how to live with lots of color (and not get tired of it)
Check out the brilliant touches in one happy Houston home.

living room

You don’t have to stop at one color statement in a room—just pair up pieces purposefully. A sofa by Moss Studio upholstered in lemon-lime Schumacher fabric plays off splashes of yellow in the abstract art by Michael von Helms. The rest of the furniture is muted, including a custom black-and-white settee and a coffee table from Crate & Barrel with low-key rugs.

Stephanie and Brian with, from left, Henry, 6; Eleanor, 7; and Vera, 5

decorating with oodles of colors is all about balance. Just ask Stephanie Freeman, who squeezed as much turquoise, fuchsia, and chartreuse into her Houston, TX, house as she could get past her husband, Brian Tison, and designer Meg Lonergan. “Some homeowners need to be pushed out of their comfort zone—I needed to be reined in,” says Stephanie. Her passion for color dates back to her teen years, when she would fill her bedroom with bright bedding and prints—a stark contrast to the dark woods and deep earth tones of her parents’ house. Stephanie was able to go all out in 2017, when she and Brian replaced their 1940s bungalow with a bigger build. Now they have a vibrant sofa, funky patterned fabrics sprinkled everywhere, and a showstopping turquoise stove, all living in harmony with a neutral backdrop. “Not everything can be a wild color or pattern,” says Stephanie. “I’ve learned that’s a good thing.”

dining room

Ghost chairs from Overstock let the table’s cool aged green base stand out. “It’s a machinist table from the 1930s that a local department store displayed perfumes on,” Stephanie says. “It wasn’t for sale but I kept going back until the salesperson gave in!” A pink table runner by Lulu & Georgia echoes the art above the vintage console.

“The blue range doesn’t just make me smile, it gets my kids excited about cooking. Our son makes his own eggs now. Win!”
Stephanie likes the range’s retro vibe as much as the color—Brian does too. Its brass details inspired the pulls and knobs on the cabinets.


For years, whenever Stephanie saw a colorful stove in a magazine, she’d tear out the page and save it. Finally she got a turquoise one by Lacanche to call her own. The couple planned their kitchen around it, choosing quieter options so it could shine—white cabinets, a soft green-gray paint for the island (Comfort Gray by Sherwin-Williams), and glass globe pendants by The Urban Electric Co. One other bold move made the cut: fuchsia counter stools.

wall color

Blushing by Sherwin-Williams

vera’s bedroom

For the girliest girl in the house, only light peach walls and vintage blue beds, painted Inchyra Blue by Farrow & Ball, would do (the extra bed is for when Grandma visits). Since the graphic curtain fabric from Studio Four NYC was a splurge, designer Meg bought just enough to make edging for white panels, with a pom-pom trim on the seam to really dazzle Vera. The copper pendant is from ABC Carpet & Home.

henry’s bedroom

The way to this 6-year-old’s heart: fun colors, dinosaurs, and a dedicated spot for building supplies. “Normal people fill drawers under a bed with linens,” says Stephanie. “We use ours for Legos.” Henry helped pick out the orange-and-blue Peter Dunham fabric for the curtains. The built-in bed and shelves are painted Homburg Gray by Sherwin-Williams, and a striped Pendleton blanket on the bed gives the space another pop.

bookcase color

Churlish Green by Farrow & Ball

wall color

Quietude by Sherwin-Williams

master bedroom

Stephanie considered going a few shades brighter with the paints but dialed it back with smoky blue and olive green—more soothing tones. The velvet bed is a custom job, and the drapes are made with two different fabrics (like the ones in Vera’s room); the floral fabric is from Black Edition.

cabinet color

Cinder Rose by Farrow & Ball

vera and eleanor’s bathroom

The vanity is both pretty and practical, since lavender will mature with the kids. For a cool layered look, octagonal mirrors from RH hang over the sheet mirror. The sconces by Visual Comfort have added bead trim. Even cuter: the girls at bedtime. “I never get tired of watching them brush their teeth together,” says Stephanie.


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HGTV Magazine - Jan/Feb 2020


Jan/Feb 2020