Explore interior designer Alaina Michelle Ralph’s take on this eye-catching new style, mixing antique furnishings and collectibles with modern touches and plenty of bright color, in a 1920s colonial home South of Broad.
Fantasyland: “The idea for the dining room was to create a small jewel box at the heart of the house,” says designer Alaina Michelle Ralph of this magical space in the 1920s colonial home she renovated for the daughter of a former client. The room’s centerpiece, an antique crystal chandelier, adds jeweled luxury, while the whimsical “Mythical Land” wallpaper by Andrew Martin creates a fantastical atmosphere.
TechniColor Dreams: The sumptuous living room sets the tone for the house. North facing, it can be dark, so Ralph mixed shades of pinks, oranges, and a splash of chartreuse to give it a bright, energetic feel. Brilliant yellow equestrian art by Scout Design Studio and a velvet table skirt pop against the walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Pale Oak,” and a vintage coffee table complements the antique sofa upholstered in a woven Sabina Fay Braxton fabric.
MIXED-CENTURY MOD: Hanging above the room’s original fireplace, a mixed-media portrait of Frida Kahlo by Ashley Longshore watches over the blend of eras in the decor—including two uber-modern club chairs; an antique Turkish rug; and the traditional armoire, a family heirloom—that typifies the grandmillenial style.
Bright Ideas: A colorful Schumacher fabric, hanging above the window and concealing a washer and dryer (above), makes a bold statement in this traditional cottage kitchen. Soft yellow Farrow & Ball “Pale Hound” paint paired with brass hardware on the cabinets creates a vintage feel, while a white marble backsplash in a herringbone pattern and a giclée print by Hayley Mitchell add touches of modern luxury.
Into the Blue: Working with much of the client’s own furniture, Ralph leaned into the “blue room” theme in the family room, adding pinks and yellows to tie into the other spaces on the main floor. Inspired by, and replete with, plenty of chinoiserie, from blue and white china to the bold blue Quadrille “Bali Hai” curtains, the room also mixes in contemporary touches, such as the Jonathan Adler floor lamp and abstract figurative art by Charleston artist Anne Darby Parker.
FIT FOR A QUEEN: A quieter color palette in the primary bedroom creates a soothing, luxurious space. The delicate design of the Brunschwig & Fils “Bird & Thistle” toile fabric for the curtains and the antique Sheraton settee, the brass four-poster bed, and vintage Murano glass lamps combine to produce a light and feminine feel. The theme continues in the bath with a white Carrara marble tiled tub and vanity highlighted with accents of Kelly green.
Pretty in Pink: This guest room came with the pretty chintz curtain and bed skirt, which the homeowner loved. Ralph made the space work around the colors in the fabric, adding vintage lamps and a Soane Britain pink bolster and painting the walls in “Queen Anne Pink” by Benjamin Moore.
How designer Alaina Michelle Ralph transformed the interiors for her maximalist client who wanted “grandma chic”