Leave it to Summer Eliason Design to style your home from drab to colorfully fab
By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos by Kathryn Harrington
It all started with the Hermès wallpaper. After visiting the home of renowned garden and landscape designer, Jon Carloftis, this homeowner was inspired and knew what she wanted. “My original vision was the Hermès Fil D’Argent wallpaper lining the back of the glass cabinets in my kitchen,” said Lauren Sharp Anderson, the homeowner and an Account Executive for Red Pin Media. “This idea came to mind when I visited Botherum, Carloftis’ home, and was blown away by the elegance of it. I asked Jon if I could steal his idea and he was so kind to say yes. However, I discovered that Hermès stopped making wallpaper so I texted Jon and he even tried to locate the paper for me in Paris,” explained Anderson. “I had my kitchen remodeled by Kiel Thomson Company Construction and designed everything based on that wallpaper.” Anderson then turned to Summer Eliason Design for a solution. “When I reached out to Summer, not knowing if by chance she had any rolls in her store, unfortunately, the answer was no, it had been discontinued. She offered to help me find something else and we both agreed on the Dorothy Draper banana leaf wallpaper seen in The Greenbrier.” Redecorating the kitchen led to Eliason and Anderson going from room to room in Andersons’ home sprinkling in pops of color.
The process began in the kitchen, the only room Anderson had planned on redecorating. After choosing the Dorothy Draper wallpaper, Anderson realized she loved the pop of color it added to her all-white kitchen and decided to add more pops of color to other rooms in her home. “Lauren loves color and she has a lot of energy,” said Eliason. “She kept expressing that she wanted more color in her home and, like a lot of people right now, needs color because 2020 had been such a trying year. It seemed like prior everyone was doing a lot of white and grey. I think that color brought back the energy that people were seeking.”
Although Anderson’s husband was apprehensive about all of the bright colors being added to their home, Anderson and Eliason pushed forward, and to Mr. Anderson’s surprise, he loved what they created. Before Eliason came into the picture, the Andersons’ home had a color palette of greys, creams and whites. “My husband and I changed the paint color in our living room at least five times because we couldn’t get the look we wanted and we thought it was the paint color. But when Summer came in and helped me decorate, the paint color didn’t have to change.”
Moving to the family room, they decided to shellac the bar a mystical light blue to add a pop of color there. They took a cocktail table that was already in that space and painted it a bright, shiny orange color to add even more color. Behind the bookcase, an orange grasscloth wallpaper was added before they took to working on the bookshelves themselves, “Which is an art in and of itself,” Eliason said. They also added more seating options to both the family and living room. While adding new items throughout the house, they kept antique items that Anderson already had as well. “She had some antique tables and pieces that we wanted to keep because we like mixing the new and the old for a more eclectic look,” Eliason explained. During the project, Anderson discovered that Eliason is also a painter, a hobby she revived during quarantine in the spring, so Eliason’s paintings can be found sprinkled around Anderson’s house as well.
Redesigning and redecorating a home can be a daunting task, and when I asked both Anderson and Eliason if they had any difficulties, they both laughed and immediately said, “None!” Anderson explained, “We really didn’t. She sent me what I like to call ‘inspiration boards’ with ideas and we would pick and choose and go from there. She was in my house moving my furniture around, but it needed to be that way. I needed some guidance. We believe honesty is the best policy, so we tell each other the truth about what we like and what we don’t.” Eliason believes that it’s not up to the interior designer to make every decision about their client’s house; after all, they’re not going to be the ones living there. “I want your house to reflect you. I really try to listen to what the client likes,” said Eliason. “I try to lead it in a certain direction if I can that I think looks great but I definitely don’t think everyone has to have one specific thing. We’re all different and it’s your space. It needs to be a place where you feel comfortable, your sanctuary and a place where you can go home and relax.”
The project hasn’t been fully completed as some of the pieces they’re waiting on are still on backorder. The kitchen, living room, family room and her daughter’s bathroom are complete. Anderson’s daughter’s room is almost complete, and the powder room and dining room are in the works. “We were acquaintances before the process, but throughout the process, we’ve become best friends who talk every day, so it’s been really fun. I don’t think I’ll be able to stop!” Anderson laughed.
Summer Eliason Design
2846 Frankfort Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206
Kiel Thomson Company Construction
925 Samuel Street
Louisville, KY 40204