Polished Personality

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Text by Lauren Eberle / Photography by John O’Hagan

A designer encourages homeowners to anchor decorative accents around classic, dominant pieces.

A designer by profession, Deborah Hastings has her hand on a lot of homes. Add that to the fact that she and her family move frequently, and you see why she’s quick to turn to classic furnishings. “Put your money into a few key pieces with great shape. They’re the ones that’ll keep working for you,” Deborah advises. “You can always fill in with the fun stuff later—fabrics and accessories are easy to update.”

Take, for instance, a beloved black-and-cream ticking-stripe sofa in the living room. Purchased when she was in college, the piece has served Deborah well, easily complementing the varying styles and fashions her homes have had over the years. Polished Personality1

Typically known for her traditional décor, Deborah infused a number of fanciful details throughout her current home. “In small doses, whimsy is fun, not corny,” she promises. She built a larger-than-life wingback chair, cut in an exaggerated Alice in Wonderland style, which anchors a charming reading nook in the upstairs hallway.polished personality5

Another crafting accomplishment is the mercury-style finish of the glass in the master bathroom cabinets. Using a simple technique involving vinegar, water, and a spritz of bronze paint, Deborah created a striking complement to the room’s Jerusalem gold marble.

The master bedroom is equally bright, thanks to revitalized sun-washed tones. Out went the flowers and dark tones; in came a sky-and-clouds mural on the ceiling, slate blue hues, and a whitewashed Ballard headboard.

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The kitchen is another space where an infusion of white lends a spacious and comfortable ambience. “Here we balanced the timeless white cabinetry with casual knotty pine and a fun, colorful tile,” explains Deborah, proving that with classic pieces in place, a home can strike the artful combination of polish and personality.polished personality2Style Idea:  Cheery splashes of color continue in the hearth room where olive green walls and a tiled surround are accented by framed images in a hidden television cabinet. This clever do-it-yourself accent was made from simple pieces of thin plywood attached with piano hinges.polished personality6