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Project Spotlight: Caroline Harper Knapp

Project Spotlight: 
Caroline Harper Knapp's Houston Residence

Houston, Texas-based designer Jennifer Barron delivers her youthful, layered style to the home next door.
‌Photography by Molly Culver Photography.

Blythe Medium Table Lamp by Ralph Lauren, Hampton Small Chandelier by AERIN, Charlton Large Triple Arm Chandelier by AERINBlythe Medium Table Lamp by Ralph Lauren, Hampton Small Chandelier by AERIN, Charlton Large Triple Arm Chandelier by AERIN
Blythe Medium Table Lamp by Ralph Lauren, Hampton Small Chandelier by AERIN, Charlton Large Triple Arm Chandelier by AERIN

When neighbors follow each other from one street to another, they must have a lot in common. This was the case for House of Harper blogger, Caroline Harper Knapp and her (now-twice) Houston, Texas neighbor Jennifer Barron, principal of Jennifer Barron Interiors. Caroline was looking for a decorator who shared her vision for relaxed and timeless interiors. “I had so many images filled with color and pattern, but I could not have pulled the look together on my own,” says Caroline, who didn’t need to go far to find Jennifer, a self-described transitionalist. It did not take long for the decorator to assemble classic, but updated mood boards for the house with lighting, furniture and fabric. “After the presentation, Caroline and I sat at the dining room table wearing masks and moving fabrics around until everything clicked into place,” says Jennifer who balanced the fresh with the fine all throughout the house. Here the decorator spills her secrets for designing a traditional family home with forever fresh appeal.   

Penelope Table Lamp by Alexa HamptonPenelope Table Lamp by Alexa Hampton
Penelope Table Lamp by Alexa Hampton

Bridge the Gap Between New and Old with Layers

“In my opinion, the most important part of a design is the layers,” says Jennifer. “For instance, in the sitting room, those animal print stools catch your eye immediately and pop against the piles of traditional pillows on the sofa.”

Montreuil Chandelier by AERIN, Lambay Table Lamp by Chapman & Myers, 18" Cabinet Maker's Picture Light by Chapman & MyersMontreuil Chandelier by AERIN, Lambay Table Lamp by Chapman & Myers, 18" Cabinet Maker's Picture Light by Chapman & Myers
Montreuil Chandelier by AERIN, Lambay Table Lamp by Chapman & Myers, 18" Cabinet Maker's Picture Light by Chapman & Myers

Make it Comfortable

“Layered rugs, lots of custom pillows and patterned upholstery pieces like the delicately patterned yellow fabric on the swivel chairs warm up the big family room to seem cozy and approachable. Most people don’t think it’s possible for a room to be casual and beautiful, but it is.”

Lambay Table Lamp by Chapman & Myers, Pondview Medium Jar Lantern by AERIN, Vance 13 Flush Mount by Sean LavinLambay Table Lamp by Chapman & Myers, Pondview Medium Jar Lantern by AERIN, Vance 13 Flush Mount by Sean Lavin
Lambay Table Lamp by Chapman & Myers, Pondview Medium Jar Lantern by AERIN, Vance 13 Flush Mount by Sean Lavin

Use Color to Set a Room's Mood

“There’s a mix of subtle and powerful palettes depending on the space. We stuck with quieter shades in the formal living room and bolder ones as the spaces became more family friendly.”

Morris Flush Mount by Suzanne KaslerMorris Flush Mount by Suzanne Kasler
Morris Flush Mount by Suzanne Kasler

Let Nothing Look Stale

“Antiques mixed with contemporary patterns and artwork give character and life to a space,” explains Jennifer. While there may be an abundance of classic design elements like chinoiserie and Turkish rugs used throughout, soft color palettes and new lighting infuse freshness.” 

Aspra Medium Chandelier by Julie NeillAspra Medium Chandelier by Julie Neill
Aspra Medium Chandelier by Julie Neill

Play with Styles of Light Fixtures

“Lighting selections play into the overall aesthetic. Traditional brass fixtures like the dining room chandelier (Aspra Medium Chandelier in Gild with Crystal Trim) juxtapose with the nearby sitting room’s more modern one (Charlton Large Triple Arm Chandelier in Hand-Rubbed Antique Brass) to create more interest while a lamp adds warmth and ambiance like no other element can.” 

Pondview Medium Jar Lantern by AERIN, Vance 13 Flush Mount by Sean LavinPondview Medium Jar Lantern by AERIN, Vance 13 Flush Mount by Sean Lavin
Pondview Medium Jar Lantern by AERIN, Vance 13 Flush Mount by Sean Lavin

Source Tough Yet Classic-Looking Materials

“In the kitchen, durable and pretty Taj Mahal quartzite countertops pair well with handsome brass finishes and flow nicely into the open family room scheme. The clean and simple pantry features butcher block countertops that wear well and stay consistent with the rest of the home.”

Primitive Swing Arm by Studio VCPrimitive Swing Arm by Studio VC
Primitive Swing Arm by Studio VC

Design for Everyone

“A combination of light-hearted patterns like the striped bench cushion fabric coupled with modern art gives the family room’s banquette eating area a playfulness that’s inviting to children, but polished enough for adults.

Bedford Medium 3/4 Lantern by Chapman & MyersBedford Medium 3/4 Lantern by Chapman & Myers
Bedford Medium 3/4 Lantern by Chapman & Myers

Connect Indoor and Outdoor

“The exterior’s copper lantern and Dutch door stayed consistent with the interior’s traditional selections. The outdoor lounge area’s breezy color palette and white wicker extends naturally from the indoor family room.” 

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