Boisterous patterns romp on walls, flowers dance on armchairs and vivid hues shine throughout Andrea Schumacher’s spaces. Schumacher has an eye for drama, and her previous experience as a Hollywood set designer infuses her interior design. We spoke with Schumacher on how she adds vibrancy and flair to projects for her eponymous Denver design firm.
Tell us about being a set designer. I was a 19-year-old intern at Days of Our Lives, then I worked at Columbia Pictures. I used to shop for accessories at movie houses. They have aisles of products based on era, like an aisle of Victorian candlesticks, chairs and doilies. Then I went back to college and fell into interior design.
What are a few ways to create drama in a project? I like visually exciting interiors, and I bring energy to a space with color and pattern. It’s also important to make homes look collected over time by using unique conversation pieces that are weird or have a sense of humor. And I really try to capture how my clients live in the space and how they can bring vibrancy to their own home.
How do you decide on an overall look for a space? I find one item or pattern to use as a jumping-off point. Sometimes it’s a small vase from the client’s grandma; sometimes it’s the client’s Archie Bunker-style avocado-green chair from 1952. From there, I pull patterns that look good with it and mix colors that wouldn’t ordinarily be put together.
Any favorite colors? I love bright greens and different shades of blue. Green is the only color on the color wheel that is neither warm nor cold; it’s totally neutral. And blue is so soothing and has a range of options that go from calm to energizing. I like to mix the two.
Could you share a trick of the trade? Putting in wallpaper, like a thicker grasscloth, covers up terrible drywall. It solves two issues in one: You get a really dramatic wall, and you don’t have to deal with the drywall.
Any areas where you like to add extra oomph? I always try to make people see that the ceiling is a fifth wall. If you do floral on walls, then put a graphic on the ceiling — that makes the whole space.