“It was a snowball effect,” says designer Betsy Wentz of the newly completed Victorian 1900 farm in her hometown near Pittsburgh. The historic house was a bit sad when customers hired Wentz, founder of Studio B Interior Design: “The house was not built long ago and there was a loss of dishwasher, which led to a kitchen makeover, which led to redo the whole first floor, “he explains.
The only thing that was in great shape? The client’s art collection. Then Wentz began to create a space that would serve as a suitable backdrop. But if you think it means white walls and bright lighting, think again: Wentz removed art’s color palettes instead and coordinated them with motifs, creating a rich, layered interior all within a few months. Real estate property
“The salon was really kind of an anchor,” says Wentz. “It’s a very precise Victorian black-and-white checkered marble floor with a dark green border. Customers were sure they wanted to get rid of the floor, and I felt that was part of the house’s charm.”
The addition of Cole & Son floral wallpaper to soften the space convinced the customer to maintain the floor, now creating a graphic balance and bold anchoring to super high ceilings.
“It’s such an old house, but we wanted to make it modern and new,” explains the designer.
Here, says Wentz, “we chose the colors in the lobby” and then we worked with art. “Much of this really comes from Brazil,” he says. “The owners have lived there for seven years. They have collected a lot of works of art and her husband is French-American and has collected a ton of works of art from France and around the world. So it was a lot of fun to take these paintings and works. with them “. and pull your favorite colors. “
The curtain in the room, for example, comes from the colors of the works of art, but in a fun and abstract way, joining the room without being too obvious.
In the study, a dark gray wall creates an unexpected dramatic and warm backdrop. “I really felt it had to be dramatic there,” says Wentz. “And then we went with very, very, very dark carbon paper, a vinyl paper. This was the room with the worst cracks on the walls. So we repaired the cracks and used a commercial grade vinyl there with a really thin streak. “Wentz calls the room his favorite.
“When it comes to lighting, I think people tend to really emphasize their lighting,” says the designer. “And as for ceiling fixtures, I always say ‘go big or go home’.”
That was the idea in the kitchen, where Wentz hung not one but two large Urban Electric pendants. “Not only do bigger luminaires provide more lighting, but they look good too,” he says. In addition, he notes, “the ceiling is the only space in the house where you usually don’t have much to do unless you hang it. So I think it’s an opportunity to really do something fun.”
Wentz’s secret of giving each room a distinct look within a cohesive feeling? It’s about the bottom. “That’s what I love about wallpaper,” he says. “It makes the room feel lively, even if it’s just a plot, it just gives it a little more weight and a little more depth than paint.”
The modern dining-room card, combined with the traditional frame, embodies the old sensibility of the house, as well as an Urban Electric pendant, which Wentz had dusted with bold turquoise. “It has these beautiful linen shades hanging from a powder-coated turquoise stem,” explains the designer. “So it’s super dramatic, really deep space, makes it super interesting.”