Traditional White Decorating Ideas
What the Doctor Ordered
By Katy McColl
Physicians Anne Favret and Bill Gallagher rely on a healthy measure of white to loosen up the formal antiques in their Washington, D.C., home.
Anne Favret and Bill Gallagher have always worked hard to create a comfortable home for their children. So as their medical careers progressed from stipends to salaries, the couple began to dream about building their forever home in Washington, D.C. In 2000, Favret and Gallagher won the consulting services of architect Donald Lococo at an auction benefiting their children's school. His concept—combining new construction with historic soul—spurred them to break ground.
So when Lococo suggested the pair hire Darryl Carter to round out the house's interior, they listened, especially after Favret reviewed the designer's portfolio and saw that it perfectly mirrored the inspirational photos she'd been clipping from magazines for years—all pale walls and creamy furnishings, dramatically contrasted against dark-wood floors.
In this photo: In the foyer, a vintage bronze-and-glass bell pendant hangs above a 19th-century leather-topped table and Persian Tabriz rug.
Dark-walnut floors, green soapstone counters, and custom stools (painted Benjamin Moore's Phelps Black) bring weight to the kitchen's white cabinetry. The built-ins and trims throughout the house are painted Bancroft White by Darryl Carter Colors by Benjamin Moore.
An Italian military bed frame, topped with reclaimed wood, serves as the breakfast room table. Gustavian chairs from the early 1800s boast custom miniskirts; the antiqued brass fixtures are by Vaughan. The paint color here (and in the foyer, family room, and master bathroom) is Huntington White by Darryl Carter Colors by Benjamin Moore.
Bright Idea: Turning a fabric's "wrong" side faceup, as designer Darryl Carter did here, can reveal a bold pattern's subtle pattern.
White Living Room
Custom club sofas flank the family room's centerpiece, an oversize midcentury coffee table fashioned from iron and bleached oak. Carter found the antique twist-turned-leg side chairs at a local shop, Random Harvest. Favret's collection of old ironstone fills the built-in shelves, and aged finds—like a brass candelabra, globes, and a display of pinned butterflies—lend patina.
Bright Idea: A built-in ledge, painted the same color as the wall, offers an unobtrusive workstation.
Blue-and-White Master Bedroom
For this home, Carter chose classic milky shades, as well as the palest robin's egg blue (Albermarle Blue by Darryl Carter Colors by Benjamin Moore) in the master bedroom. He even convinced the couple that their dark-brown four-poster bed could make the move from relic to marvel with light-gray paint. "Bill and I like traditional furniture, but here it looks modern because everything's stripped down—there's no knick-knack-paddy-whack," Favret explains.
In this photo: Benjamin Moore's Ashmead Gray transformed the master bedroom's mahogany Henkel Harris four-poster. Custom drapes from Calico Corners add a hint of pattern, and an antique leather trunk provides extra storage. The duvet and shams are by Area.
Carrara marble makes a big statement in the master bath, covering the walls, floor, and counters.
Home Sweet Home
Bill Gallagher (holding Nick, a retriever-poodle mix) and Anne Favret relax on their front porch with (from left) daughter Abby and sons Aiden and Andrew
"I wanted to retreat to a place that's quiet and serene," Favret says. "After work, I pour a glass of wine, hang out with the kids, and cook dinner. I love my little evening routine—really, I just love coming home."