Calm & Collected

Interior designer Gerald Pomeroy creates an intimate urban retreat overlooking the Public Garden.

GERALD POMEROY DIDN’T ASK client to spend time gathering design magazine clippings, an exercise architects and decorators often demand of homeowners to help them define their taste. Nor did the South End–based interior designer ask for a list of her preferred fabrics and colors when she hired him to design her condominium facing the Public Garden.

Instead, Pomeroy, who has designed a range of classy projects in New England and beyond, including the College Club on Commonwealth Avenue, became somewhat of a sleuth. To divine her favorite hues, textures, and accessories, he carefully observed how she dressed and listened to what she said. “She loves the color seafoam,” Pomeroy concluded. “She wears it a lot and uses it as often as possible.” He also noted that she accessorized with summery seaside shades and platinum, no doubt reminiscent of coastal Florida, where she spends much of the winter to escape Boston weather.

While he listened to her speak fondly of her 15 grandchildren, he made a mental note: delicate colors, durable fabrics. And after outfitting most of the 5,000-square-foot condominium in 2008, the designer returned last October to finish a private wing for her, including a master bedroom, bath, sitting room, foyer, and entry spaces.

Pomeroy found a rare 18th-century Italian sunburst mirror and used it as the centerpiece for the narrow entry to the unit. The piece seemed to match his client’s sunny disposition.

In the first anteroom, he commissioned Hyde Park artist Susan Harter to paint a garden scene on all four walls. “This is a good place for amural, because it brings the outdoors into a landlocked space,” he says, referring to its windowless location between the living room and the owner’s suite. The bucolic image includes a Chinese Chippendale lattice motif that references the client’s dining chairs.

Approaching the elegant sitting room at the heart of the suite is like finding the jewel inside a series of beautifully wrapped boxes. The cozy room overlooks downtown Boston through a pair of delicately paned windows. Here Pomeroy celebrated the homeowner’s favorite colors in everything from the upholstery to the custom wool carpet. The rug’s pattern — circles in sea green, apricot, darker greens, and platinum — suggests pebbles along the shore. A curvaceous crystal chandelier, tinted a paler version of the dominant seafoam color, descends from the ceiling. The space is refined and feminine, yet supremely comfortable.

Done in pale greens and soft neutrals, the adjoining master bedroom is a study in restfulness. “We added texture and a bit of shimmer; it is her look,” says Pomeroy. The gentle aesthetic, however, eschews frilly fussiness. “The silk bedroom curtains, for example, are sleek and simple, with a subtle sheen and dressmaker details,” the designer points out. “Her tufted headboard has ogee arches; it’s urban sophistication at its finest.”

The master bathroom features Ming-style green marble countertops paired with a white freestanding sink cabinet and a built-in makeup cabinet designed to look like it’s freestanding. Beyond is a bright walk-in closet. “When it comes to interiors,” Pomeroy says, “I could see that she liked a collected look and transitional, bordering on abstract, art.”

But for all its delicacy, this home can withstand heavy use. “She is devoted to her grandchildren,” Pomeroy says of his client. A wing of guest rooms with en suite bathrooms stands at the ready so they can sleep over in comfort.

“We chose all the fabrics and surface treatments with them in mind,” he continues. “They can run, play, and even spill something. Everything can be cleaned; this is a home for living.”