When designer Janet Gregg moved from New York to Charleston, South Carolina, a tip from a friend led her to purchase a Colonial-era cottage before even laying eyes on it.
The interior-designer-turned-jewelry-designer has filled the 1,040-square-foot house with an assortment of furniture styles, patterns, and textures, all ranging from classic to modern, geometric to animal print, natural to sleek.
In the living room, Gregg balanced the off-center architecture with an orderly symmetrical furniture plan and a geometric rug. As another balancing act, she centered the large painting on the room, rather than over the fireplace.
In this home, no single style or use governs what goes where. In the living room, Gregg elevated a pair of woven outdoor chairs to indoor pieces by adorning them with velvet throw pillows.
She effortlessly blends styles and periods, placing a mid-century Formica Parsons table with an antique black Chinoiserie side table.
Whether at flea markets, estate sales, or design shops, Gregg buys only things she loves. "I have a chair fetish -- I could fill a whole basement with them -- and I use chairs and stools for other purposes like book stands and side tables," she says.
"I don't follow decorating rules; I just know what I like. And I know nothing is permanent, which frees me up to go for a look I love. The fun part is knowing you can always change things around later."
Smitten with the idea of friends lingering over dinner, Gregg created an intimate feel in the small dining room with a dark striped wall finish she applied using torn cardboard boxes.
In a small house with few closets, creative storage solutions are a must. With no place to stash them out of sight, Gregg treats accessories like scarves, hangbags, and jewelry as decorative items that add a splash of color to the all-white table opposite her bed.
Ironically, a spacious upstairs corridor leads to tiny bedrooms. Gregg created an alluring "room" with eraser-pink walls, a console table, lamps, and a collage of favorite paintings.
In the guest bedroom, a diagonal fireplace and sloped ceiling barely left enough space for a double bed.
Gregg simplified the space with all-white bedding and added cheerful mossy green and pale aqua paint to give the walls an airy depth.