By On Apr 30, 2018 Design
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.
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.
For those not ready to go all out, a few well-placed airy linens in the kitchen and bathrooms also possess a summery, ethereal air about them. Fog Linen and Schoolhouse Electric both offer 100 percent linen and cotton tea towels, dinner napkins, and place mats with subtle patterns and muted colors. “The addition of homespun linens made of natural fibers brings the simplest form of Mother Earth into your home in a functional way,” says Weidenbaum.
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