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As an interior designer with her own home furnishings collection at JCPenney, she simply let her mood—a wish to create a cozier feel for the coming winter—and some of her newest fabrics and furniture guide her. “My house is my laboratory,” says Chris of the renovated 1916 stone gatehouse in Westchester County, New York, that she shares with her husband, Kevin, and (sometimes) with their two grown sons. “My home is where I can live with my new designs every day—which really gives me a sense of how they will work for my customers.”

Although Chris and her design team recently revamped everything from the window treatments to the furniture, she stresses that updating doesn’t require a major investment. “You can transform a room dramatically with new pillows or a small area rug layered over the carpet or even by switching from white lightbulbs to pink ones, for a warm glow.” And, Chris advises, always consider all five senses. Attend to the visual, of course, but also incorporate texture, sound, scent, and even taste (see “Decorating for the Five Senses”).Then there’s the “sixth sense”: emotion. “You need to really connect with the rooms in your home as you go about decorating them,” she says. “Choose elements that will create the effect you want—whether it’s to energize or relax you. That’s the best way to make a room truly your own.”



Adjacent to the full dining room, this alcove is where Chris and Kevin enjoy intimate dinners—and read the papers on Sunday morning.



The open shelves of the dining nook show off Chris and Kevin’s enthusiasm for natural history—and keep entertaining essentials close at hand.



“This bed, a new one from my collection, anchors the space in a fresh way,” says Chris. “And the leopard area rug reflects my adventurous sense of style.”

From JCPenney:
Bed, bedding, throw, rug


“Fabric is a great way to smooth out uneven plaster walls like ours,” says Chris. She just stapled a cottagey blue-and-white print to the wall, then applied white rope trim with a hot-glue gun.

From JCPenney:
Nightstands, bedding, window treatments, plates, lamps, rug