Refresh your home with these easy, colorful design tips and tricks
Richmond, Virginia — In the heart of Richmond’s historic Ginter Park neighborhood is a home that exudes a timeless charm and artistic flair. Dana Gibson, a seasoned product designer and artist, has transformed the 20th century Georgian Revival into a haven of color, creativity and design.
The journey that led Dana and her family to this house is a blend of history and a passion for older homes. It’s one of those places where you can’t help but imagine the stories etched into its walls. “This house needed extensive repairs to the roof, basement and chimneys,” says Gibson, “revitalizing something this beautiful and with so much history was important to us.”
As you step into the house, you’ll notice that it’s like a lively canvas, where each room has its own unique character. It’s all about making a space feel right before diving into any big changes. Over time, Dana’s added color in all sorts of ways, from curtains and paint to art, pillows, fresh flowers, home accessories, wallpaper and even repainting old furniture.
“When we first moved in, I painted the majority of the house white. After a few years of the white front hall, I picked out a green that relates to many of the rooms and the patterns and collections there,” says Gibson.
“Green is a color that works for this house because of the large original plate glass windows that frame the bamboo grove and crepe myrtle.”
Now, Dana’s what you’d call a color enthusiast – not the kind who’ll shy away from a dash of purple velvet or a standout piece of art, even in the most classic settings. She believes color adds a sense of festivity and occasion, much like the right piece of jewelry to an outfit.
Art is scattered around the house, with a captivating Hunt Slonem painting and treasured portraits by Dana’s grandfather from the 1920s. These pieces add a sense of character and a dash of history to the space.
“Art is just the ticket to add color. I like bold modern abstracts as much as I like patinaed landscapes and portraits,” explains Gibson. “Art adds interest and depth but it can also guide you when selecting other colorful elements. The portrait of the pink lady in the living room was the impetus for pink curtains.”
“Pillows are ideal when you want to add a fresh look to a room and also when a new direction isn’t quite clear. A matching set of pillows is a great way to make a room begin to sing with color.”
Her favorite colors to work with? Think bold – orange, pink, yellow, and chartreuse. These hues bring her designs to life, and she often takes cues from her surroundings, letting the environment influence her choices.
“Purchasing decorative accents like a bowl or cachepot is another way to scatter color throughout a room. Use a colorful ceramic vase in bookshelves or a bowl like this one on a coffee table,” explains Gibson, “even painting a cabinet or a small wall can be a fun way to get the color fix you are craving.”
Moving to a larger home meant making some splurges, from a set of dining chairs to an exquisite Murano mirror from England and a cherished Swedish desk from Kim Faison Antiques. Each piece is like a work of art in its own right.
The minute you walk in, it’s about comfort and ease. It’s a place where the furniture moves around with the occasion, where friends and family can make themselves at home and adjust the setup as they see fit.
Dana’s professional journey wasn’t a straight path; it’s all about making things she loves. Her creations are a reflection of her personal style, featuring colorful art, exquisite writing instruments, and warm, inviting lamps.
To Dana, a home isn’t just a place; it’s a treasure chest filled with memories and a canvas for creativity. Every room tells a story, every color has a voice, and every piece of art shares the secrets of history and artistry. Dana’s home embodies the essence of comfort and beauty, where art and design harmonize seamlessly to craft an inviting, colorful, and entirely distinctive living space.