Home Design

How One Couple Gave a Modern Seaport Condo a More Classic Style

With help from interior designer Paula Daher.


Furniture maker: Salmon Falls Woodworks. Interior Designer: Daher Interior Design. Millworker: Adams + Beasley Associates / Photo by Michael J. Lee

The Problem

Looking to move closer to family, two empty-nesters swapped their New Hampshire digs for a 2,100-square-foot Seaport condo. But while the unit’s covetable location and unrivaled views of Boston Harbor were exactly what they were looking for, the living area’s contemporary finishes (think: high-gloss, lacquered cabinetry and snow-white walls) didn’t align with their traditional tastes.

The Solution

To meld their classic style with the home’s ultramodern feel, interior designer Paula Daher softened the space with warm accents. In the dining area, for instance, she dressed up a blank wall with panels of white oak. “In a contemporary building, you want to bring in natural elements so the space feels more grounded,” Daher says. The pieces frame a geometric Harlequin wallcovering, which creates a focal point above the new channeled banquette and custom dining table.

In the sitting area, meanwhile, the designer drew inspiration from the couple’s impressive collection of paintings, displayed throughout the space. Playing off the canvases’ pops of color, she paired neutral-hued furniture such as the A. Rudin tête-à-tête with vibrant accent pillows and throws and dusty-rose ottomans. “We took elements of what they had so their new home feels familiar yet fresh,” Daher says. “It was out of their comfort zone. But they love the space.”