Rita Konig Transforms a Guest Bedroom into a Pattern-Filled Sanctuary

October 2, 2019
When we heard that interior designer Rita Konig was in the midst of gut-renovating her family’s beloved Victorian farmhouse in northern England, we couldn’t resist issuing her a Schumacher Challenge: Show us what “traditional” means to you. Her response? A thrilling guest room steeped in classic elements but unabashedly of the here and now.
The armchair came from the late William Yeoward, and Konig chose the upholstery because it reminded her of him. “The big green dot is like a Smartie,” she says, “England’s version of an M&M.” Armchair in Full Circle, antique 19th-century desk chair in Gainsborough Velvet, upholstered walls and curtains in Pomegranate Print, Schumacher, fschumacher.com; lampshade by Matilda Goad, matildagoad.com.James Merrell
It all started with the Pomegranate Print fabric. “I immediately wanted to cover everything in it,” says decorator Rita Konig, whose fresh, contemporary takes on design’s time-hallowed tenets have made her one of the industry’s most sought-after talents (her interiors for Los Angeles’s Hotel 850 have helped make it the new place to stay).
Rita Konig
Konig recently tackled an overhaul of a farmhouse that’s been in her husband’s family for generations, and for most of the project walked a line between bold choices and respectful preservation. But for her Schumacher Challenge guest room, she indulged her wildest classic-with-a-twist desires, deploying pattern and color with masterful abandon. She leavened the main print’s trad-graphic spirit with a boho ikat and an offbeat stripe, and loosened up its moody, purpley-charcoal hue with cheery pinks and greens. “It’s surprising, but rooms with pattern are calming,” she says. “Pattern lets your eyes wander.”
“I love an upholstered guest room,” Konig says. “It’s that snowed-in-the-night feeling, when you wake up and all is quiet.” Walls, pelmet, curtains and screen in Pomegranate Print, trim border on walls in Knox Tape, headboard and bedskirt in Knox, sofa in Dorset, Schumacher, fschumacher.com. The miniature folding screen in the corner conceals an unsightly radiator. The pen-and-ink drawings above it are of Tyringham, a Sir John Soane house where Konig’s father grew up.James Merrell
One of the things that truly signals traditional for Konig is comfort, in the sense that something well-made—a sofa, a room—just gets better with time. “It beds in,” she says, “rather like a garden.” To her delight, she’s already glimpsed her guests gazing dreamily out the window and lolling in the chair with a good book—in other words, feeling blissfully at ease.
Konig looks to the past for inspiration, but is also constantly on the hunt for new ideas. It’s this duality that makes her work so exciting. “There’s so much to be influenced by,” she says. “How can you stick to the same old thing?”

Produced by Olivia Caponigro

TOP IMAGE: The bedside table is thoughtfully equipped for all of a guest’s comforts: flowers, a bottle of water, a dish for one’s jewelry, and both a sconce and a table lamp, in case “the wall light isn’t quite enough on a gloomy day,” says Konig. Upholstered walls in Pomegranate Print, headboard in Knox, Schumacher, fschumacher.com; handpainted lampshade on sconce by Lucy Cope, ritakonig.com; green heart pillowcase, D. Porthault, dporthaultparis.com.


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