Tips from Darryl Carter: Paint First.

Darryl Carter is one of my design idols. He mixes white walls with wooden antiques so elegantly that I can almost always identify his projects as his. His portfolio is extensive yet he manages to make each project unique. The Washington D.C. designer shares his tips with Veranda Magazine on the process of designing a home. From the first steps you should take to tips to remember throughout the makeover, I can promise you will learn something new.

Tip #1: Paint first. It harmonizes the room. Blend the drapery color into the walls.

Tip #2: Let architecture shine in white.

Tip #3: Cream can be kid-friendly. “Try enamel finishes and high-gloss paint in high-traffic areas, as well as durable faux leather and outdoor fabrics for upholstered pieces that withstand the wear and tear of young children.”

Tip #4: Create continuity for your kids, too. Match the kids bedrooms to the aesthetic of the entire house so that as the kid matures, the room can mature with them.

Tip #5: A white backdrop makes antiques feel modern.

Tip #6: Use white to contrast between old and new.

Tip #7: Experiment with finishes. “A material change in the same color can be a very subtle way to articulate the architecture of a space,” Darryl says. In the room above, the cabinets are lacquered, the walls are matte, and the floors are reclaimed barn flooring, yet they are all washed in the same shade, creating that unifying factor.

Tip #8: Revamp old pieces with a coat of paint.

Tip #9: Be consistent, inside and out. To match his aesthetic on the inside, Darryl had this client’s home painted and powerwashed.

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