Designer Sonya Randell helps a couple blend minimalist, Scandinavian elements with a playful sensibility in their Wellesley, Massachusetts bedroom.
Photos by Joyelle West
For couples, redesigning a shared space can be a creative tug of war that surfaces a slew of unknowns: Will our tastes mesh? Will we go round in circles over window treatments? Will we end up losing our minds somewhere along the way? Fortunately, couple Katie Freketic and Johnny Earle managed to side step any collaborative debacles when updating their Wellesley, Massachusetts bedroom. Their trick? Approaching the project with a solid idea of their individual tastes, and a commitment to blending the two together in a cohesive way. To help harmonize their distinctive styles, they tapped Homepolish designer Sonya Randell.
“[Johnny and Katie] were looking for someone who could help them transform this somewhat unremarkable space into something that was not only a reflection of their individual styles, but a union of both in ways that made the space feel like it was home to each of them,” Sonya explains.
Johnny was drawn to a Mid-Century Modern aesthetic punctuated with bold, colorful pop art. Katie, on the hand, prefers more a simple, subdued Scandinavian design. Sonya worked to weave in elements of each in a way that best supports the function of the specific area.
She started by establishing a predominantly neutral palette with pops of light pink to invite some fun, playful color into the roomy space. Sonya ended up using the room’s atypical shape to the couple’s advantage by dividing it into different zones.
“Early on, Johnny and Katie mentioned that they wanted this space to accomplish several functional goals,” Sonya says. “This was a bedroom, but it was also a place that they wanted to work and lounge, and the size of the space meant we could create different zones for each of these activities.”
To differentiate these zones, Sonya used different wall coverings and brought focus to each area via the visual weight of the rugs, like a handmade wool design beneath the bed and an ivory sheepskin rug in the lounge area. Once she defined the spaces, she focused on making each one cater to its purpose, whether the area was designed for lounging, working, or sleeping. When choosing between Johnny and Katie’s styles, she opted for the one that best supported the function of each zone.
For instance, the bed itself better complemented Katie’s more pared-down, Scandinavian style. They gravitated towards more neutral shades and established the space as a warm, cozy retreat.
“We’re talking warm blankets, pillows, soft carpeting, all opportunities to showcase texture in ways that create visual interest but are also striking materials to the touch,” Sonya shares.
To pay homage to Johnny’s love of pop art, Sonya created a floor-to-ceiling gallery wall, using Johnny and Katie’s existing art selection as a starting point and scanning the web for other complementary pieces. She also added some art to a greenery wall, set a against the pink accent wall, which Katie and Johnny both agreed on.
One of Sonya’s favorite moments connects each distinctive zone: the chevron flooring, which Johnny enlisted his father to install.
The resulting space is, as Sonya describes it, “distinctly Johnny & Katie—a unique combination of styles put together just for them.”
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