It’s not that interior designer Lindsey Miller has anything against traditional baby colors. It’s just that there are so many other gorgeous shades to dip into—rich reds, burnt umbers, deep browns—that bring interiors to a new eye-pleasing level, even if the room is Baby’s.
“I’m a huge fan of color,” Miller says. “When people think of a nursery, they think it’s pink or blue, male or female. They think it has to be all baby style, toys everywhere. But it can go beyond that, while still being a baby’s room.” Miller has three big reasons to know: she is owner of Lindsey Dann Miller LLC, a design firm in Los Angeles; cofounder of Former Furniture, an online marketplace of previously owned and new designer pieces; and the mother of Max, born in June.
One of Miller’s latest projects gave her a bundle of chances to express her sense of color and design: a guest suite with nursery for her parents’ North Falmouth home. Her mother is Stephanie Sokolove, chef and owner of Stephanie’s on Newbury and Stephi’s on Tremont in Boston. Dad is attorney Jim Sokolove. When Lindsey’s sister, Courtney Mack (co-founder of Former Furniture) became pregnant in 2009, Lindsey got to work creating a guest suite with a main bedroom, bath, and baby room, on the second floor of her parents’ house, perched on a cliff overlooking the water in North Falmouth. Stephanie and Jim Sokolove spend most of their summers in the stone and shingle house, playing golf and entertaining. So naturally they want their daughters and their families to be comfortable.
Stephanie Sokolove teamed with Miller in the project. “We work together very well,” Miller says. The construction was by C.H. Newton Builders of Falmouth, Osterville, and Boston.
The upstairs suite is a former den and bedroom, down the hall from Miller’s 13-year-old sister’s room. Color, of course, was an early conversation between the two women. Miller’s Los Angeles condo is packed with bold colors. “I love red,” she says with a laugh. “My bedroom has a big red wall. Red to me is bold and sexy; it’s beautiful.
Most of the interior of the Sokoloves’ home is in blues and greens, so Lindsey settled on palettes of natural shades with simple pops of rich color for the suite. “On the Cape, it can be subdued and natural,” she says. “We wanted it to be a reflection of the beach.”
The suite has a bank of windows across the water side of the house, and a balcony that runs almost the entire length. Below is the ocean, lapping against a beach that provides all the inspiration for the suite’s color schemes: deep earth tones, creamy whites, and sand. For jolts of color, Miller talked her mom into a deep, rich coral here and there, including the sheets in the main bedroom and the pillows on the nearby cushioned chair, by American Chair & Seating in Quincy. The beautiful stripe upholstery pattern in coral, brown, cream, and gold “just grabs your eye,” Miller says. “You’d expect a house like this on Cape Cod to have a floral. To have a bold graphic pattern is unexpected given the style of the house.”
The sunny sitting room is the most neutral of the suite. The wallpaper is a sand-dollar pattern of “shagreen” a rough-textured leather, a shade reminiscent of the beach sand outside. The Stark carpet is an eye-catching geometric pattern in beige and ivory.
The sitting room has a nook centered with an upholstered easy chair in cream with brown piping, plumped with a leopard pillow, set next to a brass and marble side table from Former Furniture. “I’m a huge fan of stone,” Lindsey says. To the side are shelves in gleaming white holding ceramic shells, imitating underwater coral. There is a relaxed natural feeling about the room. As Miller says, “When you’re at the beach, you want to be relaxed. You can hear the ocean from this room. It was imperative that it have a soothing quality.”