One of our clients phoned DLL late last year after feeling like something was missing from their Raleigh home. We began the design process together and started in the living room- as it is the central space where our clients entertain with their family and friends. Keeping in mind the needs of the family with three kids and two dogs, we started with a nice canvas as the room featured beautiful symmetry, excellent natural light streaming through a trio of arched windows, built-in bookcases, a coffered ceiling classic, columns, and a gracious fireplace.
A traditional Oriental rug with hues of copper, chocolate brown, cream, grey, and red presented the color scheme, and lounge chairs were in great shape so we were able to reupholster the pair. In order for the room to undergo the style transformation from builder’s best to beautiful- we went through the following processes:
Step one: Wall Paint
Builder beige painted walls received a weathered French blue paint treatment. The color saturation is my favorite element of the room and the texture adds an aged look to keep the house from looking too new.
Step two: Let there be light
Before- the architectural millwork wasn’t receiving any attention and the evenings were dimly lit. We searched for the perfect addition and this wooden chandelier from Currey & Co. won the prize. The room benefits from another layer of light and the decorative fixture adds dimension and detail to the ceiling. Personally, I like the shadow that’s reflected upon the ceiling- I think it feels like magic!
Step three: Consider more seating
Instead of utilizing the oh so average sofa plus cocktail table and a pair of chairs seating arrangement- the room was large enough for the space plan to include the clients existing pair of chairs (recovered), a new sofa upholstered in a dog friendly fabric, a leather cocktail ottoman, a small leather chair with French details that has become the daughter’s favorite, and what I call the “Papa chair” or a modern wingback with an ottoman. For any party, this space can reasonably sit 9!
Step four: Personalize the space with great art
This beautiful Brian Hibbard painting, purchased at Artsource of North Hills above the mantle was a wedding anniversary gift exchange between my clients. I love that the gift is something they can both enjoy daily and it adds a serene element that feels at home upon the textured walls.
As a designer, the beauty of this room is found in the mix and composition of the finishes- wood, paint, metal, leather, and upholstery fabric. When all was said and done- I think we achieved a classic Southern aesthetic without being too fussy- a room where my clients can look forward to relaxing with family after dinner or playing the role of hostess. The texture of the walls feel like what you might find on the ceiling of a sweeping porch, the dainty French chair is something that Bonnie Blue eyes would pull up in, and the character of brass upholstery buttons on the cocktail ottoman remind me of the buttons of a soldiers coat.
What interior elements characterize Southern style and beauty to you?