If you like The Real Housewives of New York, you already know how gorgeous Dorinda’s Berkshires manse is. If you pretend to be above watching reality television, let me tickle your fancy with this fact: Her inspiration was Marilyn Monroe meets Frankenstein, per TownVibe Berkshire. If that’s not badass, I don’t know what is.
Like Dorinda, her home is stately on the outside and full of color on the inside. She named the property Blue Stone Manor during her first season on the show, and it conjures thoughts of garden parties and discussion of politics by a fireplace. Once you step inside, you’re walloped by the playfulness. Giant purple velvet Chesterfield sofas flank a stone fireplace. A faux zebra skin rug lies in between them. In the next room, two giant blue velvet English roll arm sofas flank yet another fireplace, wrapped in lacquered blue walls. It’s eclectic and fabulous and I won’t hear you say otherwise.
The key here is taking classic shapes and infusing them with unexpected color and pattern. The sofas are a great example. Chesterfields and roll arm sofas would be at home in an English manor house or an Upper East Side brownstone, but they’d be beige or chocolate leather and while that look can be handsome, it’s not terribly thrilling. And you, dear reader, are thrilling.
Another key component to getting this look is choosing more than one pop of color. In her living room with the two purple sofas are yellow armchairs and turquoise draperies. Find complementary colors and don’t be afraid to put the on large pieces in your space. The balance comes from natural materials. Dorinda has wood paneling throughout most of her first floor. If you don’t have the luxury of wood paneling or the ability to install it, definitely consider adding crown molding (less expensive, but still makes an impact). A dark paint color on the walls will give you a traditional feeling as well. Then incorporate hearty, traditional pieces. By that I mean, iron chandeliers and sconces and a wooden coffee table. These look substantial and have a grounding effect next to the colorful pieces.
The final step is cleaning up at antique stores, estate sales, and Goodwill. Skip the mismatched tea cups and go for big, bold conversation pieces like giant globes, Victorian busts, or large framed landscapes. Now you’ve got the perfect place to corral a bunch of middle aged women, booze them up, and watch them spill their secrets. Fun!
Get the look
- Sofa: Sofamania Charleston Classic Chesterfield Velvet Sofa, $579.99
- Rug: CB2 Faux Zebra Rug, $699
- Chairs: Burciaga Swivel Barrel Chair, sale $259.99
- Coffee table: RH Balustrade Salvaged Wood Table, from $1,276
- Copper table: Anthropologie Kapona Tray Table, $128
- Peacock table: Anthropologie Pavo Side Table, $398
- Lamp: Lamps Plus Double Gourd Table Lamp, $99.99
- Chandelier: Shades of Light Minimalist Iron Ring Chandelier, $648
- Curtains: Sun Zero Talisha Grommet Room Darkening Window Curtain Panel, from $11.69
- Moulding: Ribbon Rope Polyurethane Crown Moulding, $20.88/ea
- Paint colors: Benjamin Moore White Heron OC-57; Benjamin Moore Charlton Brown CW-265
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