An Artist’s Retreat Redesign

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Photography by John O’Hagan

This artistic couple makes improvements to an older home without compromising its design integrity.

When adding the final touches to a work of art, an artist strives to ensure that every brushstroke enhances the overall piece. Sue Key is all too familiar with this mission—not only because she’s a talented portrait and landscape painter, but also because she and husband, Jim, live in a home that deserves their best intents.

“Our place was built in the 1920s,” Sue explains. “Every room is beautifully proportioned with features that exude an old-world charm.”artist retreat1

Sue prefers neutral walls so that she can create and frequently change her own color palette through her selection of artwork, pillows, furniture, and accessories. Likewise, mixing antiques with newer pieces enables an older home to remain true to its original age while embracing current trends.

Adding accessories like stone and concrete containers filled with moss will make a much-loved bureau or sideboard even better.

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When the couple decided to update their kitchen, they wanted the results to flow seamlessly with the rest of the house. They accomplished this goal by incorporating many of their abode’s existing details, such as graceful archways and darkly stained woodwork, into the renovation.      artist retreat5

 A glass-door cupboard and other cabinetry aren’t just meant for the kitchen, as this breakfast room proves. Because these built-ins and walnut counters match those found in the kitchen, a visual connection is created between the two rooms. Sealed walnut countertops and whitewashed cabinetry lend vintage appeal to the Keys’ kitchen.artist retreat2

The handy bench at the foot of the Keys’ master bed is not only there for their convenience, but also for their pet Jack Russell named Huck, who sometimes needs a little help hopping onto the bed! Sue crafted her headboard out of an old door.artist retreat4

With the improvements complete, the Keys now enjoy a home that captures a genteel, bygone era that boasts all the modern amenities. 

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Style Idea: When a room boasts a bevy of windows that provide ample natural light why block the pleasing views with curtains?