Fashion influencer Blair Eadie is known for her love of color and pattern. Her blog and Instagram account—where she shares her style with her 1.6 million followers—feel like a couture rainbow come to life. So when it came time to decorate her 1920s Sarasota home, it made sense that color played a big role.
Eadie and her partner, Andrew Powell, began casually looking for a place in Sarasota, where her parents have a retirement home, about three years ago. They wound up buying was a 1925 cottage west of the Trail near the neighborhood of Granada, with lots of character and landscaping that makes it feel like a secluded oasis.
"The owners before us put pavers everywhere, so it feels like you can truly use all the outside space," Eadie, who also has an apartment in New York's DUMBO neighborhood, says. "In New York, our building has more than 100 units and you feel like you can't escape anyone. We were looking for something that felt really private."
The cottage had been thoughtfully updated over the years, and Eadie and Powell jumped at the opportunity to further customize it to meet their needs. The couple worked with Powell's father, an architect, to come up with the initial plans for the renovation. The local firm Wenzel Grove Delineation finalized them and contractor Randy Muldoon led the two-year build-out, which included raising the home's ceilings, re-pouring some of the concrete floors and removing two support beams. The result: long, linear lines in a modern, open floor plan with lots of natural light.
When it came time to decorate, though, Eadie hit an impasse. "As much as I love fashion and have an aesthetic point of view, interiors can be so different," she says. "I had an idea in my mind about what I wanted the look and feel of the house to be—but where do you look for wallpaper? Where do I find a channeled leather couch? Plus, my taste is eclectic. I like to mix and match old and new. I knew there were resources I wasn't thinking of."
So when Havenly—an online interior design company based in Denver—approached her with the idea of partnering on an interior design plan, Eadie was thrilled. Working with Shelby Girard, Havenly's vice-president of creative and design, Eadie and Powell created a design that nodded to the home's Florida location without being overtly tropical or beachy.
"We started with a discussion around inspiration and then collaborated from there," Girard says. "Blair’s wardrobe and brand were a great inspiration for the space. Her style is full of color and she’s the queen of pattern on pattern on pattern, so I had that in mind the whole time.
"Through the Havenly process, we do everything virtually and have a few design milestones along the way where we share visuals—mood boards, design concepts, renderings—and get feedback at every step," Girard continues. "Our process allowed me to hone in on Blair's style and specific pieces she loved throughout each new phase."
"I knew I wanted color in the space, but I had to reframe the way I was thinking about it so I didn't wind up redecorating every year—I have a tendency to go a little overboard," Eadie says with a laugh. She adds that Powell's aesthetic tends to lean much more "subdued and minimal" than hers, but they both agreed that this home benefited from her more-is-more approach.
"What's interesting is that our New York apartment skews more towards his aesthetic, and this house more towards mine," she says. "But he loves everything in the house. He was really involved, in a good way." And, she adds, now they have two places they love, each with their own point of view.
In fact, a major inspiration for the decor was a painting by artist Pooja Pittie that Powell commissioned for Eadie as Christmas gift. "It's so colorful and beautiful, and it really helped tie everything together," Eadie says. Soicher Marin—headquartered in Bradenton and known for its high-quality art, including prints of famous Condé Nast magazine covers and Slim Aarons photographs—helped the couple source the rest of the artwork.
Other design elements include a pair olive velvet chairs from Blu Dot; a Herman Miller-inspired pendant from Design Within Reach; a vertically tufted leather sofa; a pair of blue Rove Concepts womb chairs that informed the color of an accent wall; a simple, streamlined dining room table; and statement-making rugs, including a vintage knotted find that Eadie picked up at The Exchange (formerly the Woman's Exchange) in downtown Sarasota.
Eadie, Powell and Girard wrapped up the design in February. Eadie and Powell then returned to New York to finish a project and flew back to Sarasota on March 3. They planned to return to New York on March 20—that is, until the pandemic hit. "We were lucky in that we didn't have to panic about leaving New York, because we were already here," Eadie says. "And since we've been at home 24/7, we've been able to really live with the house and are happy with all our decisions. It fits our needs and our lifestyle, and everything is really comfortable."
"We were joking about what stage of the pandemic you're in when you start rearranging your furniture!" she says. "But everything feels interchangeable. I've already switched the olive chairs with the blue chairs, and they work in both spots."
And, pandemic aside, Eadie is looking forward to spending even more time in Sarasota. "I feel so fortunate to have a home here," she says. "Andrew and I are hoping to learn a lot more about the area and build community ties."
Ideas for using color in your home from fashion influencer Blair Eadie.
Be bold with accent items. “When it comes to investment pieces or more permanent fixtures in my home, I play it a bit safer. Bright vases, bold accent pillows and even colorful rugs— depending on the price point and size—are great ways to punch up the color, and easy to swap out in a few years if you decide to go in a different direction.”
Stick to one palette per room and commit to only one or two bold accent colors. “Color can get overwhelming if you don’t keep it focused. Don’t forget to balance some of the bright hues out with shades of white, gray and even black.”
Pull from the environment. “Our large dining room windows look out onto large areca palms; that area of our home focuses on green, white and black. It ties the outdoors into the interior.”
Make it monochromatic. “One of the easiest ways to use color is to find a hue you love and complement that color with deeper and lighter shades in the same family.”