The Watson Home
If you were to ask Lynda Watson’s family and friends if she is afraid of change, they would tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth. With an affinity for decorating and designing, Watson is always rearranging her home – or buying an entirely new one, for that matter.
By Christina Cannon/ Photography by Philip Slowiak
“I enjoy construction and have a tendency to want to remodel things. Every three or four years, I’d find a home I loved, and my husband and I would gut and remodel it. He let me do it because he knew it brought me joy,” says Watson. “After he passed away, I decided to look for another place that would be better for me as I got older. I have friends in this community, and it’s been really good for me.”
Watson’s home is a quaint one-story condo, but just because it is modest in size doesn’t mean it lacks style and personality. From the moment guests step inside, they are instantly greeted with the home’s vibrant character.
Quatrefoil wallpaper wraps the foyer, and a sophisticated black and gold table matches the mirror that hangs just above.
Stepping through the threshold takes guests into the main living space. A built-in bar area is immediately on the left and houses an array of crystal, which Watson adores for its simplicity.
Two red velvet sofas, each able to seat two people, dominate the room and are paired with two cream-colored ottomans for an engaging arrangement. A set of antique armchairs rests in front of a small wooden table that features a bonsai tree illuminated by warm lamplight.
“My style is very eclectic,” says Watson. “I like a little bit of everything. I enjoy traditional and oriental décor, but I also
really like some contemporary and modern pieces.”
In general, Watson’s collection of furniture and décor has been decades in the making, and often comes from antique stores, markets, auctions, and travels to places near and far. But one thing’s for sure – nearly every piece has a story to tell. One such piece is a one-of-a-kind monkey lamp nicknamed Bernie after the auction house it came from.
“My girlfriends and I went to an auction one year, and my friend Wanda bought this lamp because no one was bidding on it. The auction house was glad to see it go, but when we arrived home, her husband was waiting for her in the driveway. She said to me, ‘Jim is going to kill me if I get that out of the car,’ so I agreed to buy it from her,” recalls Watson. “I put it on a stand and got him a new shade. Now all of my kids and grandkids want Bernie, and Wanda even tried to buy him back, but I’m not giving him up.”
Next to the heart of the living room is Watson’s desk, which also unfolds and doubles as her dining room table when she has guests over. A unique printed bonnet chair is tucked underneath and exudes a powerful presence.
A fireplace at one end of the room contributes to the cozy and comfortable atmosphere, and on the mantel sits another piece near and dear to Watson’s heart. “A really good friend of mine, Barbra Cain, painted this from a picture she had taken when she was a bride living in Germany during World War II,” says Watson.
Three square pass-throughs connect the home’s living room to its kitchen. Here, simple and elegant shaker-style cabinetry stretches to the room’s ceiling and is outfitted with champagne gold fixtures that Watson loves for their warmth.
Further contributing to the homey atmosphere are quartz countertops that run the perimeter of the room and feature an array of creams and browns. A small round table sits in front of an elegant bay window and is bookended by two Queen Anne chairs.
“I love the size of my kitchen. It’s perfect for me,” says Watson. “It’s small enough to get around in without feeling like I’m running all over the place, but I can still easily serve a meal buffet-style when I have company.”
Stepping further into the home, visitors gain access to the master suite. The neutral cream-colored walls seen throughout the rest of the house are traded here for a greenish-gray, a color Watson notes is one of her favorites.
“There’s just something so soft and soothing about this color,” says Watson. “Also, I always paint my ceilings because it really makes the crown molding pop. When your ceilings are white, you can’t see the beauty and elegance of the craftsmanship as well.”
In addition to sleeping in this room, Watson frequently comes in here to read, and a small sofa draped in lush blankets is tucked into a corner for her to sit on should she wish.
“I layer furniture like most people layer clothes, and this room is no exception,” says Watson. “When you find yourself in a small place and you have so many pieces with amazing stories and memories tied to them, you have to get creative.”
Stepping into the bathroom, guests will find the same warm quartz countertops that are seen in the kitchen, and marble-mimicking porcelain tile cloaks the floor and shower walls. This entire space is airy and bright and doubles down on the bedroom’s soothing nature.
Whether Watson is reading in her bedroom, having her morning coffee in the living room, or enjoying a glass of wine and a TV show in the den, every space in her home has been thoughtfully curated for the task at hand.
“When you only have this much space, you really end up using every square foot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be intentional,” says Watson.
Regardless if she is having family over for a meal or entertaining her friends, who have nicknamed themselves The Fab Five, good times are sure to be had by all, and at least one person will remark, “What have you moved this time?” CS