The living room is the area that homeowner Richard Long considers the introverted area of the house: This is where the family goes for quiet moments: listening to or playing music, reading or pausing for a minute of reflection. It adjoins the dining room, which is painted a dark gray for a cozy feel. “Our goal is to have an art collection,” says Richard, “so we wanted a color that would fade into the background and let the art stand out.” Simple but glossy moldings and creamy walls are set off by the rich textures of leather, jute and wood in the living room.
Just a few steps through the front door and the space opens up into this expansive dining room. Part of the effortless charm of this home comes from original details such as historic moldings. The cool white of the walls and the warm wood tone of the floor create a stark backdrop that give the room’s other colors and elements ample room to shine. The dining room is a mix of rustic and industrial elements. To add some color to the mix, a large red print, left by the home’s previous tenant adds a pop of color to the neutral decor.
This pristine pair of swivel chairs was passed down from Micah’s grandmother. They’re a perfect way to inject a little generational history into a young family’s home. Family heirlooms are always a good idea. You’ll notice that below the white painted crown molding is a white picture rail. In many older homes, the walls are plaster as opposed to drywall. Plaster is much harder and more difficult to repair; therefore, a piece of molding/rail is used as a surface to attach hardware and wire, and then your artwork to. Preservation is key in caring for older homes. The Stansells cleverly repeated the teal color on the drapery panels, but used white sheers on the window’s interior for semi-privacy while still allowing light in.
This home in Decatur, Georgia outside Atlanta has five boys all under the age of 5, which means lots of mess. Designer Gina Sims solved that "problem" by creating an adult nook in the kitchen where the boys' art supplies are hidden away in the buffet. Sims advising going up when it comes to design and other elements you want to keep out of kids' reach. "The wine storage went up the wall out of reach, and we added impactful art, lighting and window treatments to draw the eye up," says Sims. Sims was also strategic in her choice of materials for the seating. "The plastic molded chairs are easily wiped down (or hosed off!) and the machine made (read: inexpensive) rug has lots of color and pattern which hide stains," notes Sims.
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.