Mallory Smith’s Secret to Good Design

Mallory Smith's Secret to Good Design

Mallory, her husband and three children live in a two-story brick house built in 1987. As a busy decorator, renovating her own house was put on the back burner while helping others. But over time she has worked her magic, creating a romantic French-inspired home.

Mallory Smith's Secret to Good Design

The neutral palette of the foyer is carried throughout the rooms for a calm, relaxed style. An old Louis Phillipe-style mirror, brought home from France, hangs above a painted and distressed chest in the foyer. She also upped the French mood by replacing the original wooden bannister with a new iron railing. To the left is a sitting room that is formal, yet comfortable.

Mallory Smith's Secret to Good Design

The family room originally had built-in bookcases surrounding the fireplace, but Mallory found them unsightly and tore them out. Then she got to work on the fireplace. Adding a couple of rows of brick and lots of stucco created the look of a limestone surround. For the pièce de résistance, she says, “I found the garland in France and knew I would use it one day. I added it to a wooden board and hung it on fireplace.” She also took out crown molding in the room and raised some doors to 8 feet. The unsightly bookcases have been replaced by console tables topped with jardinières. All of this simplifies the design and makes the room appear larger, she says.