color lab - Maureen Footer
DESIGNER MAUREEN FOOTER EXPERIMENTS WITH BOLD
COLOR IN AN ARTS & CRAFTS HOME IN HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON
BY ALEXA STEVENSON
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRUCE BUCK
PLAY TIME The once-blah attic was transformed into a
funky playroom with red and orange color blocking dotted with
a suzani fabric from Pindler & Pindler on the roman shade
and throw pillows.
INTERIOR DESIGNER MAUREEN FOOTER
has an impeccable reputation for
decorating with the finer things. A connoisseur of 18th-century French architecture and furniture (she boasts
a graduate degree from the École de Louvre), Footer is known for her elegant, inviting and antiques-filled interiors.
Naturally, her clients are accustomed to her signature high-end, luxe look. When her current clients, a husband
and wife with homes in New York City and Maine, wanted to live closer to their child’s school in Westchester, they
purchased a 1914 Arts & Crafts home in Hastings-on-Hudson. But they didn’t want it to be as grand or traditional
as their other properties. Footer readily accepted the challenge.
From the start, this was a departure from her usual projects. The house, for instance, with its low-slung porch, cozy
rooms and chestnut moldings, was not of the vernacular style Footer is accustomed to. “The clients wanted the
space to be fun and fresh while keeping the essence of the architecture” says Footer. “And since they are so typically
traditional and shy away from color, this was a great opportunity to take a different approach.”
DINNER THEATER A collection of colorful Iznik plates pops
against the red walls of the dining room. Since this room mirrors
the living room, designer Maureen Footer used a neutral linen
with blue banding on the drapes to create continuity between the
two. The Marblehead schooner is one of the husband’s prized
The challenge was getting the mix just right. “They didn’t want another house full of antiques, but they both have
highly cultivated and diverse tastes,” notes the designer. “So it had to be something they were still comfortable
with.” Using a well-edited combination of online and catalog finds, along with some choice big-ticket splurges—
antique rugs and accessories, hand-blocked prints, custom window treatments—she created a warm and inviting
home the family could enjoy during the school year.
COLOR WHEEL An Iranian rug with spice tones was the
departure point for, which is warmed by a Benjamin Moore
Historic Color buff paint. A chair covered in a bright green Pierre
Frey fabric, plus pillows and an ottoman in a print from Lee Jofa,
add a dose of strong color.
THE GREEN ROOM Green walls distinguish the wife’s office
from the rest of the living room. The Lee Jofa print on the wing
chair gives a nod to the clients’ passion for horticulture.
THESE CLIENTS DON’T USUALLY DEPART FROM A NEUTRAL SCHEME, SO I
REALLY USED THIS HOUSE AS A LAB FOR EXPERIMENTING WITH COLOR.
One of the family’s favorite spaces, the porch, offers magnificent views
of the Hudson and sets the tone for the entire interior. Footer used the era
of the house as her guide and chose wicker furniture with a honey finish
topped with spicy red cushions. The warmth from the porch is echoed
throughout the home. In the living room, Footer focused on the fireplace.
“I wanted to retain the coziness of the chestnut trim, but lighten it up and
keep it from feeling dark or gloomy,” she says. Parchment walls create an
elegant backdrop for a Lee Jofa hand-block print, antique Moroccan rug
and spoon-back chair upholstered in bright yellow for a punch of color.
“These clients don’t usually depart from a neutral scheme, so I really used
this house as a lab for experimenting with color,” notes Footer.
BOLD NATURE The porch boasts a grand view of the
Hudson. Honey-colored wicker pieces from Wicker Warehouse
are spiced up with paprika cushions, and a green garden stool
from Pearl River in New York City adds another jolt of color.
And use color she did. It’s evident in the dining room’s blue and white geometric repeat on the chairs and bright
Iznik plates displayed against a shock of red on the walls. The sitting room boasts an Iranian rug with bold spice
tones accented with a bright green chair. The attic playroom, however, is where Footer had the most fun. She
transformed the space into a bold color-blocked play space for the clients’ son. Bright orange walls flank a red sofa
(orange and red are his favorite colors). A green garden stool adds another shot of color, while a playful Pindler
& Pindler suzani print on the pillows and window treatment ties it all together. “I’ve never used color-blocking
with such typically clashing colors in such a powerful way as with these clients,” says Footer. “For them it was
an immense departure. For me, it was a fun way to try out some new ideas.” It was an experiment that worked,
apparently, as she is already starting on another project for the homeowners in New York City. The clients’ request?
A little more color than usual.