By Gerda MenzelOn Apr 15, 2018 Design
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.
Making the right decorating decision sometimes means doing nothing at all. When a living room like the one in this East Hampton house is blessed with beautiful French doors and an abundance of light, a smart designer knows to leave well enough alone: Keep the windows undressed. Designer Larry Laslo did just that. He also enhanced the architecture’s airiness with a monochromatic palette of soft pearl and sand with dark wood accents.
Venetian plaster walls and antique beams give this new Atlanta home the sense of history that figures so prominently in elegant Southern style. Gracefully turned-wood furnishings including a fainting lounge (what more Southern than that?) join posh but soothing fabrics to increase the elegance. Window treatments are important in the South, and these full panels hang ceiling to floor. But the palette of dreamy cream and taupe with accents of blue and chocolate ensures that all is easy on the eye, an imperative for true elegance.
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