Two summers ago, we shared exclusive artist Andrea Costa‘s studio tour here on the blog, but what we didn’t realize when we went to go photograph her space was that her entire home was impeccably decorated! So when she recently mentioned that she’d moved and started over from scratch, we jumped at the chance to share her new condo here on How to Decorate. With her new space, she took the opportunity to go full-on girly glam with pink and metallic accents. Read our whole interview below.
Ballard Designs: Andrea, thank you so much for letting us share your home! Open floor plans can be a challenge to divide into zones, how’d you go about doing this in your condo?
Andrea Costa: I needed a great room and a dining room in a wide open space so I divided the two rooms with my sofa and my sofa table doubles as my dining room table. Most people are afraid to float their sofa in the middle of the room, but in an open floor plan, it’s usually the best option.
BD: The color palette is mostly neutral, but you do have pops of color here and there. What are your favorite ways to bring color into a space?
AC: Since I’m an artist, it’s probably no surprise that I prefer to introduce color in artwork. My color palette for the main room was actually inspired by the painting in my kitchen with a pink color palette. It was hanging in an art gallery for a long time, and no one was buying it. So I brought it home and designed my whole space around it. Now it’s a focal point!
BD: I remember from your studio tour a few years ago that you used to be an interior designer! Has your decor style changed at all since you stopped designing spaces full time and you became a bonafide artist?
AC: Styles and trends evolve. In that regard, I have changed. As I become more honest with myself, I find I live better in a quieter space. I tend to keep my background (i.e.,fabrics, walls and rugs) in neutrals and add interest with different textures.
BD: It’s funny, you have lots of pink accents, some feminine art pieces, and lots of metallics, but your space doesn’t feel overly girly. What’s your strategy for bringing in feminine pieces in a balanced way?
AC: I’m not a girly girl but I do like pretty things. I use lighting like jewelry.I like to mix chic, glamorous and edgy, which I feel keeps it from looking too prissy.
BD: Talk to us about mirrors because you use them strategically in your space.
AC: I will treat a wall with a mirror if there is already enough color represented in a room, if the room needs to look larger with more reflective light, if the wall needs an opening, or if the room needs some glamour.
BD: You didn’t put up window treatments. Was that a decorative decision? When do you think a room doesn’t need window treatments?
AC: When a room has great windows and a beautiful view, I leave the windows undressed. I use window treatments when the room needs softening with fabrics or to absorb sound.
BD: You mentioned in the podcast that you were starting over with most of your furniture pieces. When you’re decorating a room from scratch, where do you start?
AC: I look for one piece of art, fabric, furniture or rug that excites me. That becomes my launching point.
BD: You have lots of Ballard pieces, but you also have tons of antiques from Scott’s Antique Market. How do you bring in new and old so they work together?
AC: For me, mixing the two creates a space that looks created over time, which is much more interesting to me. I like a room that tells a story of where I’ve been — my travels, people and style that have influenced me.
BD: You have lots of gold throughout the space, but you also have silver. Do you follow any rules or guidelines when you’re mixing metals?
AC: I prefer no rules. I go with my gut. If it makes me happy and gives life to the space, I use it. I feel most mistakes are made by being boring and safe.
Andrea, thank you so much for letting us share your home!