Text by Charlotte Safavi
Interior designer Ame Gold put her passions and skills to work when she and her husband, Bryan Berezdivin, built their own home in the heart of Arlington, Virginia. “I’d describe the architecture as New England coastal with a touch of Southern charm,” Ame says of the pretty white house with its large front porch, gambrel rooflines, and blue cutout shutters.
Ame grew up in Connecticut; Bryan went to college in New England, and they both fell in love with the homes in Key West, Florida. So, the architectural style the couple chose for their own home makes sense, even though most houses in their neighborhood are red-brick Colonials.
The impetus to build a new home came when the couple’s two children were growing up quickly, and the family needed more space. “I also wanted to be able to design a house from scratch,” Ame says. “Having been in design for 20 years, I’ve walked a lot of floor plans and wanted to include what worked for our family.”
The French-style front door, with its overhead glass transom detail, opens onto a center hall leading back to a large farmhouse-style kitchen. “The kitchen cabinets and the family room’s window seats and bookshelves were built by the Amish [craftspeople],” Ame says.
The kitchen island is especially striking, with blue-painted X-detailing overlaid on a wood base. The peripheral cabinets have a mix of glass and wood fronts, and the top cabinetry painted white with bases painted blue perfectly completes the design scheme. “I never had a crush on an appliance before, but when I spotted the La Cornue range, I couldn’t stop thinking about it,” says Ame. “I had to have it!”
Being a designer and styling your own home allow you to cherry-pick furniture, finishes, and fabrics you’ve noticed while working on your clients’ homes. For Ame, a Harlequin pear fabric she has loved for years became the jumping-off place for her home’s décor. “I had it pinned on my bulletin board in the office for five years before we built. It became the fabric that inspired my kitchen,” she says. The textile, which is used on the Roman shades in the space, also drove Ame’s decorating palette of blues, whites, taupes, and greens. “Sometimes, it was a challenge seeing eye to eye with Bryan on design elements. I’m more whimsical and like brighter colors, so we had to do some compromises,” Ame says. “Luckily, blue has always been both of our favorite colors.”
The use of color is bold throughout the home, from the family room’s cobalt velvet sofas to the geometric-pattern navy wool runner on the staircase. The main bedroom has walls painted turquoise. Blue is definitely the color that pops up in every room, providing continuity, even in the dining room featuring a botanical wallpaper in chartreuse and white.
From the dining room, double French doors painted gray-blue open onto the spacious front porch, taking the dinner party outside. “My home is all about creating a feeling of warmth and comfort. We want our guests to put up their feet and relax,” Ame says.
For furniture, Ame has purchased pieces over time, curating a collection of traditional yet updated furnishings. “When I select pieces for my own home, I want to choose things I never get tired of. It was important to integrate my favorite pieces into my design and never feel rushed to make a decision,” she says.
There are also several custom pieces that Ame had commissioned by Amish furniture makers, like the dining and kitchen tables. “The house really works great for us. Now that we’ve lived in it, the space feels just right,” she says.