Designer Allyson Runnels’ Modern Mélange

Text by Alice Welsh Doyle | Photography by Colleen Duffley

With bold accents, charming antiques, and curious textures, designer Allyson Runnels fills her Florida home with attitude and style that illustrate her proficiency in the art of juxtaposition.

When an interior designer builds and decorates her own home, surprises and great ideas await at every turn. Allyson Runnels’s home in Blue Mountain Beach, Florida, is no exception. Tissue paper adorns the walls in the powder bath; the soaking tub sits in a curtained alcove; the master bedroom features black walls and ceiling, among many other unusual touches. “I do like to experiment in my own home,” says Runnels. “If something doesn’t work, I can always change it. You would not want to put a client through that.”

Runnels is adept at merging contemporary with classic, and as a result, the rooms never have a cold look. Beautiful Tudor-style arches contrast with the more modern look of the walls that have no crown moulding. A curvy gold Italian mirror sits above a sleek bathroom vanity; an antique chandelier hangs over a Saarinen-style dining table; and a Mies van der Rohe Barcelona daybed sits close to a vintage white marble fireplace mantel from New
Orleans. “I am drawn to contrasts and believe they make the most interesting rooms rather than everything being the same style,” says Runnels. She also likes pieces that don’t look as if a decorator chose them but instead tell a story reflecting the owner’s interests.

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