Designer Ashley Shaw layers a space with whimsical patterns and a mix of textures
Ashley Shaw’s client was relocating from San Francisco to Charlotte when she found the designer on Instagram and sent her an email. She and her husband purchased a 1930s Myers Park home and asked Shaw to revamp the interior for their family, which included three young children and a dog. They loved the bright colors and playful patterns that flooded Ashley Shaw Design’s page and wanted a similar vibe in their dining room. “This space is in the middle of the house and incorporates all the colors in the home in one central spot,” Shaw says. “This decor speaks to how happy and fun they are.”
AN INDOOR GARDEN
With the family room on one side and an office on the other, the dining room felt a bit dark, so Shaw covered the walls with a powder-blue chinoiserie wallpaper from Mural Source. The panoramic garden landscape pattern has trees, pheasants, and peonies that “bring a bit of the outside in,” she says. “The lighting was a challenge because there wasn’t a great source of natural light, but we overcame that with the wallpaper to really brighten the space.”
USE WHAT YOU’VE GOT
The homeowners already had the sisal rug, walnut table, and oval back dining chairs, so Shaw styled the space around those anchor pieces. She used the blue-and-white animal print upholstery on the chairs as inspiration for her palette. “But we weren’t matchy-matchy with that,” she says. “Don’t get too caught up in matching the perfect shade. It’s OK to have variants.” The antique lamps with robin’s-egg blue bases belonged to the homeowner’s grandmother, and the rattan and bamboo chandelier is vintage.
AN ARTFUL EYE
“It’s almost like looking at a painting, and very interesting rooms—or paintings—have depth,” Shaw says. The sisal rug, animal print upholstery, and bamboo chandelier create visual interest without upstaging the wallpaper. “You want more than one thing to be interesting, and a mix of patterns and textures brings so much to a room … but that wallpaper is like a work of art in itself. Without it, the room wouldn’t take on the same dimension.”