Together, red, white and blue often evoke feelings of comfort, familiarity and tradition. So when a Denver family hired designer Nadia Watts to personalize their new home, she chose a fresh take on the patriotic palette to create a welcoming haven loved ones could enjoy for years to come.
“The couple appreciates American antiques, and they gravitate toward a red, white and blue color scheme,” explains Watts. “I took the colors and added my own eye to them.” The result is an inviting dwelling done in shades of pale blue, berry red and whites that beautifully complement the clients’ collection of heirlooms and needlepoint pieces.
“The house was newly built, and I noticed a lot of potential the first time I saw it,” remembers Watts. “I was in charge of adding warmth with personal touches through elements like finishes, wall coverings, drapes and lighting.”
Serving as a prime example of Watts’ nuanced color palette approach, the dining room features navy-and-white patterned seating, two deep-red wicker captain chairs, and drapes with a delicate blue-and-raspberry floral pattern. The varied color intensities and textures give the room “depth and interest,” Watts points out. The crisp white paneling provides a fresh backdrop for pieces like the dark-wood antique sideboard, while “the lighter tones in the rug, walls and drapes make the darker colors pop,” she adds.
A subtle color shift happens in what the family calls the “puzzle room,” where a cool, light blue-gray shade allows the warm natural tones of the pine armoire and round table—around which relatives can leisurely tackle a jigsaw—to shine. Again, a similar light-dark contrast occurs between the living room, where a large wall of glass doors sets the walls aglow with natural light, and an adjacent sitting room, which feels cozy covered in a blue grasscloth, blue-hued rattan sofa and a striped blue-and-white rug.
In the kitchen, the color needle reverts to white. Working with the room’s pre-existing dark-wood ceilings and light cabinets, Watts tied the space with the rest of the house adding navy counter stools and a red lantern fixture from Harbinger New York.
Beyond the main living space, the colorway extends to two bedrooms that each take on an Americana hue. The red room gets a big dose of pattern from the flowered Schumacher fabric that covers the bed frame and composes the drapes. “With the boldness of the floral textile, I selected calmer bedding,” notes Watts. The blue bedroom sounds a quieter note, with pale walls and blues that run from sky to navy. “The client has a collection of wildlife and nature illustrations, and this seemed like the perfect space to hang them,” the designer says of the soothing room.
When paired with refined accents and beloved furnishings, the edited palette makes for a cohesive design that’s both charming and functional. “The rooms relate to each other beautifully, and you can move pieces from one room to the next as needed,” says Watts. “I love how a simple idea became something so layered.”