Garland is not a professional artist, so she allowed herself to be guided by the colours in her favourite fixture.
Take a cue from a favourite object and let its hues rule your space.
Margie Garland had the MacKenzie-Childs Thistle designer chandelier on her computer wish list for years. Multicoloured and funky with glass-beaded fringe on its shades, it would never have worked in the ancient farmhouses she had previously lived in.
But it would feel right at home in the new house she was building in the centre of Ligonier, a suburb of Pittsburgh, especially if it had equally colourful companions to play with. So she did it. She painted the walls of every room in her neo-traditional house the same bright hues she loved in the chandelier.
On the outside, it’s old-school traditional with a balanced design, red-brick walls and crisp white trim. But the inside is much more open than most American Colonial-styled houses. Its central staircase allows Garland’s two boys and two dogs plenty of room to run.
“I offset the chandelier and the rug so people wouldn’t bump into the table in the dining room,” she says. A centrepiece that’s not in the centre? The amateur designer feared she had broken a cardinal red rule. “Colonials are supposed to be symmetrical. I thought, ‘Oh, my God! What have I done?’”