After a peek inside Alexis and McAndrew Rudisill’s north Cherry Creek house, you might be surprised to learn their last home, on New York City’s Upper East Side, was, in a word, monochromatic. “I vowed coming here that I’d have something more magical and whimsical,” says Alexis. “I knew I wanted to find a designer who could bring in color and still maintain elegance and refinement—not exactly an easy combination to capture.”

The born-and-raised New Yorker found that elusive skill in Andrea Schumacher, principal of Denver’s Andrea Schumacher Interiors. “I have very specific tastes, and I knew I would be very involved in the process,” Alexis says. “I just felt like the chemistry was right with Andrea.” The pair, along with Schumacher’s senior designer, Nikki Cohn, transformed a Georgian-style home with traditional leanings into a modern, rich space that is also kid-friendly for the couple’s two young daughters.

Family Room: The family room feels both fun and sophisticated with two swivel chairs upholstered in F. Schumacher & Co.’s Chiang Mai Dragon fabric (in alabaster). The sofa, in fabric from Gastón y Daniela, and tufted ottoman, in gray velvet from F. Schumacher & Co., play strong supporting roles. Breakfast Nook (pictured back, left) Eating breakfast is fun again thanks to Cat’s Eye Green paint by Benjamin Moore. The Saarinen Tulip table, ghost chairs, Lucite console table, and Arteriors Caviar pendant make the space mid-mod chic.

The trio began in the home’s family room, for which the designers proposed chairs upholstered in a vibrant Chiang Mai Dragon linen from F. Schumacher & Co. “It gave us a place to begin the color story for this home, which is definitely bold,” Schumacher says. “When Alexis loved that particular print, I knew we were going to have some fun.” The custom chairs swivel to face the navy sofa on one side of the room or the TV on the opposite wall, Schumacher says, “so the TV doesn’t become the main event.” Even the room’s token neutral piece—the custom gray tufted ottoman—gets a jolt of fun from its Kelly green contrast welt.

Dining Room: Designer Andrea Schumacher upholstered the dining room walls in Brunschwig & Fils Bamboo Trellis with a contrasting peacock blue welt. She added drama with A. Rudin chairs in a combination of velvet from F. Schumacher & Co. and Sansui 3-D cut velvet from Donghia. The walnut table and Southfield side chairs anchor the room, while the contemporary Globe Modo chandelier from Design Within Reach hangs above. The owners chose a painting called “On the Way” by artist Carol Corell.

The dragon print is more than an eye-catching element in the family room: Its subtle peacock blue also serves as inspiration for the dining room. “It makes selecting colors much easier when you have that single reference point,” Schumacher says. “I love to pull a minor color from the fabric in one room and let it play a bigger role in the next.” Blue Brunschwig & Fils embroidered fabric covers the walls and is padded for extra interest. “I love that it’s a classic application,” Alexis says. “The padded upholstered walls remind me of those old Park Avenue apartments, but it feels fresh here with this bright, almost beachy fabric.” A custom walnut table grounds the room, surrounded by chairs in lush velvet upholstery and crowned by a contemporary Modo chandelier from Design Within Reach.

Kitchen: At the island, a trio of fiberglass Dowel Counter Stools from Modernica are good-looking and easy to clean. Industrial clear glass pendants also add modern flair to the traditional kitchen.

On the other side of the family room, the emerald green breakfast nook is “definitely a bold color move,” Schumacher says. “It’s like a little surprise at the back of the house, and it definitely meets Alexis’ desire to have a home that’s a little edgier than most.”

Living Room: The linen curtains’ tie-dye-like pattern (Black Edition Cromatico Violet from ROMO Group) has a classic counterpoint in the custom chaises. The Oushak Indian Rug, made from recycled 100-percent-silk saris, plays well with the gold-leaf coffee table from Paul Ferrante. And the wheat sconces pair beautifully with the Hemp Cabbage Rose wallpaper from Kneedler-Fauchère.

The vibe softens upstairs, where they designed much of the master bedroom to be a quiet, serene space. “It was inspired by my mom’s bedroom in her home,” Alexis says. “She has a fantastic eye. I even used the same Osborne & Little wallpaper she has and let it be the foundation of the room.” The soft palette of silver and watery aqua has just enough glamour—courtesy of nickel nail heads on the custom tufted headboard and antiqued-mirror nightstands—to fit in with the rest of the home’s bolder statements.

High-style entry

The home’s style is a perfect marriage of Alexis’ New York roots and Schumacher’s own personal philosophy on color: “The more, the better,” the designer laughs. “I look at the calmness and beauty of a neutral room—that Barbara Barry look—and I think, I love that, but I have a hard time doing it. Color is my happy place.”

Master Suite: A quiet color scheme reigns in the master bedroom, for which owner Alexis Rudisill chose Tamba wallpaper from Osborne & Little. The custom tufted headboard is upholstered in aqua fabric from F. Schumacher & Co. The window treatments are made with Rochelle fabric by Colefax and Fowler.

The soft palette of silver and watery aqua has just enough glamour to fit in with the rest of the home’s bolder statements.

Color Tips
Go green. “Green is a happy color,” says Schumacher. “It’s the only color in the color wheel that’s not cool or warm, so it works in a wide range of spaces with all kinds of light.” Borrow Schumacher’s bold choice for the breakfast nook: Cat’s Eye Green by Benjamin Moore.

Sweat the details. In the dining room, Schumacher hired a painter to extend the pattern from the upholstered walls onto the air vent—so it disappears. “Those finishing touches make a home feel loved and complete,” she says.

Finish strong. Color matters, of course, but so does your paint’s sheen. High gloss is more glamorous, while lower sheens tend to look more traditional. In the dining room, Schumacher painted the millwork with a low-sheen gray paint to let the other elements shine.

This article was originally published in 5280 Home Winter 2014.
Hilary Masell Oswald
Hilary Masell Oswald
As the former editor for two of 5280’s ancillary publications, Hilary Masell Oswald split her time between the vibrant design-and-architecture scene in the metro area for 5280 Home and the always-changing field of health for the annual 5280 Health.