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Rethinking a Colonial Revival Interior: Breathing New Life into a Historic Home

The hipped roof of the 1915 high-style Colonial Revival pays tribute to the earlier Federal style that inspired it. The allure of a historic home lies in its ability to transport us to another time,...

Rethinking a Colonial Revival Interior The hipped roof of the 1915 high-style Colonial Revival pays tribute to the earlier Federal style that inspired it.

The allure of a historic home lies in its ability to transport us to another time, evoking a sense of nostalgia and charm. When interior designer Marisa Morra first stepped into Charlotte Hart's 1915 Colonial Revival house, she was captivated by its architectural beauty. However, she couldn't help but notice the neglect and lack of personal touch in the interior. Little did she know that Charlotte had owned the house for over three decades, and it was time for a transformation.

A Journey of Rediscovery

Though it’s not uncommon to find a grand, sweeping staircase in a Colonial Revival home, the earliest examples are akin to Charlotte Hart’s stairs—boxed in, paneled, and supremely functional. Image: Rethinking a Colonial Revival Interior

Charlotte's quest to redefine her home began with a single oil painting. A floral masterpiece from the turn of the 20th century became a catalyst for change. Charlotte realized that she deserved beauty in her life, and it was time to bring that beauty into her home. With a desire to honor the historical significance of her house, Charlotte sought the expertise of Marisa Morra, renowned for her work in designing period homes.

A Fusion of Historical Significance and Personal Taste

The interior design process began in Charlotte’s dining room, because she already had furnishings appropriate for the space; sapphire-blue wallpaper was inspired by the tones in the Persian rug. Image: Rethinking a Colonial Revival Interior

Marisa understood that the key to restoring and enhancing a historic home lies in reading its architecture. By diving into the rich history of Colonial Revival style, she helped Charlotte transform her dining room into a splendid space. The choice of wallpaper and fabrics was inspired by a magnificent Persian rug, replacing a 1960s Oriental rug that Charlotte despised. This shift marked a breakthrough moment, empowering Charlotte to embrace her personal taste and create a room she truly loved.

Unveiling the Hidden Potential

The home’s original kitchen was a series of small, inefficient rooms, but great care was taken to update the space in an organized yet historically sensitive manner. The custom-crafted cabinetry’s design was patterned after originals found in the butler’s pantry. Image: Rethinking a Colonial Revival Interior

Years of collaboration with Marisa instilled Charlotte with the confidence to tackle the challenging task of revamping her kitchen. With Marisa's guidance, the outdated and inefficient space was transformed into a bright, functional area. Careful consideration was given to preserving the historical integrity of the house, as seen in the design of custom-crafted cabinetry inspired by the original butler's pantry. The result? A harmonious blend of modern convenience and timeless elegance.

Embracing the Legacy

Charlotte Hart's home stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of Colonial Revival architecture. Originally built as a wedding gift in 1915, the house has witnessed the passage of time and the evolution of its inhabitants. Charlotte's understanding of the home's unique solar design, where sunlight gradually traverses each room, showcases her appreciation for its architectural nuances.

Marisa explains that old houses have a way of communicating what works, offering insights into consistent style and color choices. By giving herself permission to surround herself with things she found beautiful, Charlotte has breathed new life into her home. Today, every room exudes a sense of joy and contentment, reflecting Charlotte's personal journey of rediscovery.

A Home Transformed

Through the keen eye of Marisa Morra and Charlotte Hart's unwavering vision, a Colonial Revival interior has been reimagined. What was once a neglected structure is now a jewel box of delicate refinement, adorned with soft blue, rose, and ivory hues. Antique furniture and Oriental rugs add a sense of timeless elegance, while late-19th century lighting fixtures provide a warm ambiance.

As Charlotte sails, explores the depths of the Caribbean, and revels in the joys of her beautiful home, each room stands as a reminder of her personal journey. The transformation of this historic dwelling showcases the transformative power of pursuing one's passions and embracing the beauty that life has to offer.