How to Stylishly Decorate a Room in Your Favorite Color

Laveta Brigham

Table of Contents SUPERIOR BLEND In the living room of her family’s vacation home in the South of France, interior designer Kate Hume skillfully layered textures and finishes into the décor’s mostly green palette.Start with Art Collect BroadlyBrighten UpSHARE YOUR THOUGHTSFire Up A Sculpture Paint It Black Go for Baroque […]

SUPERIOR BLEND In the living room of her family’s vacation home in the South of France, interior designer Kate Hume skillfully layered textures and finishes into the décor’s mostly green palette.


Frans van der Heijden

IT DIDN’T START as a plan at all,” said Kate Hume of the predominantly green palette in the living room of her family’s vacation home. That said, the Amsterdam-based interior designer admits she might have been unconsciously influenced by the view of trees and open field provided by the windows of the house, located in the Quercy region of France. Next month, the eclectic room will appear in “Élan: The Interior Design of Kate Hume,” written with Linda O’Keeffe and photographed by Ms. Hume’s husband, Frans van der Heijden (Rizzoli). Its décor came together over years, said Ms. Hume, the green theme gradually emerging—punctuated by touches of yellow and turquoise. Brown, black and white fill in as leavening neutrals, and a blend of textures and styles further layers the room. Key ingredients: matte and gloss pottery both naive and sophisticated; modern rattan; rigid oak; a monumental photograph by Mr. Van der Heijden of leaf insects’ mottled wings. “A house can evolve,” said Ms. Hume. But if one wants to feature a favorite color, some principles need to be applied.

Start with Art

A big shot of flora or fauna telegraphs a love of nature in all its greenness. If you crave the impact of her husband’s buggy photo, Ms. Hume suggests photographer Paul Lange’s large-scale work as an option. She said she’s placed it in projects for “an instant something,” and would hang two of his photos side by side, including “Jane,” 2018 (left), $3,500,

Collect Broadly

“Shopping in markets here is like a sport,” said Ms. Hume of the South of France, the main source for her pottery collection. Though her ceramics adhere to a tight palette, she avoids color overkill with a range of finishes, from glossy glazes to the sunbaked look of this Verdigris Twisted Vase, $300,

Brighten Up

The oak coffee table provides an expanse of blond wood in a room whose décor, despite copious sunshine and white walls, tends toward the dark side. Plus, said Ms. Hume, “It’s big enough to have display [on it] and still have cocktails.” For your spread, try De La Espada’s Armstrong Coffee Table by Matthew Hilton, from $2,085,


Have you ever decorated with a single color? If so, what advice do you have? Join the conversation below.

Fire Up A Sculpture

The bronze of the candelabra adds another material to the mix, one that is softer and more expressive than other metals, said Ms. Hume. Designed by Mr. Van der Heijden, the fixture stands nearly 30 inches high. Berlin Bronze Candle Holder, Heijden Hume, $4,860, 31-20-625-3522

Paint It Black

An early 1960s captain’s chair from the Netherlands blends tradition and modernity in a dark finish, and plays a supporting role in the room’s color story. Its spindles echo the stripes of the wool flatweave rugs. For an American version of the seat, try the Senate Chair, from $2,800,


F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal (fabric)

Go for Baroque But Comfy

Ms. Hume set the sofa in front of a console—“more interesting than just having it against the wall,” she said. Its Knole style and linen damask add a bit of fancy, but its size and the fabric’s frilly-but-not-too-frilly pattern suit a second home. Ms. Hume describes it as “a posh country sofa.” Create your own cushy cocoon with these elements: John Sofa, from $5,550,; Kravet 34719 135 Fabric, $112 per yard,

Light A Mismatch

Handmade black-and-white lamps (“possibly African”) flank the sofa. “They’re not identical,” she said. Their imperfection adds to the earthiness of the room. The pattern, like the print on the shades’ fabric, from London’s Neisha Crosland, is softly geometric. Try these Black & White Painted Ceramic Table Lamps, $1,795,

The Wall Street Journal is not compensated by retailers listed in its articles as outlets for products. Listed retailers frequently are not the sole retail outlets.

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