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A Subtle Case of the Blues

But if the first two floors are a study in subdued color comfort, the third floor, a rumpus room with a built-in bed under a gable window that the grandchildren will no doubt love to steal away to as they mature, takes blue to a fun, funkier place. Stahl used a saturated, deep sea blue from Benjamin Moore on the wide floorboards to enliven the space as well as rich blues on the pillows and other accent pieces. 

The third floor bathroom in particular is decorated in playful touches, with wallpaper highlighting whales of different blues and a vanity painted the same color as some of them. “I wanted the color of the vanity to be a little different from the floor in order to offset it,” Stahl says, “to have it pop out a little more.”

Between the shiplap planks of the room and also in the shiplap on the walls of the staircase leading upstairs, she added texture by filling in the gaps with nautical twine. “I like using nautical touches without being cutesy,” Stahl says. “I’m not a fan of the signs that say ‘Beach this way’ or painted wooden buoys used as accent pieces.”   

How do the clients feel about the overall effect? “Karli and Chip and I, we were speaking the same language,” the wife says. “The things they value—the detail, their attention to the smallest things—are also what matter to me. It just clicked. It was an instant connection, and it was for that reason that my husband and I gave them a lot of carte blanche, a lot of freedom. They’re just great people. They’re solid people. They care about what they do.

“We love to come down here now,” she continues. “This second house is not only for our kids and their kids. It’s for friends of the family, which is really lovely. We’ll come down with people we’re close to, and we’ll stay in one house while they stay in the other. We sit out on the porch and have dinner and play cards. What Karli and Chip created gives it all such a warm, cozy feeling.”

Stahl reflects the positive vibes in return. “They were really so great to give us this design freedom,” she says. “Despite the wife’s own impeccable taste that she brought to the project, there was no micromanaging at all. It was collaboration at its best. When you’re given that level of trust, the outcome of the project is so much greater. You’re able to follow through on the vision.”

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