How a Couple Combined the Best of Glam and Traditional Home Styles

“How do we combine our different tastes?” It’s a common decorating conundrum and a problem this couple solved by throwing 50/50 splits out the window.

Becky Burley and Ann Mathews have well-defined, but disparate styles: Becky radiates friendly glam, from her bold patterned jackets to her vibrant heels. Ann prefers preppy, from her fitted blazers down to her lace-up oxfords.

When Ann moved in, Becky wanted to weave Ann's personality throughout their home. But blending their different decorating tastes required an expert-level mix master, Minneapolis designer Heather Peterson. Though her aim was to express each woman's style, Peterson's design formula isn't about creating perfect balance in every room. "Each space is either baseline Becky or Ann with different proportions of the other mixed in," says Peterson.

pink room with rack of clothes
Josh Grubbs

Becky's dressing room brings together her favorite things: high-contrast combos, some bold patterns, and lots of soft pink. This just-right shade: Melted Ice Cream 2095-70 by Benjamin Moore.

workout space with vintage tennis rackets
Josh Grubbs

Ann's signature style favors plaid wallpaper, clubby leather furniture, and—as seen in her basement "Ann Cave"—tennis-court green walls painted with Lafayette Green HC-135 by Benjamin Moore.

"This space represents both of our styles," Becky says. "It has a classic turn-of-the-century vibe with subtle softness." For her part, there's a bit of blush (Setting Plaster No. 231 by Farrow & Ball) on the ceiling and vintage chairs covered in a dramatic floral velvet. Ann gets a cozy dose of dark green (Studio Green No. 93 by Farrow & Ball) on the walls and drapes. Both influences work together to highlight the warm original woodwork in the 1925 bungalow.

sitting area with white brick fireplace
Josh Grubbs

The low armchairs belonged to Becky, but re-covering them in gray wool channels Ann's style (she dubs it "menswear with Nantucket leanings") and complements the vivid-blue tufted sofa. Brass accents, chosen to pick up the amber tones in the stained woodwork, appear throughout the house and help connect the different spaces. The walls are painted with Chantilly Lace OC-65 by Benjamin Moore.

Heather Peterson, Designer

A successful blend doesn't have to mean equal proportions in every room.

— Heather Peterson, Designer
people in kitchen enjoying drinks
Josh Grubbs

An addition gave the couple (pictured here with Becky's nephew) the much-appreciated function of a powder room and mudroom, plus space for a roomy island and double oven (points for Ann, who loves to cook). The timeless black-and-white palette speaks to both women, but the patterned floor tile, brass stools, and a clear glass pendant tip the scales toward the look Becky favors.


It's really about feeling represented and having what's important to you show up.

blue bedroom with painted ceiling
Josh Grubbs

Going dark on the walls was a tough call, Ann says. When Peterson initially suggested the inky teal color (Hague Blue No. 30 by Farrow & Ball), "I wasn't sure I could go that far," Becky says. "But now, we love the drama of it, and it's one of our favorite places to hang out, read, and watch movies."

Layers of rich greens and blues (as in the headboard and bench) create depth and dimension, capped off by a striking ceiling wallpapered in a marbled pattern (Venus by Thibaut).

bedroom with colorful textured wallpaper
Josh Grubbs

In the guest bedroom, black sharpens the soft mint-yellow pairing and the texture in flame stitch wallpaper and a tweed headboard.

bathroom with black and white wallpaper
Josh Grubbs

Over-scale and high contrast, the damask wallpaper balances classic white subway tile and mosaic floors. "The room is both vintage and modern," Peterson says.

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