Home DesignSep 01, 2012
Designed for Life
Interior designer Denise Fogarty believes in surrounding herself with things she loves—and it shows.
Story: Mary Beard
Photos: Alise O’Brien
Denise Fogarty’s West County home mixes Nantucket coastal influences with traditional and antique pieces, resulting in a relaxed, yet sophisticated style that is completely her own. The award-winning interior designer says inspired design and personal touches are the keys to achieving functionality and comfort. We asked her for a few more tips, based on her home’s design, that anyone can use.
As your life changes, so should your home. Fogarty is constantly rearranging or adding new pieces to tweak her home’s look. Throw pillows rotate in and out to reflect the seasons, and the walls are always fair game for a fresh paint job. Choosing a bold color for an accent wall is an easy fix for changing tastes and keeping it fresh.
For Fogarty, nothing is off limits when it comes to finding inspiration. Her latest project, redecorating the first-floor master bedroom, stemmed from a set of lamps that she saw and fell in love with. She didn’t even end up buying the lamps, but they inspired a plan, and a few months later, she had a new favorite room. She routinely tears out magazine pages and recently has taken to Pinterest and the design blogosphere—her favorite sources for ideas are the blogs House of Turquoise and Cote de Texas. The inspiration for Fogarty’s firstfloor bathroom came from a visit to the Lexington Home Brands showroom in High Point, NC, where there is a replica of Arnold and Winnie Palmer’s home (the company once produced a collection inspired by the famous golfer). Winnie’s dressing room was completely wallpapered in The New Yorker magazine covers, so Fogarty papered her own half-bath’s walls with old issues of Architectural Digest.
Keep it Functional
There is no point in having a gorgeous home if you can’t actually live in it. It was important to Fogarty for her home’s design to fit both her aesthetic vision and her family’s needs. Her daughter has space for homework and lounging in the sunroom, and she shares her office with her son, so he has his own place to hang out, watch TV and play video games. Modern glass doors on her husband’s office give him the privacy and quiet he needs, while the kitchen is perfect for hosting parties, with ample countertop space for food preparation and entertaining, as well as two hidden dishwashers to speed the cleanup.
When it comes to design accents, “accumulate things you love,” Fogarty advises. Among her collections are the blue and white porcelain vases on display in the entry hall, the tea cups that she mixes and matches for daytime entertaining and the Lladró porcelain figurines in her daughter’s room, which she has had since she was a girl. Other personal touches—like the antique chandelier in the master bedroom, the beautifully crafted Amish-made kitchen cabinets and the set of chairs found at a Parisian flea market—give the Fogarty home stories and character.
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