For Nan McVey, beautiful design means spontaneity, cohesiveness, and comfort: a style she would sum up as eclectic. McVey, who has worked in design since 1985 and partners with Margaret Valentine for MCVEY VALENTINE INTERIOR DESIGN, says they love to give homes an original aesthetic, and do this by finding inspiration in the client, listening to their needs and considering their style.
For McVey and Valentine, working on a project becomes a trilateral team effort alongside the client, balancing functionality and style so the home is unified—but never predictable. McVey likes to use color as a thread, connecting elements of a space while incorporating unique visual interest and personal flair.
The latest project—or challenge—for McVey and Valentine has been the redesign of the McVey’s new home. McVey says the midcentury modern they moved into last September was a complete reversal for her family, and just as much of a challenge to decorate, since McVey’s traditional furniture easily complimented their old home, a Duncan Lee.
Yet, McVey and Valentine were up for the challenge, applying the same consideration they have used for years for clients of all style and inclination. “At first I thought ‘Oh no, I could not possibly live in that house!’ Then, I started dreaming about what I could do with it as a challenge and make it a home,” McVey said.
Although she and Valentine are continually amending the home here and there—and even beginning a project on Valentine’s mountain house—McVey said she loves the home for the challenge of the drastic change. “We practiced how to use what we had, because we had to, throwing in some twists that married our antiques and the midcentury modern,” McVey said. “It’s just growing outside of the comfortable box you were in and looking forward to change.”
Now, thanks to the design duo, the home has been brought to life with masterful mingling of traditional and modern; it’s flooded with natural light and has a neutral, dignified ease to it that came with incorporating well-worn family heirlooms with the clean angular lines of the house. Family portraits and bright mirrors adorn the walls, exemplifying McVey and Valentine’s practice of integrating personal style while using a restrained ‘less is more’ method.
McVey’s favorite room in the house? She loves the living room for its sereneness and peacefulness; it’s painted in a neutral misty gray titled “Cornforth White” by Farrow & Ball and accented with her mother’s antique side-tables, serving as a simple space, but also seamlessly unifying old and new.