Interior Designer Fran Keenan shares her expert approach to layering prints to achieve a harmonious pattern mix.
Birmingham, Alabama – Interior designer Fran Keenan has seamlessly blended the charm of the English countryside with the sophistication of French aesthetics in her latest project, an English-inspired home outside Birmingham, Alabama. The stone-clad storybook dwelling that Fran affectionately refers to as the Cotswold Cottage, was designed to evoke the historical pedigree of the late 19th century and reflects Fran’s deep appreciation for history and her knack for creating spaces that stand the test of time.
A Creative Journey: From Small-Town Mississippi to the Big Apple
Fran’s creative journey began in the small town of Mississippi, where her parents laid the foundation for her love of design. Her mother, a beauty seeker with a penchant for pulling together rooms, and her father, a retired heart surgeon with a talent for painting, cultivated an environment that inspired Fran from a young age. After studying fashion design in college, Fran found herself captivated by the vibrant personalities and creative endeavors in New York City, eventually leading her to a career that seamlessly combines her passion for fashion and interiors.
Now, as a wife and mother of three, Fran works alongside her husband, creating a dynamic partnership where her design strengths perfectly complement his skills. Together, they’ve turned the Cotswolds Cottage into a masterpiece that captures the essence of timeless elegance.
A Fusion of English & French Elegance
Fran describes the style of the Cotswolds Cottage as a harmonious blend of English and French furniture, adorned with threadbare antique rugs and a fearless approach to layering patterns. What Fran loves most about the Cotswolds Cottage is its ability to feel old, despite being less than two years old. It’s a testament to the power of well-thought-out design choices, proving that a house can exude a timeless “feeling” with the right touches.The home exudes a “new, yet made to feel old” ambiance, paying homage to the historical charm of the late 19th century.
Mastering the Art of Pattern Play: Fran’s Tips for Layering
Fran Keenan’s approach to layering patterns is likened to making soup, where textures, colors, and a cohesive design serve as the flavorful broth. She shares three essential tips for achieving a harmonious pattern mix:
DEFINE YOUR VIBE . . . Whether it’s neutrals, contrasting solids, or a mix of colors and patterns, identify the vibe you want to create.
CRAFT YOUR PALETTE . . . Select a color palette with front-running hues and complementary shades. Ensure fabrics align with your desired color scheme for a cohesive look.
STRATEGIC PLACEMENT . . . Thoughtfully place patterns in the room, allowing some to take the spotlight while others dance in the background. Consider scale and proportion to create visual harmony.
Fran emphasizes that adding layers to a room is like adding layers to a person—more layers often contribute to a richer and more interesting experience.
The Power of Color and Pattern: A Luxurious Reflection of Self
Fran believes that one of life’s greatest luxuries is living in a space that reflects one’s personality and lifelong pursuits. For her, the incorporation of color and pattern is not just a design choice; it’s a testament to a well-lived life. Compelling, comfortable rooms are the greatest compliment to Fran, where each corner is an invitation to explore and experience the layers of design.
Fran’s Love Affair with Stripes
When it comes to patterns, Fran confesses her enduring love for stripes. Whether bold or subtle, stripes find a special place in her heart. Additionally, she is drawn to aged white grounds with single-color, small-repeat prints—like a living homage to the elegance of a bygone era.
Creative Chaos Corner: Where Brilliance Takes Shape
Fran’s creative process is a constant hum, with her brain never truly switching off. Whether restyling surfaces or solving design dilemmas, she finds inspiration in turning on music, lighting a candle, and letting her brilliant ideas come to life.
Turning a House into a Home: The Art of Mixing
According to Fran, the secret to a homeworthy space lies in the mix. It’s the combination of styles, textures, and stories that draw people in, inviting them to turn every corner with eager anticipation. For Fran Keenan, creating a home is an art, and the mix is the masterpiece.