In this corner of the living room hangs a piece of art that holds special significance for the family. Although not a particularly famous piece, the work has been in this family for three generations. Designers replaced the frame and mat with ones that would complement the colors of the artwork more. They then added a console and chair to ground the piece without taking away from it. The fresh flowers on the console help to make the colors of the painting pop.
The serene, distant feel of Mikel’s space is a direct result of the color palette the designer has chosen. The home is a study in neutrals. Brighter colors are use sparingly and, unsurprisingly, to great effect. The large art piece that hangs in the entryway is not a huge departure from the color scheme of the overall living room. But with it’s small pops of bright orange and dark red, it easily stands out, bringing the perfect amount of life and energy to the room.
In the dining room, the homeowners wanted to create an elegant, bright space, so designers used white as the basis for their design. This allows the walls to reflect the natural light of the windows at the front of the space, making this small room seem larger. Two modern art pieces add a splash of color to the space, while a modern dining table and modern chairs provide seating. In addition to the natural light, a modern chandelier hangs from the ceiling adding elegance and providing light at night and on cloudy days.
Off to one side of the dining room, Nana Yaa’s favorite form of transportation makes its own colorful contribution to the decor. This simple yet chic vignette is completed with the inclusion of an African mask hanging on the wall. Though minimalist, Nana Yaa’s style includes a lot of art, which the fashion designer often uses as an ode to her culture, a memento of places she’s been or a reminder of old friends.
This family’s sunroom is so popular that it’s rendered the actual family room virtually unused. It is officially the family’s favorite place to hang out. The room actually just received what we like to call a “facelift” this past summer. The spacious sectional, motorized shades, art, tables, rug and pillows are all new additions. As a self-proclaimed texture fanatic, I added grasscloth to the ceiling just to get one more natural element into the room. For this family, I built a tone-on-tone foundation with lots of texture and added in color with pillows and accessories.
An ascent on the modern staircase leads to the second floor landing with a direct view of the eye-catching laundry room accent wall. “I think that wall is really the key, we were looking at that space knowing most of the time in the laundry room that door is left open and you’re looking at something that is not necessarily lovely. In this case there is a great piece of local art hanging on the wall when the door is open and you see the beautiful stainless tile, so the first impression of that space is much nicer and more contemporary,” says house planner Jack Thomasson.
Muted spaces are all about a well-balanced, calm aesthetic. Rather than hanging high-energy artwork above the desk, a clean, classic grouping was made with framed photographs and women’s apparel. When grouping art and objects together in a saloon wall style, be sure to take scale and proportion as well as textural values into consideration. All the textures found in the framing, mat and woven hat play well together since they’re all from similar color families. Scale and proportion are kept in check by keeping spacing similar between objects.
This family of five got the contemporary kitchen masterpiece they were looking for. The blond oak floors and the dark cabinets compliment each other and give the clean lines of the contemporary style the family was looking for. The white Thassos countertops that were installed continue the trend of stylish, sleek lines, while also being durable enough to handle the daily preparation of large meals. The stainless steel appliances add a sophisticated look to the space, but because they are Viking appliances, they give the family the state of the art technology and luxury they were in the market for. To complete this sleek, elegant space, the family added contemporary crystal light fixtures to hang above the extra large kitchen island and the wine storage in the corner of the kitchen to give their space the touch of luxury the family dreamed of.
Through a colorful doorway and past a tastefully appointed parlor is a breathtaking living room. The dark stained floors, which run through the entire house, were laid by Julio, who taught himself the skills he needed to accomplish the job. The white masks that hang from the far wall are his creations as well. The masks offer a modern way to bring classic Angolan art home. The ornate fireplace, one of four hearths this home boasts, is original to the space, as is the decorative scrollwork that runs across moldings and ceilings in this room. The way that Kenza and Julio have maintained the architecture of the home, is a reminder not to remove or cover up original fixtures, but to instead accentuate them. Filling a traditional space with modern furnishings creates a unique contrast of styles that can add layers of sophistication to a room.
“The trick to tackling a huge room like this is to divide it up into zones and that's just what this design trio does so well,” says designer Candice Olson. “There is an area to take in the view; a sprawling wall shelf that doubles as both display and seating; (great for those big LA parties); and a main conversation grouping that floats in front of the fireplace. I think the wall art is the strongest element in this space. Large tree-motif panels suit the grand scale of the space, as does the ingenious bubble-wrap wall hanging backed with a very current fretwork graphic — someone’s going to Design Heaven for that move. And can we talk about the pink ducks?! The 3-D element of these wooden sculptures animates the massive fireplace wall but this team doesn’t stop there. A quart of neon-pink paint has these ducks kicking sand in the feathered faces of their pink flamingo cousins. It’s this touch of the unexpected that prevents a serious room like this from looking too somber and that can make a good design a great one. As strong as the wall art is, I feel the decorative elements placed along the wall shelves and mantel are suffering from a case of "Honey, I shrunk the accessories." Big rooms need big accessories — lamps, candlesticks or pedestals, ceramics and mirrors — all large-scaled to suit. I would have opted for a huge, free-form, wood coffee table. Glass tends to visually disappear and is a better choice to help keep the feeling open and uncluttered in small spaces.”