This is a Guest Post by Samantha Frankel.
I began this design with my one of my absolute favorite American traditions. The summer brings back so many happy childhood memories of sparklers, fireworks and spending hours on the water; pastimes that I wish I could bring back. That’s the funny thing about life. We spend everyday wishing for tomorrow, wishing time would go faster, counting down the hours, minutes, seconds until we get to some monumental point in time where we’re actually happy to be, and then wish for time to stand still.
When beginning to envision a space, it is often easiest to picture the larger items first. Accessorizing is fun, but the basics lie in your necessities.
Because this room features a large, heavy fireplace, I wanted to keep with the formal feel. When attempting to achieve a more formal space, it is often important to center around conversation. Therefore, I selected two Restoration Hardware sofas of equal size and style and placed them directly across from each other.
If I had wanted this room to have more of a family feel, I likely would have selected a larger, modular sectional.
Color is also an important factor in selecting furniture. Color is often dependent on personal preference as well as the desired ‘feel’ or direction of the room. Again, because I was keeping to the formal style and ‘Fourth of July’ theme, I chose two natural beige sofas. I also wanted to play with of the traditional style of the room and allow the eye to aimlessly wander. By keeping the seating muted, I was able to later incorporate different accessories like pillows, plants and artwork achieve my desired theme.
Depending on the feel or theme you want the space to have, make sure to choose an area rug that especially pertains to that style. This is a large space, so choosing an area rug that had a bit of volume was key. I didn’t want the space to feel too cold, loud or ‘perfect’, so I went with a shag style, wool rug from Restoration Hardware. The shag material is a great way to add warmth, coziness and absorb sound. The thin lines that zigzag throughout provide the perfect touch of modern emphasis.
Perhaps one of the easiest and most functional ways to add interest to a space is by incorporating different seating styles. I LOVE creating tension and color in my designs by using different seating styles. In this room, I chose to incorporate tension by selecting white, mid-century modern inspired swoop style chairs by Herman Miller that differed from the traditional-modern style of the sofas. The wooden backs kept to that traditional yet mid-century feel, while the style of the legs and shape of the chair look to have jumped straight out of a 1960’s catalog. By angling the chairs toward the sofas, I was able to keep to that conversational, formal feel. I also selected chairs that were of similar colors and tones to the sofas because the colors brought unity to the different styles and also allowed me to stay in theme.
Now that we have our seating down, it is important to fill the space with functionality first in mind. Tables are absolutely imperative to any room. I started with the cocktail table. (Cocktail tables are more fun than coffee tables) Because this space stays true to a neutral color pallet, I like to create more interest and tension by incorporating more different furniture styles.
We already have traditional modern sofa and mid-century modern chairs, so why not add a rustic cocktail table? I decided to go with the Durham coffee table by Ballard Designs. The natural tones of the pine and the dark, rustic feel of the rod-iron fit perfectly with the pallet we have already created. The size and shape of the table also allow space for drinks, magazines, and plants and the small shelf below creates the perfect storage space.
Sofa tables are another great way to fill a room and allow for endless options. Display family photos, favorite books, trinkets, flowers or just about anything else you desire. Again, because I chose to keep a formal feel to this room, I selected two identical tables to match the length of the sofa. Accessorizing sofa tables can be fun yet somewhat daunting if you’re not sure what you’re doing, as many people struggle with how to exactly place items.
The tips are simple: for a more formal setting, place objects of equal heights equidistant from each other from tallest on the ends to shortest in the middle. As you can see on this setting, the lamp and the orchid are the two tallest items placed on the opposite ends of each table. As the items move toward the middle, the objects get shorter and mirror each other’s heights.
Don’t be afraid to use color! I went with green apples and vibrant plants to give the feeling of life, which truly shines under the July sun.
A smaller table was also necessary between the two chairs. When entertaining, it is necessary to place tables where guests will likely want to place their drinks. Having more space to accessorize and personalize your design is always a bonus! I chose a style that reflects a light and modern, yet common feel. By choosing two stool tables of stacked height, I was able to achieve a modern look without getting too fancy. The color in the tones of the wood also play well off the rest of the neutral pallet. Again, I went with plants that represent the blue of the flag, and a stack of books for warmth.
Lighting is one of the most important elements in a space as it creates the overall feel of the environment. I feel that overhead lighting is too harsh as it only illuminates vertically. However, lamps provide a way to shed light from all 360 degrees and beautifully illuminate the space. Lamps are the secret to make your home ‘glow’. By placing several lamps of various heights and styles while maintaining a certain trend is a great way to add contrast, tension and depth. As you look across the picture, you will see three lamps of different but similar styles.
The lamp on the far left has a square, white drum contemporary shade that sits on a neutral toned, modern base. The lamp in the middle has a white, circular drum shade and sits on a contemporary, tripod base. The lamp on the far left is a standing lamp with a white, angled drum shade and a thin, modern stand. All three lamps differ in height, shape and base yet still hold a common rhythm in their similarities.
Artwork and accessories are your ‘top coat’: the final polish. If you own artwork that is special to you in any way, hang those pieces first. Then, use those pallets to pick out your favorite colors and tones. Now have fun! Mimic those colors throughout the rest of the space by incorporating throws, pillows, plants, books and trinkets.**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.