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A Ten-Month Rental Takes Maximalism to The Max

by Sofia Tuovinen

A Ten-Month Rental Takes Maximalism to The Max | Design*Sponge
The home that Jewel Marlowe (@jewelmarlowe) and her family moved into for her husband Gary’s ten-month military assignment in Rhode Island is the family’s 12th address. Jewel, an interior design blogger, and Gary, a US Air Force fighter pilot, are used to being on the move and have learned to masterfully deal with the stress that can be associated with constant transition. “We laugh to ourselves that at least our lives are not boring. Anything but boring,” Jewel explains. Living all around the US and England has helped the military family develop a rich appreciation for the world around them. For Jewel, the numerous places she has called home have also influenced her style and design choices. “I find myself drawn to an eclectic variety of furniture, just like I would find at the British auctions,” she shares.

The family’s current home is a 70s split-level house that they rented without even seeing a single picture beforehand. “We took the word of the real estate agent,” Jewel tells us. “Since it was a ten-month assignment we figured that we had very little to lose.” When the family arrived in their new home, Jewel knew she wanted to try out something different, and bold. Knowing this was a short-term rental meant that any changes she made would need to come down soon enough. “Why not use this as a blank canvas and a chance to experiment with a maximalist mix of bold patterns and colors?” Jewel thought to herself. She decided to tackle the downstairs entertaining area as part of The One Room Challenge design event. In just six weeks, she transformed the room into a vibrant space that fulfills all her maximalist design dreams. During that time, Jewel worked together with graphic design artist Ashley Peterson to design a collection of unique patterns that would be used for wallpaper, upholstery fabric and throw pillows throughout the space. The end result is a bold interpretation of Jewel’s eclectic style — navy walls and ceiling, hot pink tiger wallpaper and a vintage sofa upholstered in a one-of-a-kind terrazzo pattern create the “more is more” look that Jewel has embraced since day one in this temporary residence. When it’s time to move on to the next home and assignment, the removable wallpaper will come down, the painted backer board will be pulled off and everything will turn back to basics in a jiff. By then, Jewel will already be planning her next project and home transformation, wherever that may be.  —Sofia

Photography by Amy Greene / @contactamygphotography

Image above: A master mixer of patterns, Jewel embraced her maximalist desires by creating a space where all her favorite design elements intertwine. 

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Within six weeks, Jewel transformed the downstairs living area from a blank canvas to a bold space where she experimented with rich hues and unique patterns. As the home is temporary, Jewel made sure that everything is easily removable, from the Spoonflower wallpaper to the painted backer board.

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Jewel wallpapered and painted the walls and created most of the art in the family’s entertaining space.

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The beach art is a fun nod to the family’s proximity to the shore. “Daily walks [and] runs around the shore have proven to be fantastically exciting for the kids and therapeutic for the parents and the new puppy,” Jewel shares. 

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Jewel reupholstered a worn mid-century sofa with custom-designed terrazzo pattern fabric available on Spoonflower. “It took an entire season of watching ‘The Crown’ to complete such a monumental task. At the last minute I added some bullion to the bottom. If it’s good enough for Miles Redd then it’s good enough for me,” Jewel shares. 

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The velvet terrazzo upholstery fabric was designed by Ashley Peterson for Spoonflower and upholstered by Jewel. “Spoonflower and their sister company, Roostery, proved to be an excellent way to customize fabric, velvet, and pillows,” Jewel reveals. 

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The balance between navy and pink is carefully thought out throughout the space. “Framed photography adds another layer to the tiger-themed wallpaper,” Jewel reflects. 

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A pyramid-shaped lucite side table is one of several unique pieces that add unexpected personality to the living area.

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The sofa offers views toward the hot pink striped entryway and dining area.

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Jewel tested her maximalist skills in the entertaining space of her family’s ten-month rental.

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The irregular-shaped art is one of many pieces that Jewel made specifically for the space.

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“It’s often the little details that make an entertaining space memorable.” — Jewel

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The view from the entryway into the entertaining space allows visitors to absorb several visual layers at a glance.

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Jewel paired a Vintage Milo Baughman style chair and an Art Deco bust, both found in Utah, with a painting by New England artist Peter Batcheler

SOURCE LIST

Velvet fabric on sofa – Spoonflower
Wallpaper – Spoonflower
Organic Cells Pillows – Roostery
Key pillow – Roostery
Chandelier – Lamps Plus

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Comments

  • Wow. I upholster too, but you did a fabulous job. I love the fabric and wallpaper and the overall look of your home. As a former Army brat who lived in the dullest homes on earth, precisely because we were always on the move, I applaud your energy and design sense!

  • Outstanding! Although I could never be a maximalist (too chicken) I definitely appreciate the confidence and courage it takes to do it right- which Jewel certainly does. Well done!

  • Fantastic upholstery job. I love your color combinations and your dedication to make a space comfortable and beautiful, for even a limited amount of time. As a former Army brat who lived in rooms that were painted a hideous green with minimal furniture, I applaud your determination to create such a beautiful environment for your family.

  • Hey, another Air Force spouse who’s been all over the US and England like us!

    Really fun space — I like the addition of pink as an accent; it’s dark and welcoming instead of feeling moody.

  • Beautiful! Love the powerful and dramatic mix of navy and hot pink. A well-balanced space with luxe touches.

  • Man I just want to know how your stuff survives the moves – it’s like the opposite of Christmas, when you have to go through your boxes to see what’s been broken or stolen this time.

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