Harris Faulkner, Working From Home in Shades of Blue


“My mom’s big thing was that the kitchen is not only where everyone comes, but where everyone should want to come, so there should always be a treaty-treat out,” Ms. Faulkner said of Mrs. Harris, who died in late November of 2016 and never got to see the house. “Her whole thing was that you should have a clear counter space to leave out snacks.”

Thus, the marble-topped island that was hastily drawn for the property developer.

Let’s just say that mother gave daughter her marching orders. “Blue is important to me, so what my mom would say is, ‘Then let me see blue everyplace you go in the house — but in different textures, and don’t make it obvious,’” Ms. Faulkner said.

She pointed, first, to the tufted navy-blue velvet sofa in the family room, just off the kitchen, with the blue theme picked up on accent pillows in the living room. Blue is also represented in the pattern of the cushions on the chairs around the dining table and in a custom-made abstract painting.

A plant on a shelf in the living room nestles in an azure pot. Nearby is a photo of a beach Ms. Faulkner and Mr. Berlin hiked on the big island of Hawaii; an expanse of royal-blue water features prominently. (Admittedly, it’s pure coincidence that the mats on the living room floor, an accommodation to the resident gymnasts, Danika and Bella, are also blue.)

“My mother used to tell me that my taste — how did she put it? — she said it didn’t have texture,” Ms. Faulkner said. “She told me I had a very flat-page way of decorating. She used to say, ‘Let’s make life more beautiful. Just make it beautiful.’”

Message received, Mom. On a wall in the dining room hangs an artwork made from trash, a work by women living in a village outside of Cape Town. During a trip to Amsterdam several years ago, Ms. Faulkner, a self-described bovine lover, had a ceramic cow made in her favorite colors — blue included, of course. It stands on the white acrylic buffet in the dining room next to a multicolored string bowl made by Danika for a fund-raiser to feed the hungry in Hoboken, N.J.


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