Around the time that was pregnant with her fourth son, she informed her husband that she wanted to go pink. “I said, ‘If I’m raising a fraternity or basketball team or whatever we’re having here, then I’m going to pretty much do what I want with this pink situation,” she recalls. “My husband was like, ‘Have at it!’ ”
Their home—a 1907 farmhouse in Richmond, Virginia, set on a busy block “complete with church bells ringing and schoolchildren walking by”—has been in what Molster calls “a constant state of evolution” for the 18 years her family has lived there. Part of that is due to the reality of living with an accomplished designer: Molster’s eponymous firm, run by an all-female staff, specializes in residential projects in the Southeast. The age of the house has posed structural challenges, too. “Let’s just say there aren’t a lot of corners,” she points out. “When you live in an old house, you have to embrace imperfection. Actually, you have to give it a big hug.” Fittingly, there are antiques everywhere you look, but that’s the last thing a visitor would notice. Instead, what stands out is the fact that room after room, from the kitchen to the bedroom, is draped in shades of blush and coral, watermelon and fuchsia.
“I credit my mother for my love of pink. It was dripped on me from a very early age,” Molster explains. “While my use of it may sometimes be a bit bold for my mother, we stand together in that there’s no such thing as too much of a color you love.”
Molster’s five kids don’t seem to mind—“they were introduced so early to a feminine household that they didn’t know to object”—but she knows that the folks lining up for her design services may not be so comfortable going big. “There’s a term I use with my clients: color tolerance,” she says. “Some people crave pure, saturated color, and others want a quiet little color rub.”
Either way, balance is key. Luxe motifs like gold fixtures and frames, oversize mirrors, wide stripes, and velvet keep all the pinks from feeling frilly. And quirky choices abound, as in the kitchen, where a pink-and-lavender ombré paper by Thibaut covers both the walls and the Sub-Zero refrigerator. And the room is grounded not by the typical island but by a large table made from a section of antique parquet flooring. “I thought back to my grandmother’s kitchen, which had a table in the middle of the room,” Molster says. “That was really the heart of her home.”
Twenty-five years of design work have taught Molster to trust her instincts. “I am a risk-taker. I tend to follow my knee-jerk inclinations without looking back,” she says. “When a piece sings with good, clean design and some originality, it stands out to a trained eye. You just know.”
Producer: Frances Bailey