Ashley Whittaker’s work is distinctively classic and sophisticated, but also inviting and warm. Dubbed a neo-traditionalist, she fearlessly marries adventurous colors and patterns in rooms yet still manages to retain a sense of elegance and restraint. In The Well-Loved House, she shares a selection of dwellings, from gracious Connecticut estates to chic Manhattan pieds-à-terre to waterfront beach houses on the Florida coast, most exclusively photographed for this book, including her own house never before seen. Whittaker believes houses are meant to be beautiful, but also lived in and enjoyed, and she shares her knowledge and strategies for achieving this interplay. Within each house, Whittaker offers guidance on furniture plans, complementing the architecture of a space, playing with color, and mixing pattern. She explains why it is important to have consistent threads throughout a home, but also contrast and juxtaposition. The results are stunning: Bohemian patterns mix with classic palettes; rich, saturated color mingles with highly polished finishes. Lacquered blue walls show off a collection of blue-and-white porcelain. An inviting L-shaped sofa and games table reinvent an unused library into a favorite space for socializing. Whittaker’s houses all share both a sense of drama and a sense of comfort—they are homes that welcome you at the end of a long day, homes for living, homes to love.
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