Thursday, March 14, 2013

the sophisticated "grown-up" room


What better time to post pictures of a sophisticated and grown-up, "quiet" room than during the March break! Ha! I am sorry - I don't meant to tease or taunt - but the little darlings will be back to school in just a few days, and then life can return to normal. Besides, these pictures are too great NOT to share; so share with you I must.

A while back, I was given the task of creating a "calm and quiet" lounge space for some friends. D had long wished for a grown-up room that she could call her own, and, as long as her husband promised to be on his best behaviour whilst in this dreamy space, he was also welcome. :)

We chose a soft, neutral palette and considered the following variables when planning the space:

  • what existing furniture/elements did we need to incorporate? 
  • what function(s) did the room need to serve? 
  • how were we to achieve a balance between cozy, inviting warmth AND sophisticated glam? 

People ask me all the time if it is ok to mix browns with blacks, greys with taupes, dark wood with light wood, etc...And the answer in one word is an emphatic YES! Mixing all of these colours DOES work - primarily because they are a) all neutral colours and b) because they are all repeated throughout the room. Sometimes a "one-off" of a colour  can look out of place, but as long as the colour is repeated elsewhere in the room, a sense of harmony is established (same rule applies to finishes, pattern, and even texture).

Two, small-scale "Louis-style" chairs fit this room exceptionally well. The tufting, profile, and nailhead detail contribute beautifully to the elegance of the room. These two occasional chairs, the round mirrored side table, and the gorgeous patchwork area rug are all from Elte.

I once read, that in an attempt to communicate personality and warmth, every design photo should feature either a) a person, b) food, or c) a family pet. A special thank you to Molly (springer spaniel) for her co-operation. The cushion fabric is from Tonic Living and the oval coffee table is from West Elm.

 I found this super cool gold sphere made out of distressed driftwood at HomeSense. It has become a major conversation piece at dinner parties!

Books are an easy and inexpensive way to accessorize a space. I love removing the jackets and stacking them either vertically or horizontally on a shelf in colour-blocked groupings. And, much like family photographs, books help to personalize a room.

The large, black canvas map of New York (don't you just love it?) is available through Morba. Wall colour is Benjamin Moore "Silver Fox" (2108-50).

When a linear patchwork area rug and a somewhat boxy sofa threaten to make a space appear too "linear," try adding in some oval or round elements as a contrast and to provide some visual relief. 

Rules, Schmules. Who says you can't successfully combine a contemporary Ikat pattern with a more traditional Damask? Similar colour values and textures allowed a successful marriage of these two prints (both available through Tonic Living

The pair of white owl book ends  tie in well with the white of the mirror and other decorative objets. They also provide a great contrast between the dark spines of the books and the dark wood of the cabinet in which they reside. 

A study in contrasts all on its own, the oval "foxed" mirror coffee table from West Elm  combines the glam of antiqued mirrored glass with a forged metal base.

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." ~ Cicero 

We found this great mirror at a warehouse sale for around $20! Notice how propping it against the wall (as opposed to hanging it) reduces the formality of the vignette. 

So, what do you think? Did we manage to create an "adult-friendly" space that is conducive to fireside chats, quiet reading and reflection, and even the indulgence in a grown-up beverage (or two)? 

Have a great night, 

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