Designer Jill Litner Kaplan at Home

May 3, 2024

Jill Litner Kaplan brings her longtime loves—including Paris, art, and fashion—home to roost.

Text by Kathryn O’Shea-Evans    Photography by Michael J. Lee

“I like to be entertained as I walk through my own home,” says designer Jill Litner Kaplan of her West Newton Hill, Massachusetts, house. Strolling through the 1927 brick Georgian Revival-meets-colonial that she shares with her husband and their sons—one studying abroad in Paris, the other a recent college grad—does indeed have an entertainment factor. Each room is a treasure trove of riveting finds, from a Helen Frankenthaler lithograph to ballroom chairs that one can imagine once rested the dance-weary derriere of Marie Antoinette herself. “Every piece that I have purchased or that has been given to me has a story,” Litner Kaplan says.

Many of those stories begin in France, where Litner Kaplan, a former fashion buyer for Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, lived for nine months and where she returns regularly. “My personal style was influenced by the French, who have an eclectic aesthetic, collecting things from China, from Japan, from Africa,” she says. “You can have a pair, like I do, of Louis XVI bergères that are upholstered in a modern fabric sitting next to something that is midcentury with a contemporary piece of art floating overhead and an African sculpture nearby.”

Like a museum curator at the Louvre, Litner Kaplan has selected serene backdrops for many of her rooms including Benjamin Moore’s Baby Fawn in the living room and Balboa Mist in the family room’s dining area. “My general approach to paint is that we use very soft, soothing tones of gray, taupe, or greige because I prefer that the fabrics and the artwork and the accessories really pop. I don’t really want the wall color to tell the story.”

If this home were a tale, it would be a happy one. Litner Kaplan employs shades of pink in many of her interiors, down to a raspberry sofa purchased from Ann Getty’s estate. She got no complaints from her sons. “I raised my boys with an expression, which is ‘real men wear pink.’ ”

But one of Litner Kaplan’s key design philosophies is to never let things collect dust, emotionally speaking. “I personally am always looking for freshness and newness, so I move things around,” she says. “I have the freedom in the context of my own house to take risks.” Oui, oui.

Find A Resource

Search from hundreds of home services, products, destinations, and real estate opportunities.

View All Resources