Inside the Governor's Residence: Philip Gorrivan's Sunroom Redesign


philip gorrivan
Philip Gorrivan Design

The first designers’ meeting took place in the airy sunroom, which abuts the living room and library. “I was instantly taken by its amazing light, and secretly decided it was the room I wanted,” says Philip Gorrivan, who spends weekends at his home in Washington. Having elements of formality (for entertaining) and coziness (for familial downtime), Gorrivan saw this as the most welcoming room in the Residence, “but its paint colors were wrong and the floor plan wasn’t optimized.”

Capitalizing on the natural light flooding the room (there are three walls of windows), he used cooler grays, greens, purples and aqua versus warmer tones, “because they pull in colors from the garden and each looks beautiful in bright light.” The ceiling was painted a soft, pale lavender. Then, decorative painter Dean Barger applied a silvery glaze, which “gives the room an unexpected facet of youthfulness and excitement,” he explains.  

To improve the floor plan, Gorrivan brought in extra furniture to create three areas: a centralized living room setup; a more intimate den-like arrangement; and a dining area with an upholstered window seat and a simple Parsons table. Clean-lined furniture—much in the style of Jean-Michel Frank—covered in textural fabrics radiates comfort. The designer also incorporated the Malloys’ own 18th-century armoire, which is filled with ceramics from their personal collection. “I like to decorate rooms that are a careful balance of the past and the way we live now,” notes Gorrivan.


♦ for color boards with specifics on philip gorrivan's sunroom, click here