By Doris RufOn May 01, 2018 Design
Used as both a family room and a living room, the 20x30-foot space in this Atlanta home gathers its elegant energy from patterns that are even more subtle than tone-on-tone—they are created entirely from textures. The pair of modified wing chairs at the fireplace are covered in a beige fabric woven in small diamond motifs (no coincidence, the Pollack fabric is “Diamondieu”). Then look inside the fireplace. The brick firebox is laid in a herringbone pattern. Subtle. The fauteuil facing the fireplace is a taupe velvet cut to create a 3D swirl pattern. And both the sofa and the club chair opposite it play the texture game with their small-weave diamonds. With the exception of the decorative pillows, the only non-textured pattern is at the windows. A tone-on-tone. Quiet. Elegant.
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.
In New York renowned Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse, designer Noel Jeffrey went against trend by allowing the living rooms original dark-stained woodwork to have its say. And it is the language of elegance. By not painting the lovely paneled walls and fireplace, Jeffrey allowed the space to bask in the warmth of the wood’s rich grain. He underscored that warmth with creamy furniture upholsteries, a white rug, and billowy beige silk draperies that ensure a dramatic contrast between dark and light.
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