In the design world, trends are king; from color crazes to the usual floor plans, design is a universe ruled by the delicate balance between common and uncommon, timeless and modern, fashionable and personal. Style movements are the frameworks, the meticulously laid out rulebooks, within which individual flair lives. But, Evolve Residential doesn’t follow the rules. “Evolve does not have a particular style,” says Josh Linder, 1 of 3 principals of Evolve Residential, a Boston-based firm founded in 2008. “We do not follow trends. Instead, we love creating something new for each client—something that reflects the best expression of their own personal aesthetic and that will hold up, stylistically, for decades.”
Evolve’s work certainly speaks for itself, fluidly mixing traditional and experimental elements to create incredible design experiences—spaces that are journeys more so than they are static living areas. And while Linder might say that Evolve doesn’t have one particular style, it would be easy to argue that the colorful, energetic spaces they create are a style all their own, one that gracefully masters traditionalism and then invigorates it to become a 21st century space tailored to each clients personal needs and flair.
“We have always pushed ourselves to offer something unique in our expression—to attract attention,” says Linder. “One of our core principles is the combination of decoration and architecture; to us, it is one organic whole.” With the home project featured in these pages, the objective was to breathe energy and enthusiasm into the space, using bold colors and certain detailed elements of unpredictability to reflect the vibrant, electrifying personalities of the homeowners. “Our main goal was to have the house be a reflection of our colorful and cool clients,” explains Linder. After all, as Oscar Wilde once put it, “Mere color can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.” And, with the thousands of different colors utilized throughout this home, one can only imagine the soul-stirring that occurs within its brick walls.
“Every single time we enter the house, we fall in love with a new part,” says Linder about the project. The color choices alone—from lively, textured wallpaper (even on the ceiling) to daring color choices like a deep forest green in the guest bathroom—make a bold statement. But beyond that, there’s intricately carved crown molding in the living room, a bright orange carpet runner on the grand staircase (encased by a deep navy banister, of course), a true forest of houseplants (both indoors in the literal “green” room that makes use of an emerald colored couch and jade, grass-like carpet, and outside on two separate patios), a mirrored fireplace that reflects the light of the roaring embers across the room, a royal blue door to greet guests as they move throughout the space, and geometrically spaced wall hangings along the staircases so there’s always something to ponder over as you make your way up and down—to name just a few eye-catching details.
“That’s the idea: the more you look, the more you should discover as you experience a house,” says Linder. His advice for creating something extraordinary and exciting is to incorporate color and pattern and to do so in unexpected ways or locations. Little details in unpredictable spaces are what make a design fun and take a home, with all its rich history, to new, unexpected, and most importantly, personal heights.
There’s no reason that design should not be fun—both during the process and in the end results—and Evolve Residential captures that exhilaration not only in every home they create, but also in every room and even down to every corner where you might find an attention-grabbing lamp, brightly patterned rug, unique painting, or soothing house plant. “Our approach is to intuitively understand each of our clients,” explains Linder, “to become deeply familiar with their ‘vibe,’ and then to create a highly individual space that reflects their personalities, their warmth, their needs…their new life.”
It’s difficult to capture exuberance within a couch cushion, intriguing archway or dynamic wall hanging, but somehow Evolve manages to do so time and again. Perhaps, their colorful charm can really only be described effectively as “va va voom.”
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