Combine the classic architectural details of a 1929 Georgian revival, the latest home décor trends, and the vision of some of the area’s top interior and landscape designers, and you have the formula for a successful designer house. Homeowners Dr. Archer and the Honorable Viola Baskerville generously opened their home, “Pineapple Acre,” to 21 area designers, who transformed it into a showcase for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra League.
Designed by architect Courtenay Somerville Welton, the home sits on just over an acre in North Side’s Ginter Park. With gracious formal rooms, five bedrooms, four and a half baths, and formal grounds with a terrace, swimming pool, fountain and garden paths, the home is a throwback to a more elegant age and the perfect canvas for inspired design.
Visitors toured the home from Sept. 12 through Oct. 10, with proceeds supporting the Richmond Symphony. Read on for a recap of what they saw.
Melissa Molitor, MMM Designs-Interiors
Designer Melissa Molitor’s room is proof you can look beyond primary colors and pastels when creating a space for kids. Molitor, a mom to three young boys (including one born just four weeks before she began work on the room), chose a white-and-gray color scheme for a “natural bohemian feel.” Also in the room, a platform queen bed from Ikea, an Eames rocker and “modern industrial-looking” light fixtures with Edison bulbs. “The room can grow with your kid,” she says. “You don’t know if it’s for a 5-year-old or a 13-year-old.”
Michael Maszaros, Cabin Creek Interiors
Michael Maszaros set out to create a room that was “colorful yet restful and opulent but casual. I wanted to put together two things you don’t think can exist together,” he says.
Osborne & Little’s Ginevra wallpaper in a fresh gray-and-yellow palette was the inspiration point for the room. The trim, painted Sherwin Williams’ Dovetail, highlights the room’s architectural features. Lemon-yellow accents, included painted linen lampshades on Barbara Cosgrove foo dog lamps, add energy. A Midcentury-inspired Jonathan Adler chandelier keeps the room from being too sweet. A rug made from recycled blue jeans add a casual touch.
THIRD-FLOOR MASTER BEDROOM
William Chambers, U-Fab
“For me, it always starts with fabric,” says William Chambers of the soft floral print that set the color palette for this room. “When I saw it, it reminded me of my grandmother,” he says. “Elegant and really simple.” The room, while large, feels intimate and cozy thanks to a cohesive design and yards of green silk drapery hung behind the bed. A massive fireplace and cozy seating area anchor the far side of the room. A statement-making light fixture and chunky gold shelves resembling boulders add an unexpected edge to the design. The room is both masculine and feminine and entirely unexpected.
Georgia Kukoski, Closet Factory
Kate Middleton was the muse for Kukoski’s posh dressing room. “I love that [Kate] is traditional yet updated,” she says. The design follows suit, with abstract geometric wallpaper from Lindsay Cowles paired with a traditional window treatment. Custom storage, painted Sherwin Williams’ Sporting Blue, is the focal point. Kukoski says she was attracted to the room because of its angled roofline. “It shows off how we can handle that challenge,” she says. “You can still get good storage even though you have that obstacle.”
SECOND-FLOOR MASTER BEDROOM
Melissa Mathe, Melissa Mathe Interior Design
“My design concept words were ‘timeless, classic and sophisticated,’ ” explains Melissa Mathe of her direction for the second-floor master. “As you look around the room, you will see pieces with traditional characteristics that are also contemporary. It’s a symbiotic marriage of old and new.”
Four windows provide abundant natural light, allowing for dark navy-blue walls, offset by a dramatic ceiling and contemporary metallic gold accents. A dresser from West Elm is topped with traditional ginger jars. “Not all good design has to be expensive,” Mathe says. “Find pieces you want to spend money on and marry them with more cost-effective design solutions.”
Kenneth Byrd, Kenneth Byrd Design
Designer Kenneth Byrd often finds himself working at home, and for that reason he has a special interest in creating inspiring home offices. At Pineapple Acre, Byrd transformed the formerly downtrodden library into a modern and energetic work space for “an eccentric, creative business owner,” he says. “It was created to … keep creative juices flowing.”
A custom walnut-and-Lucite desk made by Mac McIntyre of Virginia Build Works is the room’s centerpiece and was hugely popular with visitors. “I joke that it should have its own Facebook page,” Byrd says. Kelly Wearstler’s abstract Graffito wallpaper adds drama to the space and is an unexpected touch next to the room’s classic architectural features.
Sara Hillery, Sara Hillery Interior Design
A Ron Johnson painting from Reynolds Gallery was the inspiration for the cheerful pink accents in Sara Hillery’s kitchen design, created in partnership with Custom Kitchens, which designed the basic layout. Homeowner Viola Baskerville, whose favorite color is pink, heartily approved of the design. “Pink is a predominately female color, but by mixing it in tastefully, I thought it was something both Viola and her husband could enjoy,” Hillery says. An octagon theme is the other unifying element, as seen in the graphic Walker Zanger tile, the painted floor, and the ceiling treatment that emphasizes the room’s height.
Moyanne Harding, Interiors by Moyanne
Moyanne Harding created a comfortable and elegant living room with a serene palette that combines soft shades of cream and gray with metallic accents. “It’s very tranquil and calm,” she says. She treated the existing molding details on the wall as picture frames, adding Farrow & Ball’s Wisteria wallpaper within the margins. As Harding planned her design, she had to think carefully about how to place furniture for function and comfort. A cushy sectional perfectly fits the bill and adds a casual touch to the room. The crystal chandelier is original to the house.
Angela Elliott, Angela Elliott Interiors
The sweeping staircase and architectural details are the focal points in the elegant foyer designed by Angela Elliott. “I love the graceful, classical proportions,” she says. “That’s what drew us to the space. We wanted to make a good first impression.” A vintage chandelier, with alternating prisms of mirror and glass, adds a touch of glamour. Walls are painted a cool gray, with gold detailing on the trim to add warmth. Elliott’s assistant, Kelsey Copeland, created the abstract painting that hangs above an antique French commode. “It’s quite large and gives a light feeling to the space,” Elliott says.
Lucy Leake, Patti Ryan and Kevin Malone, Williams & Sherrill
Kevin Malone, Patti Ryan and Lucy Leake worked together on this unconventional dining room. “There were three of us who had three opinions, but we all agreed that one table was too expected,” Ryan says. Instead, they used two smaller glass tables separated by a double-sided, upholstered custom banquette. The back slides out easily, and the tables can be pushed together for a more conventional arrangement.
The wallcovering is a Barclay Butera print that was blown up and applied to the walls like wallpaper. The pink silk drapes with smocked headers signal a return to pretty.
Jonathan Williams, Summer Classics
An antique Chinese curiosities cabinet was the jumping-off point for Jonathan Williams’ masculine and eclectic gentleman’s study, outfitted with Gabby furniture and accessories from Summer Classics. “People liked how I showed how to make a collection a part of a room and make it livable,” he says. “It’s not just a bunch of junk lying around.”
Williams commissioned artist Herb Pulliam to paint an abstract canvas that adds a bold jolt of color to the mostly neutral room. Window treatments in Sunbrella’s Bevel Smoke add a graphic accent to the room’s six windows. Exotic greenery, provided by Christie Fargis Landscape Designs, brings the outside in.
Chuck Bateman, Chuck Bateman Design
Chuck Bateman transformed a back corner of Pineapple Acre with a formal, symmetrical design of flowering annuals anchored by a dramatic center planter. “I wanted to use ordinary plants to show that ordinary can be cool, too,” he says. “Most everything I used you can buy at Lowe’s or Home Depot.”
Bateman also created a place “where you can sit and reflect on the day,” installing two modern chairs that are adaptations of Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld’s iconic 1917 “Red and Blue Chair.” The chairs are a nod to modernist style, while the symmetrical design of the garden reflects the home’s traditional roots.
Jessica Claudio, Summer Classics
When designer Jessica Claudio first saw Pineapple Acre’s grounds, she was reminded of an English garden and immediately thought about poppies. This inspired her to choose a statement-making scarlet-and-cream palette, which adds graphic impact. She chose furniture with traditional lines to keep with the character of the home, but “that pop of color brought it to today,” she says.
Claudio commissioned Casey Fabling of Fabling Built to build a pergola over an existing gazebo. Hung with weather-resistant Sunbrella sheers, this space includes a luxurious daybed for lounging. “I wanted it to be a little hideaway,” she says.