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Home design: ‘It’s more daring than a workhorse room. It’s an eye candy room.’

Home design: ‘It’s more daring than a workhorse room. It’s an eye candy room.’

Sarah Henley’s client wanted a stylish entertaining space that belied the Needham home’s spec house origins. “She’s a ‘Let’s make this look like us!’ type of person,” says the principal of Henley Design. That the room is visible from the entry and open to the dining room made Henley’s mission all the more critical. Using prints from independent design studios and furniture in bold silhouettes, Henley pulled together a scheme that her client is delighted to show off. “It’s more daring than a workhorse room,” she says. “It’s an eye candy room.”

1 The sisal rug provides a neutral base that ties to the grass-cloth wallcovering in the adjacent dining room. “I like the juxtaposition of the three-dimensional geometric pattern against the room’s rounded silhouettes,” Henley says.

2 The chairs’ square form and dark color anchor the room and separate it from the dining area without blocking the sightline between the spaces. “The cozy velvet upholstery channels a luxe sitting-room vibe,” Henley says.

3 The CB2 console’s 1970s vibe feels playful against the room’s traditional architecture. “It can double as a bar or a place to set food, or be styled to be a dramatic focal point,” Henley says. “This is the view off the foyer, so I wanted a powerful vignette.”

4 The Mary Maguire butterfly prints pop atop the wallpaper’s small-scale waterlily pattern, while the shapes and jewel tones correspond with it.

5 Henley added Nymphaea wallpaper by Zak+Fox, hanging it between the wainscoting, which she added to the bottom part of the wall, and the ceiling.

6 The curvy Vladimir Kagan-inspired sofa softens the angular bay window in the front of the house and allows for circulation behind it. The olive greens and rich plum color of the Erika Powell and Rule of Three printed linen throw pillows contrast the light upholstery.


Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to [email protected]