When we first met with the owners of this lovely Carmel, IN home, they were looking for the classic lines associated with transitional style. However, we noticed a stunning antique chest with a marble top in their entryway. At once we knew that combining the beautiful antique with a clean design would give our clients the sophisticated yet eclectic space they desired.
The goal of the project was to create a living room and dining room where our clients could entertain their guests comfortably. The living room welcomes people when they first walk in, thereby setting the tone for the rest of the house. The adjacent dining room is open to the living room, and therefore needed a complementary design.
Transitional Style Living Room Design:
Our clients preferred a soft color scheme, so we went with beiges and creams contrasted with blue and red. While we used variations of neutrals in the space, what made this tonal scheme truly successful was variation in texture. Combining fabrics with different patterns and feels helps lead the eye around the room. This design technique does not provide an overload of visual information, so the structural elements of the furniture are allowed to shine.
Using the horizontal plane of the room, we chose a rug that integrated pattern and color into the living room in an unobtrusive way. The blues and reds in the floor covering were pulled up to eye level through decorative pillows and accessories. In addition, our art-loving clients wanted to find a piece that supported their new, sophisticated look. We found an artist that created the perfect fit for the space.
The decorative pillow is an excellent example of how you can choose expensive fabric that you love and use it wisely. We found this embroidered silk that perfectly complemented both the soft and bold colors of the rug. The fabric pulled everything together and enhanced the visual interest – it is one the first things your notice in the room! While that one element was expensive for a pillow, it completes the room. Our clients felt the investment was totally worth it.
The drapery was the final element brought into the space, providing a finished look. While the window treatments highlighted the high ceiling and beautiful windows, the soft neutral tones of the room also needed an anchor. The color block at the bottom of the drapery provided a background layer for the furniture, giving it something to pop off of visually when you first enter the home. The large pieces of fabric on the virtual plane also added softness to the space.
Transitional Style Dining Room Design:
The neutral color scheme set in the living room was carried over to the adjacent dining room. We began by applying grass cloth to the walls to immediately warm up the space. Grass cloth has a distinct horizontal pattern, which added texture. Contrast was provided through texture rather than color by bringing in smooth, shiny silk drapery.
The hefty dining chairs were fully upholstered in a light fabric softening space while allowing their lovely structure to shine. The lines of the dining table are simple, but the gorgeous grain of the top leaps out when one enters the room. For the accessories, we went with fewer, larger items. Our intention was to layer the numbers of items as you looked into the room: three plants on the table, two pots on the buffet, five items on the wall. This technique adds balance to the space, as well as a soft, rich look.
Transitional style is built off of the classic lines of traditional furniture, without the embellishments. This design scheme celebrates the silhouette of furniture and accessories rather than the trimmings. While we were able to create the warm and inviting space our clients were looking for, the transitional look also allowed their highly-styled antique chest to be the star. As a gift from family, our clients were happy to have an element that was unique to them set the stage for the rest of their home.
Questions about this project? Send us an email, or give us a call at 317.253.8986.
The lower level of your home offers a multitude of possibilities for extra living space. However, basement remodeling usually comes with some challenges; there is little natural light in the space unless you have a walk-out basement, and you are dealing with large open spaces and the house’s mechanicals. What proves most challenging is making the space not feel like a cold, dark and unwelcoming basement.
To counteract the naturally cool temperature, we focus a great deal on the lighting and the colors in our lower level design schemes. We implement a layered lighting approach that combines overall illumination and task lighting sources to set a welcoming mood while offering functionality. Also, we find that choosing warm, rich colors for the walls brings a cozy feeling to a space usually devoid of warmth.
A Recent Basement Remodeling Project:
We recently completed a lower level remodel in a home located on a horse estate in Zionsville. Just like every design project we undertake, everything began with function. How was the family going to use the space? They already had a conversation area on the main level, but did not have a comfortable TV space – “a place to slug” according to the homeowner. The open space in their basement was the perfect place to put it, as well as a desired bar for entertaining and a game room for their pool and shuffleboard tables.
The unusual ceiling conditions caused by the heating and cooling ductwork determined how we divided the space into functions. Hiding the unsightly metal provided a natural division between what became the bar area and the TV area. The game area was going to be used the least, so we set it off to the side. The bar was placed at the entry of the space for convenient entertaining. As the main functional area of the space, the TV and seating were centrally located so people could easily move to either the game area or the bar area.
To bring warmth and light into the space, we added canned lights on dimmers so our clients could control the mood. Lamps added more ambient lighting. Under-counter lights not only illuminated the wet bar area, they lit the glass shelving holding the colorful alcohol bottles, creating a fanciful focal point.
The rustic nature of the horse estate fit right into our preference toward using natural materials. We chose slate flooring for the bar area for its practicality, but the rich colors ended up driving the color scheme of the rest of the project! We then chose a warm, textured neutral carpet that complimented the slate while adding a cozy place to sit on the floor in the relaxing and play areas.
We pulled the colors out of the slate flooring for our wall paint. Deep hues of grey leaning to blue, and brown leaning to khaki, provided the cozy feel our clients were looking for.
For the bar, we again chose a natural material. The granite countertops on the wet bar were also chosen for the separate bars created for extra seating and standing areas. A stone and glass mosaic that pulled all of the colors in the space together was chosen for the wet bar back splash.
The scale of the furniture played a particularly central role in this lower level design scheme. We knew we wanted to give them a large sectional for lounging as they did not have one anywhere else in their home. However, our clients are tall people, and usually have a difficult time finding comfortable furniture. We had a custom sofa created for them that fit the scale of the room and their bodies! Needless to say, our clients love the sofa – the perfect marriage of form and function.
In addition to the sofa, we added a soft ottoman for our clients to either kick up their feet or to place snacks and drinks upon. The portable side tables have bases that slide underneath the sofa so a horizontal surface could be placed anywhere someone is seated. The bar stools were also scaled well for the family and the space. They offer back support without being so tall that they obstruct the view to the TV.
We selected the accessories and artwork to fit our clients’ personalities. The rustic, horse estate theme was continued by hanging on the walls a horse print and a collection of reclaimed pressed aluminum ceiling tiles. We had created a niche in the wall behind the sofa, which ended up being the perfect spot for a bronze sculpture depicting Dr Suess’ “Horton Hears a Who” already owned by the family. Finally, as a family that loves to travel, we included a wall of oversized framed photographs of their many adventures.
The final result of this basement remodeling project was a warm, inviting space that our clients enjoyed using even more than they expected. The husband liked the smaller bar seating area so much he now uses it as a regular space to work from home, which was not part of the original plan. What elements are you looking to include in your lower level? Leave a comment below – we are always looking for more good ideas!
The flooring within your home serves as the foundation for its functionality and look, so the choices you make will affect how you live every day. Carpet, tile, hardwoods, and rugs have the potential to be major financial investments as well. We have some tips on how to choose the right floor coverings for your needs:
Determine the Needed Functionality
The kind of floor covering you choose will be greatly affected by the functionality you need. Each space in a home has different requirements. High traffic areas such as entryways and hallways need durable materials like tile and hardwoods; bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms need easily cleaned, sanitary materials; dining rooms lend themselves to rugs that can be sent out to be cleaned; and staircases, finished basements and bedrooms benefit from carpet for safety and noise control. Also consider providing soft, warm materials for spaces where people will sit on the floor, such as bedrooms and family rooms.
Note the Flow of Your Home
Take a look at how your rooms flow together, making sure that you do not see more than two types of floor coverings from any one vantage point. At Hoskins Interior Design, we prefer main living areas to be entirely covered in hard surfaces, adding soft coverings as needed. The hard surface materials are easily combined, mixing hardwoods with marble, tile or stone looks lovely, though we do keep to no more than two at a time. However, if you cannot see rooms from space to space, you have more options.
There are a lot of choices available for hardwood flooring. Make sure to install a material that will hold up to the expected traffic patterns in the space. The denser the wood the better for spaces like kitchens and hallways – we want the floors to be able to manage your high heels! Hickory, maple, and oak are good choices for these areas. Be sure to note the undertones in the wood species you choose. For example, oaks can be reddish and maple can be yellowish. Make sure those colors compliment the rest of your design scheme. We are often asked about engineered vs site-finished flooring. We prefer site-finished for its quality; however there are times when engineered can be the best option. Engineered wide planks can be more stable due to the lamination techniques, avoiding the cupping one can get with natural flooring options. Finally, have some fun with your wood flooring! The planks come in many sizes, and can be laid in different patterns or enhanced with inlays of other wood species like walnut or ebony. If you plan to mix patterns on one floor of your home, make sure to change the look at the thresholds of each room, allowing for a smooth transition from space to space. Plan to add rugs to your budget for hardwood floors as well!
How to Choose a Rug
Rugs greatly affect the color scheme of a room, and since they can be the most difficult element to find, we tend to start design projects by locating the right one. From there we choose fabrics and paint colors, both of which are much more readily available. For homes that will have rugs in adjacent rooms that can be seen all at one time, make sure the styles compliment each other. No tribal rugs near aubusson rugs please!
Feel free to mix materials when choosing rugs for your home. It is perfectly appropriate to set a sisal rug near an oriental rug, especially if you can see a lot of rugs from one spot in the house. The materials break up the patterns and textures.
Marble, Stone and Tile Flooring
At Hoskins Interior Design, we prefer natural stone materials over man-made for their durability and the color or texture variations. However, advances in technology have made man-made tile versions a viable option too. Beyond choosing from the many variations within each type of marble, stone or tile, you can affect the look of the floor by how you lay the pieces. Herringbone, stagger set, straight set, harlequin – choose a pattern that suits the style you are going for.
We love slate. It is perfect as flooring in areas where there is a lot of going in and out as it hides soil well. Also, its earthy feel makes a nice transition from the outdoors to the home. We always suggest using fully-gauged slate because it has been finished to be smoother under foot, and will not trip people with unexpected lips in the stone.
Choose a Reputable Flooring Installer
Installation technique is critical to the success of your floors, so it is important that you hire a reputable installer. Your interior designer should have relationships with quality people, or you can reach out to friends who are doing a project similar to yours. The preparation behind flooring installation is the key to getting the look and longevity you expect. When interviewing an installer, ask them directly how they plan to install your flooring and if they stand by their work if something goes wrong down the road.
Do you have a favorite floor covering? Let us know what it is and why by leaving a comment below. Feel free to send us an email or give us a call at 317-253