions that feels young and fresh.”
For Andrew Brown, a Birmingham, Alabama, designer the best rooms “feel like they’ve come together over time”—the tension between eclectic, unexpected things enlivens a space. Brown overhauled his own bedroom with a rich mix of patterns and textures the coalesce into a splendid whole. His first bold move: upholstering the walls in patterned cut velvet, establishing a rhythm at once dynamic and subdued. (An ardent history-of-decorating buff, his use of the graphic motif is also a nod to David Hicks.) Next he took the existing bedframe to full-on canopy, essentially creating a room within a room. He dressed the outside in solid velvet and the inside in a light patterned woven to visually expand the canopy bed’s interior space. A rattan settee offsets the opulence, its sole floral pillow a delightfully temering note. “It keeps the room from skewing too masculine,” Brown says.
When Lilly Bunn was pregnant with her first child, the one-time fashion editor renovated just about everything in her home—floor coverings, window treatments, the entire kitchen. Thus began the New York City-based designer’s new career path, and she has been crafting irresistibly chic yet resolutely pragmatic rooms ever since. Her motto? “High in style, but not in pretense.” For a just-married young couple with a bare-bones apartment bedroom, Bunn chose a wallpaper with a soft, pretty stripe and paired it with a gusty, blowsy floral on the headboard and curtains. “Blue is calm and soothing, which is perfect for a bedroom,” Bunn says. “It acts almost as a monochromatic scheme.” The two motis add visual interest but still leave the room uncluttered. A roman shade in a subtle pattern adds another spare, tranquill layer, and an ottoman in cute velvet feels just the right amount of luxe.