Comfort Colors

Designer Sarah Moore employs rich hues and sophisticated shades to breathe new life into a longstanding Hollywood home.

Subtle Sophistication
To enrichen the sitting room’s green walls even more, Sarah added yellow draperies. Pillows feature cinnamon red flange to pull out the subtle red in the pattern. Varying wood tones include the burlwood coffee table, bamboo end tables, a pair of walnut chests, and a vintage, cane back chair. Botanical artwork from local artist Laurel-Dawn Latshaw offers contrast.
Photography by Jean Allsopp

When Sarah Moore heard the three little words all designers dream of hearing from their clients—I love color—she did what any designer would do: She went all in. The mission became blending the homeowners’ desire for color and penchant for patterns into the design of an existing Tudor cottage. “The bones of the home were beautiful with a great layout, original woodwork, and vaulted ceilings, but it was all very traditional,” Sarah explains. “When my client said she wanted to bring color in, I knew we could do something fun with this house.”

The fun began by transitioning a main focal point of the home, the living room’s built-in bookcases, from neutral to bright blue (Farrow & Ball’s Oval Room Blue No. 850).

Living Large: With the bold blue on the built-ins and lanterns (see page 52), Sarah chose to leave much of the living room neutral so that it would remain a relaxing space that doesn’t overstimulate. She covered the walls with Benjamin Moore’s ‘White Dove’ and chose a cream sofa in a performance fabric to keep daily living stress-free. The sofa is extra long to fit the grand scale of the room but is narrow enough to allow for oversized chaise lounges. The salmon shade of the lounges offers another bold spot of color. Sofa pillows feature two different floral patterns by Peter Dunham Textiles and Quadrille. Patterned pillows on the chaises bring in some of the deep green from the sitting room wall color. For artwork, Sarah chose an oversized butterfly diptych with a predominately black scheme. “The room needed something dark and heavy,” she says. A rug saturated in soft hues sits on top of a sisal for a dose of subtle color.

Sarah carried the same hue into the dining room, using it to trim out the Cowtan & Tout grasscloth wallpaper, and then played off the cheerful shade in the sitting room with complementary colors in mustard yellow drapes and moody green walls (Farrow & Ball’s Green Smoke No. 47).

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In addition to color, Sarah layered in beautiful patterns in almost every space, from the perfectly placed pillows in the sitting and living rooms to the can’t-miss hallway wallpaper. “It’s bright and happy but at the same time very sophisticated,” Sarah says. “This home is now lively and full of color and pattern while still maintaining its classic elements. That’s what makes it really work.”

Balancing Color + Pattern

For color and pattern to work together, it’s important to keep two requirements in mind—balance and scale. “Everything can’t be patterned or brightly colored,” Sarah says. “The busier something gets, the less you actually notice any of it.” Here are Sarah’s tips to pull off the best balancing act:

Size matters. When incorporating prints and patterns, select some in all sizes. A large print works best with a small or medium print or even a stripe. Mix and match pattern types too. For example, pair geometric prints with floral patterns. “If the patterns are too similar in look, they will compete,” Sarah says.

Find the right tone. Just as with patterns, make sure colors aren’t too similar in tone. For example, if using blue and green, go with a darker blue and lighter green or a greyish blue and Kelly green. Or perhaps keep one tone cool and bring in a warmer tone. “If you do want to stay with just cool or warm tones, at last do varying shades of depths in your chosen colors,” says Sarah.

Stay negative. Let there be some negative space so the eye has a place to rest. For instance, choose solid velvet pillows on a patterned chair, or select a solid sofa if the room features patterned drapes and pillows. “After all, if everything is a showstopper, nothing is a showstopper,” Sarah says.

Start slow. If new to color or pattern, start bringing them into a space with items like lamps, pillows, and accessories. “Those are easy, more budget-friendly places to get your feet wet,” Sarah says. “Then you can build from there.”

Start small. “A small space is a great place to introduce a fun wallpaper because you get more bang for your buck,” says Sarah. “You can do a funky print since you’re not doing much of it.”

Meet Sarah

Sarah Moore has always had her own sense of style. In fact, it’s what propelled her down the interior design path at an early age. “I came home from school one day in 10th grade and told my family I was going to be an interior designer,” says Sarah, who made good on that statement and graduated from Auburn University with a degree in interior design.

After working for another designer and even a commercial architect in Nashville for a few years, Sarah established Sarah Catherine Design, LLC, in 2015. Just three years later, she brought her expertise to Birmingham, where she’s been creating fresh takes on classic Southern style ever since. She also launched her own home accessory online shop, Sweet Home by SCD, last year. “I bring my talent and expertise, but a critical part is listening and getting to know the client to understand what feels like home to them,” Sarah says. “My goal is to create interiors that reflect my clients and how they live.”


Designer: Sarah Moore, Sarah Catherine Design
Sarah’s home décor shop for accessories: Sweet Home by SCD, [email protected];
IG: @sweethomebyscdNook

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