Isabel Ladd’s Maximalist Home in Lexington, Kentucky, Has Tons of DIY Ideas

Linda D. Garrow

“Explosive, vivid, saturated.” This is how Lexington, Kentucky–based interior designer Isabel Ladd describes her home, a 1936 colonial that she renovated in “…colors and patterns that bring me immense joy. It reflects how I dress and live: very passionately and in full color.” Rather than letting one single style drive the design, Ladd simply leaned into her favorite things. Pinks and greens crop up repeatedly, from the olive walls and blush ceiling of the main bedroom to the seating (see: fuchsia and olive velvet sofas, striped living room armchairs, and a “hot coral” outdoor sofa). “But this kaleidoscope of pinks and greens is interjected with tiger prints, blue and red brocades, chartreuse dotted pillows, red antique rugs, and a very graphic repetition of brown and white patterns,” Ladd explains.

Katie Charlotte

The kitchen and bathroom provided ample opportunities for the designer to put her solution-driven approach into practice. Broken kitchen chandelier? Rearrange the glass shades in a pattern that masks the missing ones. Bathroom tile damaged during the reno? Paint the new tiles to look like an intentional mismatch. She also painted old furniture to give it new life and DIY’d her own custom solutions (from curtains to upholstery and even light fixtures) for stylish flair on a dime. “Getting creative and accepting pivots is so crucial during a renovation,” Ladd explains. “It helps your sanity to keep a sound, light-hearted perspective of chaos.”


Entryway

interior

Katie Charlotte

“If the walls don’t have definitive start/stop points, carry the wallpaper beyond the foyer, up the stairs, into the upstairs landing, and on all the ceilings,” says Ladd. “Using only two colors and a zippy pattern keeps the spaces feeling balanced.”

Wallpaper: “Tumbling Blocks” by Miles Redd for Schumacher. Light: Strada by Kelly Wearstler for Circa Lighting. Rug: antique. Gold bench: sourced from a yard sale.


Living Room

interior

Katie Charlotte

Ladd transformed an ordinary cabinet (lead image, top) by painting it in a tortoise pattern. Custom curtains in Lacefield fabric with Schumacher trim bring pattern to the walls.

Paint: Lily of the Valley, Benjamin Moore. Light: “Markos,” Circa Lighting. Sofa: Vera Sofa by Anthropologie. Chairs: Ballard Designs in vintage fabric. Console, coffee table, side tables: vintage. Lamps flanking sofa: Currey + Co.


Kitchen

interior

Katie Charlotte

Trellis Background by Quadrilled covers everything from the backsplash to the ceiling. Light: Fanad Chandelier by Oly. Stools: Chair Counter Stools by CB2.


Dining Area

interior

Katie Charlotte

A vintage dining table, surrounded by Ballard Designs Dayna Chairs, creates a space for mealtime right in the living room.


Powder Room

interior

Katie Charlotte

“The overhead light was created by turning a candle hurricane upside down and having it wired for light,” Ladd explains.

Wallpaper: Crescent by Kelly Wearstler for Kravet.


Primary Bedroom

interior

Katie Charlotte

To create the custom headboard, Ladd stapled fabric to the back of a piece of plywood and glued trim around the perimeter.

Paint: Palmer Green (walls) and First Light (ceiling), both Benjamin Moore. Sheers flanking Bed: custom, using sheers from Target’s Opalhouse collection. Window treatments: fabric by Lacefield with Circus Fringe by The Fringe Market. Side tables and desk: antique. Bedding: Ballard Designs.


Kids’ Bedroom

interior

Katie Charlotte

“Don’t feel like you have to go custom in every room,” Ladd says. “This entire kids’ room was decorated with ready-made everything—and a fabric-and-staple-gun-DIY’d headboard.”

Dresser and light: IKEA. Bedding: Ballard (quilt) and Desy Design (comforter). Red lamp: Circa Lighting via Home Goods. Paint: Palmer Green (bottom of wall) and White Dove (top of wall), both Benjamin Moore.


Sitting Room

interior

Katie Charlotte

A pair of thrift store chairs, reupholstered in Les Indiennes fabric by Quadrille and “dramatic floor-grazing trim” (Diamond Triple Knot Fringe by The Fringe Market), lend loads of personality.

Wallpaper: Tanzania, Thibaut. Rug and side table: antique.


Pool + Cabana

hot tub with lounge chairs

Katie Charlotte

tk house

Katie Charlotte

Ladd converted the back of her garage into a colorful cabana. “My family uses it nearly every day in the summer—rain or shine. It is perfect when you need to step into the shade or keep food and drinks out of the sun. A TV on a swing arm allows you to enjoy TV from the pool or the seating area inside,” she explains.


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