Patricia Maristch has never shied away from vivid colors or eye-catching patterns in her wardrobe, so when it came time to design the interior of her Unionville home, she followed the same rules. From the hot-pink wingback chairs set against Kelly-green walls in the living room to the pop of orange accents sprinkled throughout the formal dining room, Maristch took the mantra of “live boldly” literally.
“I believe in happy colors mixed with fun patterns and quirky details,” she says. “It’s feminine, preppy and, I’m often told, slightly Southern. I like to think it’s Ralph Lauren mixed with Lilly Pulitzer and a touch of Palm Springs.”
If that description conjures images of an ultra-feminine space, that’s the intention. Since she’d be living in her first home by herself, Maristch took full advantage of being the sole decision maker. “This is probably the only time in my life that I’ll be able to do it, so I went for it,” she says. “It was nice to do it my way.”
Like any 20-something with a penchant for sharing their life on social media, Maristch even gave her home the hashtag #PatriciasPalace on Instagram. Owner of the boutique public relations firm Piqued PR, Maristch decided to forgo the help of an interior designer, relying on Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration as she assembled each space. “I also found many sources for lighting and accessories on social media,” Maristch says. “I love working with smaller designers because they’re easy to work with and willing to customize pieces for their clients. I also love supporting small businesses.”
Maristch had assumed she’d be living in an apartment or condo. A single-family house wasn’t even on her radar—and this one was right next to her childhood home. “A house had been left vacant by its owners,” she says. “My parents suggested that I put in an offer.”
Financially, it was too good to pass up. By the summer of 2013, Maristch was officially a homeowner. But it took nearly a year of renovations before she could move in. After years of neglect, the cottage-style three-bedroom home needed to be completely gutted. The massive renovation didn’t intimidate Maristch, whose father is in the construction business. “I’m familiar with fixer-uppers,” she says. “My parents fixed up the house they live in now, so it wasn’t too scary for me to take it on.”
Once renovations were finished, two hot-pink wingback chairs were the first things to find their way into the living room. “They were passed down to me from my grandparents,” she says. “I reupholstered them to reflect my style.”
That vivid color prompted a sort of a domino effect on the choices Maristch would make. Across the room, a fully stocked Society Social bar cart sits between a pair of Duchess accent chairs. Also from Society Social, each chair has a gold frame and bright-tangerine fabric. A preppy Kelly green covers the walls in the living room and the adjoining dining room. “People shy away from bold colors because they think it’s hard to sell,” says Maristch. “I think you should be happy where you are right now.”
In every room, Maristch used either lighting, paint or wallpaper to make an impact. For the otherwise traditional dining room, an orange-beaded urchin chandelier from Dutton Brown Design brings an unexpected modern twist to the space. “I consider lighting [to be] jewelry for a room,” says Maristch. “It’s also something that can be easily switched out, so people should just go for it with their choices.”
Orange appears again in a vignette with a bamboo-frame mirror and a pair of foo-dog statues arranged on the sideboard, while a smattering of classic blue and white lamps and ginger jars provides balance against the bold hue.
In the all-white kitchen, a pair of Dana Gibson Palm Leaf hanging lanterns brings both pattern and color. A subtle, gray leopard-print Schumacher wallpaper adds an element of whimsy on an accent wall in the space. “I think wallpaper is fun,” Maristch says. “The kitchen needed it for its texture and pattern.”
A guest bathroom was the ideal place to go bold with a wallpaper print—and that’s exactly what Maristch did, choosing Quadrille’s bright, patterned Sigourney “Jungle Green on White” wallpaper. Brass accents—including a pair of “Loa” sconces from Sazerac Stitches arranged on either side of a brass mirror from Bellacor—combine with interesting touches like a wall-mounted frame and towel bar made locally by Delaware’s Sloane Lucite to complete the space. “I have a Lucite obsession,” says Maristch. “I love that I’m able to work with a local business for these custom pieces.”
To provide a resort-like feel in the master bedroom, Maristch chose the hand-tufted Charlotte headboard in a “Beverly Palm” print from Society Social. So it didn’t compete with the bold print, she kept the Peacock Alley bedding simple, choosing all white with orange scallop pillowcases and a set of leopard-print accent pillows. “I do like a good animal print,” she says. “Like many people, I think leopard is really a neutral.”
The white bamboo stencil over bright-tangerine paint required a lot of patience and time to apply, but the end result was worth the effort. “I’m not sure I’d ever do
it again,” Maristch admits about the tedious task.
In the end, every public and private space in “Patricia’s Palace” reflects her vibrant personality. “It turned out exactly how I envisioned it,” she says. “I couldn’t be happier.”
Lucite Hardware: Sloane Lucite, Delaware, www.sloanelucite.com.
Window Treatments: Saxton-Nicol Studios, Kennett Square, (484) 390-0309.