An impeccable example of the Evolve team’s keen eye for history and innovation is the Marion condo seen in these pages. An 1840’s Greek revival, this home is characterized by breathtaking architecture and unique details like a spectacular wooden staircase and original mantels. There is an inherent sense of sophistication imbued into a home like this, a deep feeling of triumphant responsibility and destiny that comes with assuming the Grecian architecture that served as the foundation for modern democracy. Large columns and ornate doors during this time period became the design world’s entryway into the American identity. It’s a lofty responsibility for a home to carry and an even bigger onus for a designer to undertake in preserving that identity, but with their vast expertise and innate respect for a home’s past, Evolve was well positioned for the task.
“What was originally designed worked so well, even today,” says Egan of the home. “For us, it was really about making it fit for modern living,” agrees Linder. “There’s this striking image you see outside of such a gorgeous, historic home. We wanted to preserve that same feeling inside, so the first thing you see when you walk in is the original staircase; then, we updated it with these fantastic colors which really turn it into a modern day beach house.”
More of those modern updates include a charming powder room under the stairs complete with tropical fish printed curtains and textured wallpaper, and a new, open floor plan layout for the kitchen that provides a conversation between the cooking and dining areas. And, of course, the staircase is the focal point. “The balusters were really unusual, so to accent that, Josh chose this geometric wallpaper,” explains Egan. “It really amplifies the geometry of the architecture throughout the home. Front halls can be challenging because there’s really not enough room for furniture, so you have to rely on the wall space.” Wavy lines of teal, lime, and aqua blue splash the walls with an airy, laid-back vibe that partners well with the vast, rich trove of tales that this centuries-old staircase certainly holds.
“We also decided to paint the trim all different colors throughout the house,” adds Linder. “People often think that historic homes were all white, but actually the opposite is true. Many older homes make use of deep, rich colors and we wanted to play off of that.”
“White trim is really a modern trend,” agrees Egan, demonstrating the wealth of architectural and design knowledge that Evolve brings to the table—a knowledge that clearly spans centuries. “Back when these homes were built, you would have to add a lot of acid and lime to get the right color, and it became very toxic. At that time, people used color to give them energy—we feed off of that kind of spirit when we design homes like this.” It wouldn’t be an Evolve home, though, if Linder and Egan didn’t put their own twist on the rich hues and colorful characteristics that once made this space so spectacular. “Historic colors can sometimes feel like someone tripped over the extension cord and the lights went out,” jokes Egan, explaining that the popular tones nearly two centuries ago are often very muted. “We don’t want to hold too hard and fast to the way things used to be done. We like to take those historic colors and play off of them instead of letting them dominate a space.”
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