De­sign Os­mo­sis


Traditional Home - - Contents - In­te­rior de­signer: Char­lotte Moss

Char­lotte Moss de­signs a fash­ion-for­ward home in Den­ver that cel­e­brates style while putting fam­ily first.

Char­lotte Moss and Jen­nifer Mar­sico may not come from the same blood line, but they’re still fam­ily. Hav­ing dec­o­rated mul­ti­ple homes for Jen­nifer’s par­ents and acted as her em­ployer and men­tor, Moss holds a spe­cial place in Jen­nifer’s heart. “When I moved to New York City af­ter col­lege, I was young and had so much to learn. Char­lotte was a mother fig­ure to me,” Jen­nifer says.

Now liv­ing in Den­ver to be near her par­ents, Jen­nifer, the mother of three daugh­ters, knew ex­actly who to call to re­dec­o­rate her fam­ily home. She does, af­ter all, have de­sign elite on speed dial.

And while she wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily look­ing for full-on tra­di­tional, it was the ob­vi­ous place to start. “Jen­nifer was raised in a tra­di­tional en­vi­ron­ment,” Moss says. “It ap­par­ently seeped in by os­mo­sis, but she’s now de­vel­oped her own style—it’s more fash­ion-for­ward. I sup­pose you’d call it the new tra­di­tional. It’s the best of the past and the best of to­day.”

The clas­si­cally in­spired liv­ing room is proof that tra­di­tional can, in­deed, have gusto. A play­ful mix of blue-and-white pat­terns—some flir­ta­tious, oth­ers bo­da­cious—graces win­dows and a trio of up­hol­stered pieces. Em­bold­ened against a white­washed ceil­ing and sim­ple sisal rug, the pal­ette feels clas­sic yet ki­netic.

On the room’s pe­riph­ery, an ebonized con­sole and an enig­matic photo by ac­claimed fash­ion pho­tog­ra­pher Rod­ney Smith in­ject dol­lops of visual mag­netism, off­set­ting the other­wise ethe­real pal­ette. The art is one of a hand­ful of rec­og­niz­able pieces in a grow­ing col­lec­tion of fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy—a pas­sion Jen­nifer cred­its to both her fa­ther and Moss.

“When I worked with Char­lotte, we trav­eled ex­ten­sively,” Jen­nifer says. “Those trips were so mem­o­rable. We went to gal­leries and an­tiques mar­kets, and I’d watch Char­lotte dig un­til she found what she was look­ing for. She taught me to find some­thing I love and to col­lect it.”

A re­lated but strik­ingly dif­fer­ent col­lec­tion adorns the walls of the ad­join­ing den. Here, col­or­ful Her­mès scarves are framed and hung as art, re­in­forc­ing a jewel-tone scheme that in­cludes gar­net and emer­ald green.

Un­ex­pected pair­ings of­fer a jolt to the tra­di­tional el­e­ments here. A Louis XVI-style chaise in a del­i­cate blue-and-white fab­ric pro­vides respite be­tween a high-back amethyst-sheathed sofa and draperies in an au­da­cious pat­tern with a nod to Jen­nifer’s tra­di­tional roots. A sassy bam­boo ot­toman be­comes a jaw-drop­per when clad in violet leather. It’s a room that caters equally to myr­iad moods—from ro­man­tic and can­dlelit to bright and airy.

The same could be said for the neu­tral-and-white kitchen and break­fast area. Caramel-hue grass-cloth walls, over­scale lanterns, and a mix of up­hol­stered pieces—from a striped ban­quette to creamy bar stools—unify to cre­ate a space that feels low-key and lux­u­ri­ous at the same time. Up­hol­stery looks like leather, but it’s

ac­tu­ally fam­ily-friendly wo­ven polyamide. Al­to­gether, the room is as fit­ting for a peanut but­ter-and-jelly sand­wich as a gourmet meal served on Jen­nifer’s col­lec­tion of Apt­ware.

Per­haps the most un­mis­tak­able nod to Jen­nifer’s fash­ion­for­ward ver­sion of tra­di­tional is the din­ing room—a space that hon­ors the in­te­ri­ors of her child­hood while si­mul­ta­ne­ously turn­ing them on their ear.

Rooted in tra­di­tion, el­e­ments are lov­ingly yet stead­fastly thrust into mod­ern day. An im­me­di­ate con­ver­sa­tion starter, din­ing chairs are painted glossy white and cov­ered with lip­stick-pink up­hol­stery. Wing chairs in an amped-up pink-and-or­ange fla­mestitch fab­ric un­apolo­get­i­cally tem­per the clas­si­cally pretty wall­pa­per. One of Jen­nifer’s fa­vorite things—a wa­ter­color of the Botan­i­cal Gar­den of Brus­sels—hangs above a mir­rored con­sole.

“Din­ing rooms do not al­ways have to be peace­ful and serene,” Moss says. “A lit­tle drama and play­ful­ness go a long way to cre­at­ing a room you look for­ward to en­ter­tain­ing in.”

Jen­nifer’s of­fice—a trea­sure trove of re­fined pieces with a fresh edge—cheer­fully proves Moss’ the­ory. A silk For­tuny chan­de­lier, play­ful blue-and-white trel­lis wall­pa­per, and a cus­tom-made desk with a lus­trous blue leather top cre­ate an el­e­gant amal­gam. A tufted slip­per chair in a so­phis­ti­cated pink-on-pink fab­ric in­fuses a glim­mer of girly into the other­wise cool pal­ette.

“This is one of my fa­vorite spa­ces in the house,” Jen­nifer says. “I can es­cape here. It feels in­ti­mate and homey.”

The ul­ti­mate re­treat, how­ever, may be the un­abashedly fem­i­nine mas­ter bed­room. The slight­est flicker of pink—on silk Ro­man shades and bed linens—of­fers warmth to a sil­very-gray chi­nois­erie used on walls and as draperies. Black bed­side ta­bles give weight to a mir­rored bed with a gray suede head­board.

“Early in my ca­reer, I re­mem­ber de­signer Keith Irvine say­ing ev­ery room needs a bit of black,” Moss says. “It’s true. Here, it adds a punch and a nec­es­sary bit of con­trast. It’s a dose of tra­di­tional next to that very glam­orous bed.”

Yin to the bed­room’s yang, the pow­er­fully pretty mas­ter bath makes pink the hero, bal­anced by hints of gray. A black-and-white pho­to­graph by Lil­lian Bass­man pairs with a mir­rored chest and skirted slip­per chair to cre­ate a glam­orous, Bette Davis-wor­thy dress­ing area.

Shades of pink carry into Jen­nifer’s el­dest daugh­ter’s room, where the hue is am­pli­fied and paired with or­ange. Overtly girly, the pat­tern-on-pat­tern canopied bed is tamed by sym­me­try— flanked by qua­tre­foil mir­rors and mod­ish night­stands. A writ­ing desk, brightly up­hol­stered chair, and grace­ful bal­loon shades cre­ate a cor­ner as cu­rated for home­work as day­dream­ing.

“The girls all picked their color pal­ettes,” Moss says. “They wanted to be a part of the process, and they should be. It’s a happy space. The whole house is. It just feels good to be here.”


Liv­ing room A large-scale pho­to­graph by Rod­ney Smith adds a shot of vi­brant color to the pre­dom­i­nantly blue-and-white pal­ette. En­try A lush coral cush­ion on the Louis XVI-style bench com­ple­ments a sec­ond im­age by Smith. De­signer Char­lotte Moss. Pre­ced­ing pages Jen­nifer Mar­sico’s love of fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy is ev­i­dent upon setting foot in the en­try where an an­tique-brass lantern from Charles Ed­wards pairs with a gilded ta­ble from Mod­ern His­tory. In the liv­ing room, a mix of blue-and-white fab­rics, in­clud­ing Moss’ “Digby’s Tent” for Brun­schwig & Fils on the sofa, of­fers an homage to Jen­nifer’s child­hood homes.

Mas­ter bed­room A sil­very-gray chi­nois­erie by Mary McDon­ald for Schu­macher cre­ates a glam­orous back­drop sparked by pops of pink. The mir­rored bed with gray suede head­board was cus­tom-made by Lorin Marsh. Daugh­ter’s bed­room A med­ley of smaller-scale pat­terns ac­cen­tu­ates a bold or­ange-and-pink fab­ric from Manuel Canovas. A desk from Cen­tury and a Louis XVI-style chair in an eye-catch­ing flo­ral from Tulu Tex­tiles set the stage for cre­ative time. Mas­ter bath and dress­ing room A pale pink pal­ette and a mix of fem­i­nine fur­nish­ings cre­ate a shame­lessly pretty space.

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