By Kymberly Taylor • Photography by Jennifer Hughes
Before Kim and Mark McVicker began their redecorating journey, their home’s personality ranged from traditional to casual modern. Art was not in the equation. Kim did not care much for the art she knew about—the neatly framed oil paintings that hung in her parents’ house. How did she get from that staid home to her current one, filled with artistic flair and pulsing with light and bold gestures, organic materials and fine custom finishes?
It did not happen over night. The secret is Katalin Farnady, of Farnady Interiors based in Annapolis. Farnady, describing her first meeting with Kim, says, “She knew what she didn’t want.” So the decorator experimented. And as she spent more time getting to know Kim and Mark, she discovered the couple’s bright and adventurous spirits within. This is what Farnady searches for and seeks to manifest through each design—a client’s personal spirit. “Spirit and emotion are the qualities I like to get into a room. I feel like that as long as you have a room that can speak for itself and has a spirit, you’re done,” says Farnady.
After a series of formal presentations to her client, Farnady learned tangible things as well, mainly that Kim loves shells, natural materials, and that her favorite color combination is brown and white. “I said ‘say no more. I am going to carry that through,’” recalls Farnady.
And she did. In the living room, she manipulated these two tones by mixing shades, patterns, and fabrics. Embedded in each space is a striking piece of artwork, an unexpected combination of patterns, a piece of furniture that startles then becomes a meditation on form. For instance, a cluster of balls float above the fire place. The linen covering the chairs in geometric brown and white patterns are offset dramatically by the custom rug’s flowing lines. A side table is made from a turtle shell with a mirror top. Shades of brown and white continue forward into the velvet sofa, strewn with alligator pillows; balancing the darker hues are window treatments, composed of creamy suede executed by Margaret Blunt of Sew Beautiful, and a white coffee table with a high shine. Farnady incorporated Kim’s taste into the design: the room is bright and airy, and white corals and shells line the built-in bookcases.
Farnady has her own thoughts about the discipline of design: “There is the purpose of design and there are the rules … there should also be rule breaking. I like to mix things that don’t necessarily go hand in hand but at the end, when the project is finished, all work in harmony.” This kind of design cycle, when all things, all circles and triangles converge, says Farnady, “is music to my ears.”
An example of this kind of symphony is the dining room. The huge chain motif on the oversized custom-designed rug captivate. The shadings inside the chains are the same color values that appear in the living room. The chains also echo the silvers and golds in the striped wall coverings. The silver leather valence, also executed by Sew Beautiful, stands out in its own brilliance with masterful stitching. The rug’s “straightforward meaning is to tie together everything in the room,” says Farnady, but also, “It is about connection, and like a chain it connects the two rooms.” The dining room became an opportunity for a further artistic conversion when Farnady showed Kim a work by Baltimore artist Amanda Boutell that incorporates snakeskin, fabric swatches and leftover pieces of jewelry. “She loved it, and after this said, ‘What else do you got?’”
“By the time we got to the master bedroom I could bring in more art,” says Farnady. The client wanted her bedroom to look like an upscale hotel, with organic clean forms. Golds and browns cycle through the room. There is a leather headboard and frame complemented by nightstands covered in alligator embossed leather. An adjacent three-dimensional rectangular dresser draws the eye. With pointy triangles and no hardware at all, it exudes the mysterious charm of an armadillo. A water color on rice paper by painter Patrice Drago is framed in glass on the wall. This creates a delicacy that balances the heavier furnishings and blacks. A hand painted grass cloth wallpaper in the adjacent hall invites inspection. Included in the hall is something else unusual, a work in reverse: a side table that has raw wood on the outside but is completely finished underneath.
The McVickers love their home. But, according to Kim, adding artistic flair was a process. “I didn’t want to go all crazy on art. It grew on me and I really have an appreciation now… art makes or breaks a room. The fact that Katalin was able to do that for me, to help me see this, may be one of the very best things that’s happened here.” This house is certainly “happening,” for there is a kind of centrifugal force here, as materials and colors whirl and settle. Farnady defines a finished room as “a design that circles itself and speaks for itself.” This home invites connection and something rare: conversation with you.
INTERIOR DESIGN: Farnady Interiors, farnadyinteriors.com, Annapolis, Maryland | ARCHITECT: The Riegel Design Studio, theriegeldesignstudio.com, Severna Park, Maryland | CARPENTER: Chris Shackelford, Shackelford Builders, LLC, shackelfordbuilders.com, Edgewater, Maryland | DINING ROOM ART: Amanda Boutwell, A. Boutwell Art, aboutwellart.com, Baltimore, Maryland | BEDROOM ART: Patrice Drago, Patrice Drago Art Studio, patricedrago.com, Annapolis, Maryland | WINDOW TREATMENTS: Designed by Farnady Interiors and executed by Sew Beautiful, sewbeautifulwindows.com, Severna Park, Maryland | RUGS: The Rug Company, therugcompany.com/us | FLOORS: Beers Flooring, beershardwoodfloors.com, Annapolis, Maryland | FAUX/ARTISTIC FINISHES: Wood Design Group, 410.544.9271
Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 8, No. 5 2017