Boston Home

Two-Part Harmony

Designer Justine Sterling improves flow, adds aesthetic interest, and creates cohesion in the dining room and adjacent foyer of a family’s spacious Victorian.

Photo by Jessica Delaney

When a family of six moved to a large Victorian home in Winchester, they enlisted interior designer Justine Sterling to revamp the outdated lavender-hued exterior. Soon after, they found themselves struggling to fill out the interior of their new—much larger—home. “They didn’t know how to create a flow in the house,” says Sterling, who also stepped inside to help, starting with the foyer and dining room.

To execute the classic, clean aesthetic the homeowners desired, Sterling revitalized the historical paneling with white and gray paint and added textural wallcoverings—Serena Dugan’s “Cassis” grasscloth in the dining room and Schumacher’s whimsical “Cirrus Clouds” sisal in the entry. Both spaces feature sleek white Visual Comfort chandeliers, patterned rugs, and a mix of old and new furnishings.

The centerpiece of the dining room is a custom Dunes and Duchess 10-seat dining table in gray oak—an enlarged version of one of the team’s standard designs with chunkier, more proportional legs. “You want to size the table for the room,” Sterling says. “It should fill the space adequately while leaving room [to walk] all the way around.” Sterling paired it with darker wood dining chairs and a sideboard from the family’s previous home that was freshly painted with Benjamin Moore’s “Chantilly Lace.” This combination of different textures and details is Sterling’s signature, lending itself to a classic New England home that doesn’t feel overly traditional. “We wanted to mix woods and create layering,” she says. “It’s all about a mix of finishes that are going to be in harmony, but nothing’s going to perfectly match.”

Interior Designer
Justine Sterling Design

First published in the print edition of Boston Home’s Fall 2023 issue, with the headline, “Two-Part Harmony.”