In 2016, after building a business inspiring clients to find their own style, Marla Walker got the opportunity to put her distinctive flair to work for herself. She and her family bought a three-bedroom, two-bath Victorian in need of a major spruce-up.
Dating back to 1870 and part of an enclave of Victorians that make up the village of Rhinebeck’s historic district, the 2,200-square-foot home hadn’t been altered or updated since the 1970s. With Marla’s deft touch and eye for pattern and colour, as well as a little help from her architect husband, Brian Walker, she was able to preserve the historic Victorian’s classic beauty while fully modernising the interior and transforming the vintage home into a comfortable and colourful, family-friendly space.
A native Californian, Marla Walker spent her formative years in the South and both places inform and inspire her work.
‘Our mission at Marla Walker Interiors is to create beautiful, functional interiors that reflect each client’s individual interests, aspirations and everyday life,’ she says. ‘We make spaces that are refined, engaging, and practical.’
Marla chose the colourful Josef Frank wallpaper for the halls and stairway to fill the centre of the house and set the colour palette for all the adjoining rooms. ‘This was the very first thing I picked for the house and I built the whole colour story around this paper,’ she says. It’s a wonderful backdrop for their black and white Blossfeldt botanicals and a custom silhouette of Marlas’ sons made out of leaves by a local artist.
The wall colour was inspired by a vintage green file cabinet Marla had always wanted paint a room. ‘The painters thought I was insane until they saw the wallpaper go up,’ she laughs.
Photography/ Deborah DeGraffenreid
Interior design/ Marla Walker