Interior Designer Lee Owens Makes a Case for the Blues

Photography by Elizabeth Haynes

When Lee Owens met with future clients Steve Soucy and Tom Becktold over Zoom and saw their Palm Springs home in the background, her gears started turning. “I could immediately see that they held an appreciation for midcentury modern pieces and dark, moody wall colors,” the Saratoga-based interior designer says. “From our early discussions with the clients, we knew that deep greens and blues were a natural color palette [for them], and we just ran with it.”

While there’s a long-held belief that dark walls and ceilings make a room feel small, Owens believes they can create an enveloping, finished space. If done correctly, of course. “It’s all about layering—fabrics, patterns, colors,” Owens says. “For this home, we countered the dark paint colors with white/light window treatments and textiles.” In the dining room, for example, a dark green coffered ceiling is complemented by a neutral floral wallpaper, white window treatments and an arabescato marble–topped Saarinen tulip table.

Other rooms in the craftsman-style Oak Ridge home (Capital Region native and documentary filmmaker Soucy and Californian Becktold relocated to the Saratoga neighborhood during the pandemic) are light and bright, including the living room and upstairs landing, where 14 paintings by the late French artist Vernet Bonfort are on display. “When grouped together as a full collection, the ensemble feels so fresh and current,” Owens says. “With the client’s existing chaise lounge that we reupholstered in a contemporary geometric patterned fabric, it’s one of my favorite spaces in the finished design.”

Given Soucy’s profession, there was just one thing missing: A movie room. The décor in said room, which is located in the home’s completely renovated basement? Well, dark and moody, of course.

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