Home Decorating Amazing Space: Berkshire Barn Makeover

Amazing Space: Berkshire Barn Makeover

We love a great reno success story, especially when that redesign has taken place in our own backyard. So when we saw this living room, in a converted eighteenth-century barn right here in the Berkshires and featured in Vogue, we couldn’t resist including it in this edition of Amazing Space.


This eclectic home, a Tudor-style retreat on 100 acres, is the decorating brainchild of Adam Lippes, the former creative director of Oscar de la Renta and now owner of his own eponymous fashion label.  The main reason we adore his living room is because it manages our favorite design balance: it looks expensive, yet it’s functional and livable, with nothing too precious for everyday use. It’s got that city-in-the-country vibe that can be a challenge to pull off, but when it works, holy cows in a hayfield does it work.

The architectural details of the house, especially the raised-panel wood wools, exposed beams, and plank floors, could easily wind up looking dark, dour, and dated without the right mix of décor. So Adam started by painting the ceilings and drywall white, and eschewing window treatments, so plenty of light enters through those tall-drink-of-water windows and bounces off the light-colored surfaces. He also placed an easygoing sofa and oversized ottoman, both in a slipcovered ivory, front and center in the room, and under an original photo by cult artist Dash Snow.

Then Adam got down to the business of pattern pairing. If you joined us for our series on how to mix patterns in your decorative pillows and throws, bedding, and rugs, you’ll remember that there are a few essential rules for successfully combing patterns. One is staying within the same color palette, like that gorgeous vintage Oriental rug in saturated red, blue, and purple, mixed with a pair of casual, striped rag rugs in the same hues (plus a hefty dose of neutral ivory). The purple velvet chair, with its lush fabric and Mod shape, is a standout, and brings in yet another color from the palette. The graphic decorative pillows on the chair and the left-hand side of the sofa are another echo of the rug’s color palette. And for a bit of contrast, Adam included pops of hunter green—on the right-hand sofa pillows, the lampshades, and the antique painted chair under the window—which are visually grounding, and also help give the space a bit of traditional formality among all that boho charm.

The floor pillows might not fit squarely into pattern-pairing rules, but get a load of that large-scale crewelwork embroidery and bazaar-bright colors. Stunning, right? They shouldn’t work in this room, but with its upscale-ecletic ambience, they fit in perfectly.  We also love the mix of antiques, like the mismatched accent tables and table lamps, and the carved chest under the window.

If there’s one thing we’d change, it would be . . .  nothing. Not a darn thing. This room is just about perfect, and the rest of the home is equally awe-inspiring. Check it out on Vogue’s website today.

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