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Photo by Danny Piassick

Picture a georgian-style red-brick house with classic architectural details inside and out. Now add two young homeowners who love the play of new against old.

Their interior designer, Marci Barnes, began at the entry, kicking around the idea of patterned tile before hitting on a crisp painted floor in purplish black and clean white. “It’s a lovely surprise when you walk in the door,” says the Dallas-based Barnes. “You see the traditional exterior, then the traditional staircase, and then—that floor!”

Barnes drew up the oversize design using CAD software and worked with her painting contractor on where it would begin and end. Once he applied the white base coat, he mapped out and carefully taped off the design, a process made a bit easier by the pattern’s large scale. While Barnes prefers oil-based paint for such projects, pro painter Rich O’Neil, of Masterwork Painting & Restoration, says it’s also fine to use latex formulated for use on floors, topped by two or three coats of clear, water-based polyurethane.

Barnes put together a complementary color scheme for the room beyond the entry, then continued the transitional look with an updated-traditional console table and vintage lamps with bright-white shades. “It’s a great juxtaposition,” she says of the mix. “And the floor really sets the tone.”

Interior designer: Marci Barnes, M. Barnes & Co., Dallas