Hudson Valley-based interior designer and founder of Kingston Design Connection, Maryline Damour of Damour Drake knew that this showhouse was going to be distinctly different than any before it. Mid-pandemic and facing a world that has been forever changed by political unrest, financial upheaval and nothing but uncertainty ahead, Maryline wanted to impart a very clear mission to her showhouse and Harlem Toile was the perfect muse.
“We created a space that connected adults with their children while keeping the ever-changing effects of Covid front of mind,” explains the designer, who tackled the home office-meets-home school room of the house. Maryline intentionally collided the worlds of work and school that are too often kept at a wide distance from one another. “The messaging throughout this space is inclusivity,” she explains. “Though we often separate the kids from the adults, I wanted to create a solution for that—an elegant space that is sophisticated enough for a parent in this case, but also current and appealing to a young person who also needs to be productive and stimulated.”
With the challenge to make both work-from-home situations a success in front of her, Maryline along with her senior designer Mel Jones Jr. got to work on bringing this larger vision to life. It was a no-brainer for the designer to blanket the room in Sheila Bridges iconic Harlem Toile print. “I’ve always wanted to use Harlem Toile,” notes the designer. “It references African American stereotypes within a traditional toile design. It made sense to use it here making the literal backdrop a sign of inclusivity.”
With her canvas primed in the Pistachio colorway of Harlem Toile, the room was ready to be layered with intentional and storied furniture and accessories. “A showhouse is a perfect place to show people what you can do with something so dramatic,” muses Maryline. “Every other color had to rise to the level of that wallpaper.” Balancing the wallpaper was a vibrant Benjamin Moore color of the year Aegean Blue ceiling paint that brought a sense of grounding to the space. Everything else from the storied accessories to intentional art work began to weave that powerful narrative of inclusion together.