Blog by Beebe Cline

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Energy and Color Aplenty in a Live-Work Rental

Designer Caitlin Wilson lives in and works out of a rental home in an old building in Philadelphia, and she wanted her furniture to reflect a classic look but with a twist. Details like luxurious English rolled arms, tufts and feminine silhouettes root the space to a traditional style, but bold color and pattern choices showcase a modern eclectic spirit. "My style has evolved from modern to eclectic to a kind of new traditional, and I think my home reflects this evolution," Wilson says.

Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: Caitlin Wilson, husband Brigham and kids Olivia and Penn
Location: Center City, Philadelphia
Size: 1,400 square feet
The designer's foyer sings a happy note in Key Largo Green by Benjamin Moore. Wilson purchased the mirror from Joss & Main and hand painted the ampersand canvas. Artwork from her parents' collection, digital prints and family photos make up the gallery wall.
A Pindler & Pindler Winston sofa draws you in with its spirited pink hue, a color repeated throughout the room in the accessories and trim. Wilson custom designed her drapes to frame her views of Rittenhouse Square and Center City. She layered in a brass bamboo coffee table and a pair of Chinese brass lamps; a Thom Filicia rug ties the room together.
Ikea bookshelves flank one of Wilson's prized possessions: a camel-colored tufted leather settee with rolled arms, a luxurious hand-me-down from her parents.
A happy arrangement of roses in bloom picks up on the pink color seen throughout the room, adding the final color layer to the space.
"We moved to Philly on a student budget, so I scored our huge dining table and chairs from Craigslist. I reupholstered the chairs and wingbacks in my signature fabric, Navy Fleur Chinoise," Wilson says. Her parents loaned their artwork to Wilson and her husband to remind the couple of their previous home in California.
Wilson's home office is a study in pattern and color. "It's so fun to work here. The room is filled with vibrant fabrics from my textile line, so there's this naturally bright and cheerful environment," she says.

Wallpaper by Nina Campbell creates a unique backdrop and ties together all the colors in the space. The Roman shades are Wilson's Jade Byblos fabric. She found the desk on Craigslist, and the Greek key cabinets are an Ikea hack. The Chinese brass lamp came from a market in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai.
The designer says that the best part about working from home is that she can run her business and raise her family under one roof.
An Asian-inspired tangerine mirror above a Chinese gold and black silk-screened shoe cabinet echoes the home's eclectic global style. "Thanks to our travels, our home has a collection of quirky pieces from the Middle East and Asia, which clearly have influenced my textile patterns," Wilson says.
Wire baskets store and organize Wilson's fabrics without obscuring them entirely from plain view.

Her office is the hardest working room in the house. With a full-time assistant and a design intern, it's almost always occupied by a family member or an employee.
"Benjamin Moore's Gentle Butterfly is perfect for any little girl’s room," says Wilson. She had these Roman shades custom made, and she repurposed a coffee table to create a pint-size desk for her daughter that's painted in Valspar's Hint of Mint.

Rug: Rugs USA; pouf: Dubai market
A Laurence Amelie tutu painting from Bonpoint hangs above daughter Olivia's art table, from Pottery Barn Kids. "It was the first piece of artwork we ever bought," she says.
In the kitchen, Wilson spiced up a wall for Olivia and swapped out the old linoleum for Armstrong Crescendo Marble Gray vinyl tile. "It looks so much like marble and feels great underfoot," she says. "And the best thing about it is that you just peel off the back and stick it down."
She painted the back wall with chalkboard paint and hung frames and bulldog clips for displaying artwork. "I DIY'd the leopard chairs with a Sharpie on solid cream Ikea chairs," she says.
Benjamin Moore's Classic Gray gives Wilson's master bedroom a neutral, subdued backdrop. She made the headboard to showcase her Fleur Chinoise textile in a berry pattern. Cleft pillows in Coral Fretwork fabric and Berry signature pillow shams from Wilson's Garnet Hill collection create a luxurious hotel look. But true to Wilson's design savvy and what she calls "school budget" roots, the glammed-up nightstands are Ikea hacks, painted gray and with new gold acrylic knobs.

"A happy family lives in this colorful and vibrant home," she says, "and you can see and feel it in all the little and big things, in all the larger rooms and quiet corners."

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