Designer Mary Luther breathes new life into a once dark and moody Overland Park home
When she started her interior design business twenty-five years ago, Mary Luther struggled to come up with a business name. The name of her favorite childhood book, Look Through My Window, stayed with her and was seemingly the perfect metaphor for her business.
“I couldn’t come up with a good title and I thought, ‘Why does this keep sticking?’” Luther says. “So I went with it. I stayed with Look Through My Window Interiors for a long time.” Although she’s since shifted to Mary Luther Designs, the early days and continued growth of her business will always have a piece of her heart.
Luther describes her design style as comfortable yet eclectic. Before she got her hands on this Overland Park home, it was packed with dark woods, moody colors, stucco walls and Gothic fixtures. See how she turned it into a bright space filled with character.
“This room was kind of difficult because it’s small but it’s tall and it has that doorway in the back,” Luther says. “I had to figure out a way to get to that doorway and not block it off while maximizing seat capacity, which required working a lot with dimensions.”
Wall Art and Drapes: “Art was tough in here because, although it was easy to do so, I didn’t want to go blacks and whites,” Luther says. Another challenge was the sheer amount of space to fill on this wall. These ethereal oceanic large-format color photographs did the trick. Instead of reaching for white drapes, Luther played off the water shore theme with sand-toned linens.
Pillows: Instead of relying solely on colors and shapes in linens, Luther focuses on textural balance in her design. This diamond-printed velvet fabric was Luther’s starting point in this room. “I love it, but you don’t need a ton of it,” she says.
Settee and Bench: The tufted settee in front of the windows fulfills the homeowners’ wishes of the room having a traditional feel, and the bench at the opening of the room is functional but short enough to keep the space airy.
Chandelier: Instead of matching them to ones in other rooms, Luther likes to pick light fixtures that fit well and stand out in their designated space. “It’s also kind of like a sculpture,” Luther says of this old Hollywood glamour piece
Lights and Wallpaper: The curved shape of the bracelet lights hanging on either side of the sink match the wallpaper pattern, which is made with tiny pieces of sand and glass.
Backsplash: Luther was on the hunt for a backsplash tile that wasn’t stark monochrome white but at the same time wasn’t too busy. She found the perfect compromise in this shaded and shiny gray tile.
Dishes: The homeowner has a collection of colorful Italian hand-painted Vietri dishes, which are on display in the glass-front cabinets.
Chair: Luther’s standby for every comfortable living space is a swivel chair. It can face the couches for conversation but also easily turn to face the television.
Windows: Before the renovation, these windows had blinds, which obstructed the foresty backyard scenery. “It’s such a great view,” Luther says. “It’s like being in a tree house.”
Ottoman: The saddle leather ottoman is a functional statement in the room and pairs well with the creamy-white couches.