By Gerda MenzelOn Oct 03, 2017 Design
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.
A surfeit of square footage thankfully is not essential to an elegant design, as this cozy living room in the Atlanta home of designer Lori Tippins proves. In fact, the human scale of the space contributes to its elegance, for design is as much about how a space lives as it is about how it looks. Here beauty begins with the bones of the room. Pairs of French doors flank a small antique marble fireplace for a full flow of natural light, symmetrical balance, and pleasing proportions. The trumeau above the fireplace is a major player in getting the right proportions, drawing the eye all the way up to the same height as the curtain rods. (It’s also gorgeous!) These, too, are placed high on the walls, nearly a foot above the doors to skim just beneath the extra-thick crown moldings. Decorative elements are few but fine. The pair of floor lamps, for instance, were converted from gilded iron candlesticks. The vertical border on the draperies introduces color and pattern in an exquisitely subtle fashion.
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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