By Gerda MenzelOn Apr 09, 2018 Design
Inspiration for the bright white living room in this Seattle home was the Hamptons house of Diane Keaton in the movie Something Gotta Give. That clean, almost effortless look of the movie’s beloved home actually is as sophisticated as it is simple. As interpreted here, it’s a crispness that emanates from the architecture. A deeply coffered ceiling works in tandem with the careful gridwork of shelving that flanks the fireplace to define the space in bold, linear strokes. Symmetrical balance extends to both the architecture and the clean-lined furniture to impose formal structure on an informal, feel-good style. So just two words to remember: clean-lined and balanced.
This fireplace view of designer Skip Sroka’s Washington D.C. living room reveals more of his secrets to creating an elegant space. The gold-leaf mirror above the fireplace is ornamented with a Greek-key motif, the grandfather of classic patterns. (Think the opposite of trendy.) The mirror does more than introduce classic lines, however. It also swings out to reveal a flat-screen TV. This kind of cleverly concealed hard-working function provides one more clue to the meaning of elegant decorating. Efficiency. (Apple products’ efficiency makes them the most elegant in their industry. The same rules apply to both interior and industrial design.) The entire fireplace presentation is refined through the symmetrical balance of the mirror between a pair of antique sconces.
Dove gray and attention to detail create serene sophistication in the living room of this Connecticut home overlooking Long Island Sound. “I did not want a beachy home so we went with dark floors and classic details,” says the owner, architectural designer Louise Brooks. Farrow & Ball’s “Skimming Stone” is painted on the walls, while the wood comes clean in the venerable paint company “All White.” Silver-gray cocktail and side tables pick up the thread of color from the room’s gray-and-white striped Elizabeth Eakins rug, while the furniture remains calm in white upholstery fabrics. Even the accessories on the fireplace wall shelves are pared down for importance. Most notable is the pair of antique lanterns on the middle shelves.
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