Top-down, inside-out—a little color goes a long way
You’ll know it when you walk into a Katy Lombardi-designed home.
Even more so when you walk into the home of the interior designer herself. Lombardi’s residence (adorably dubbed “Milly”) might as well be a model home for its cross-section of all the combined influences of her 15-year career.
When she and her husband moved back to the area a few years ago, she found Milly—with her beautiful, rare wood windows and trim, and colonial style—and was immediately inspired. Blue and natural wood were out, replaced by a stark black and white palette, emboldened with splashes of green that coupled with other nature-inspired elements to give the home an outside-in comfort.
Laying a Foundation:
The walls I kept a nice white—BM Oxford White. It’s amazing how difficult it can be to pick a white! I like this one because it has a touch of warmth to it, making the home feel cozy. The black is SW Caviar. The trim and white walls really laid the foundation for the space. I think the green is a perfect accent. The neutral background allowed for the pop of color to be bold. Each room has some pop to it. The whole concept was to create a backdrop and allow for special moments to anchor each space.
This home is as close as I could get to my personal style. It’s a nice foundation layered with elements of surprise and accent. It’s like wearing a crisp white shirt with the best jewelry, shoes, and handbag to make it special. I think every room should have some green. It’s my favorite color, but it brings so much life into a space. It is almost a neutral as it goes with so much, yet you can make it super bold as well.
I love nature elements in a design. It can be unexpected and unique. The idea of putting antlers in a room with more modern elements makes the space interesting. It’s a study on how you can combine elements of different textures to create a truly unique space. I always say anyone can go to a store and buy a set of furniture that matches, but a designed space brings together elements that coordinate, but don’t necessarily match.
Designing Your Own:
Designing for yourself is by far the hardest. One, because of the expectation you put on yourself. Perfection is the nasty trait of most designers. Knowing what needs to be done to make something perfect and then balancing that with what you can afford to do is difficult. Plus, as a designer you are able to see so many styles that you really do like, so it’s narrowing that down to the one that really defines you.
What to know:
Don’t be afraid to take risks. I take more risks in my own home, but if you love something, you can make it work with the right pieces.
Collect things that mean something to you. My best clients will have art or pieces that are sentimental to them and it makes me so happy. These are the homes that really come together. It’s the personal touches mixed with the new that complete a design.
Proportions are everything. I think this is the most difficult thing for a designer and homeowner. If the art is too small or the sofa is too big, the room will never look right. You have to create balance in the space—down to the size of rug, light fixtures, and throw pillows.
Where to shop: Dining room: Urbia imports (table); Ballard Designs (chairs); IKEA (China cabinets); One Kings Lane (rug); West Elm (light fixture). Sitting room: Home Decorators (chairs); Lee Industries (sofa); One Kings Lane (rug); Z Gallerie (art).