Explore a Sunny Sanctuary by Merriment Interior Design

by | Apr 2024

Merriment Dining Room Design

Photos: Alissa Coddington

A Woodbury homeowner makes her new home into a bright, serene refuge after her life changes course.

Sometimes, a person and a home find each other in some kind of fated moment. That’s what happened with a new home on Woodbury’s Bailey Lake, with interiors designed by Sarah Olsen, owner and principal designer of Woodbury-based Merriment Interior Design, and Sam Wittich, interior designer at Merriment. In 2020, the now homeowner had experienced the loss of her spouse and was seeking a transition out of their former home. “I happened to be driving through this neighborhood and came across this lot,” the homeowner says. “It backs up to Bailey Lake, and it was during sunset, and it took my breath away.” She went right to the sales office and asked if she could put a deposit down on the lot.

The rest is history. She enlisted Olsen’s help with designing the interior and furnishing her new home, which needed to be imagined from the ground up. “I had to talk myself into going into the old house,” the homeowner says. “I decided not to take anything with me other than the pieces that I really loved. And that wasn’t much.”

Olsen was the right designer for the task, tending to her client’s emotional needs and offering a guiding hand through what seemed like endless decisions. “What she needed from an emotional base in the home was peacefulness and serenity,” Olsen says. They chose white and off-white colors as a foundation, and layered accents in black, light aqua and fuchsia. The light blue—which Olsen calls “ocean”—was the homeowner’s idea. “She really has a color eye,” Olsen says. “I would show her pieces of fabric or rugs, and if the blue was off a little bit, she could tell. She was our guide.”

Dining Room

The dining room typifies the elegant blend of modern and traditional design found throughout the home. Chairs, featuring traditional nailhead trim, are upholstered in fabric that marries serene white and the homeowner’s favorite ocean blue. A modern light fixture presides over the long table, recently refinished in black. “That was the dining room table I grew up with,” says the homeowner, and it was full of memories. When the craftspeople were working on refinishing it, they found old etchings in the corners, likely where someone’s pencil had pressed through the paper during homework time. “Some of it is my late sister’s writing,” says the homeowner. There’s part of a name (“Sarah,” incidentally), parts of math problems and even a few scratches from the homeowner’s childhood cat, Keeper. “They asked if I wanted them to smooth it out, and I said, ‘Oh, my God, no. I want that.’ So there’s a pretty big story to the table,” the homeowner says.

Scratches on Dining Room Table


Some of the art pieces the homeowner brought to her new abode were traditional oil landscape paintings, which had to find their place in the new design. Olsen highlights one in the foyer, set in a gilded frame over a shallow, pearl-white table with unique raw edges. “Those pieces were very meaningful,” Olsen says. “It’s all about balancing that love of ornamentation and detail.”

Foyer Painting

Living Room

The pièce de résistance of the living room is a sectional sofa covered in a rich, vintage-looking velvet in light blue. “It has a quality of movement, that refraction of light and dark,” says Olsen. The dark wood chairs feature traditionally turned legs and sit next to a more modern, bright tulip-style side table.

Sectional Sofa in Light Blue Velvet


The home’s sunroom, which sits just off the dining area, is light-filled and airy. It features some of the fine details the homeowner loves: rich tufts on the ottoman (upholstered in a bright cheetah print), beautifully inlaid side tables and accent pillows that pop with floral and butterfly designs. “We were so excited to find the sunroom rug,” Olsen says. Wittich, an expert in finding needle-in-a-haystack furnishings, was the one who plucked it from a catalogue. “It’s punchy with color,” Olsen says. “But it doesn’t come off too loud in the room. It’s playful.”

Sunroom with Pops of Color

The sunroom is also home to some vases and pottery from local artists. “I had a few favorite art pieces, but there’s a lot of new local art that we’ve incorporated throughout the project,” says the homeowner. “There are so many wonderful local artists near Woodbury,” Olsen says. “We get something that’s one of a kind for our client.”

Table Décor


Black and white are in harmony in the kitchen, which includes black cabinets, pearly white backsplash tiles and even a subtle zebra print on the barstool seats. “I thought the zebra might be too much,” the homeowner says. “But it’s like it was meant to be. There isn’t anything in the house that I don’t love-love.” Guests often comment on the unique waterfall island, where the marbled stone cascades all the way to the floor.

Zebra Print Kitchen Barstools


The homeowner says the bedroom was the first room to come together in her imagination and included the easiest decisions to make. “I knew I wanted it to be peaceful and serene,” she says. One of the first furnishings she chose was the lush, tufted headboard. The nightstands and dresser feature a pearlized, off-white finish and dark handles, and gold-framed mirrors hang on either side of the bed. “If you’re sitting in the living room, you can actually see the reflection of the lake or the sunset in the bedroom mirrors,” the homeowner says.

Bedroom with Gold Gilt Mirror

“Gold really fits with the elegance of the home,” Olsen says. “It brings the formality level up a little bit. It has warmth to it. The gold on the mirrors has that Old World quality to it.”

Bright accent pillows on the bed feature fuchsia trim, which is echoed on a bench in the walk-in closet.

Merriment Interior Design
520 Commons Drive Floor 2; 651.219.4597
Facebook: Merriment
Instagram: @homeatmerriment


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