I think at some point or other in all of our lives, we've had a light bulb moment where we realize that more is not always better. As a designer, separating all the beautiful colors and patterns in the world around us and narrowing it down to a few key tones in a space is probably my biggest struggle. In my first design position as assistant to a designer that specializes in 'casual coastal' design, one of my main tasks was maintaining the textile library and scouting fabrics at showrooms. I would go into one of the gorgeous showrooms at the Pacific Design Center or one of the many boutiques on Melrose and immediately be drawn to the sections of wild patterns and bold colors, but knew I had to restrict myself to the mainly the blues and whites for the predominantly neutral signature palette of this designer. Now that I'm past the initial "starstruck" phase of seeing rows upon rows of masterpiece handcrafted textiles, I've learned to appreciate the subtleties that are found in quieter palettes, and the feeling they evoke.
Starstruck at the selection at LA's iconic Hollywood At Home, circa 2015
A client recently came to me, wanting to edit their space to create a more streamlined and soothing living space. The key words we came up with were: "monochromatic," "Scandinavian," and "cozy," but there was a condition: there were quite a few existing pieces she wanted to keep, and she not interested in generic items. Her current living room could best be described as 'boho eclectic,' and was full of unique items and lots of bright color.
To tone down the volume while keeping the bones of the space, I narrowed it down to three primary colors: green (the color of her sofa), aubergine (wall color), and grey, ranging from warm all the way to white. To warm the space, I injected some brass accents -- such as her existing coffee table, curtain rod, and arc floor lamp -- and wood and leather pieces that read as a neutral. She also requested to incorporate her hanging chair and mid century wire chair (similar here) into the design. Clearly, there was no room for additional bold colors here so I focused on adding layers of texture via layered rugs, cozy pillows and throws, and Belgian linen curtains. The layered rugs was also a clever way to prevent excessive wear and tear in a high traffic area since woven jute holds up waaaay better than Moroccan shag! I also added a unique statement light fixture (that's currently on sale and I'm obsessed with!), and a large scale potted plant for an extra dimension of fresh-from-the-forest coziness. I love how it turned out! You can get the link to the rest of the items below.
GET THE LOOK:
1. Sofa 2. Linen curtains 3. Planter 4. Jute rug 5. Moroccan shag rug 6. Art 7. Leather chair 8. Stump side table 9. Moroccan pouf 10. Velvet pillow, Sheepskin pillow, lumbar pillow, tassel pillow, jersey interknit pillow
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