The challenge behind creating a design scheme for a whole house, or even just one floor, is making sure it reflects the spirit of the family and their design style with continuity but not redundancy. For example, knowing that you want to include a particular color does not mean that color has to dominate each space. Taking the approach of referencing that design element in every room keeps you from making each space look the same. The subtlety of the common theme allows it to become more interesting, make sense and follow a design direction in each space.
Our clients provided us with the perfect opportunity to implement this design practice when they decided to build a new custom home. Their previous home was lovely, but had been finished in a rainbow of colors with little continuity. For their new home, they wanted a new look—light colors with blue and white accents. They also wanted to include their love of antiques and Europe, particularly the French style. Finally, they chose Leonard Watson from Artisan Homes to build their home, a craftsman who specialized in stunning architectural elements. Below we explain how we brought their desired elements into different rooms without begin redundant.
The tone of the home is set once you enter the front door and are welcomed by this exquisite red-lacquered Asian secretary, a piece our client had always wanted. We found this one and it served as the basis for the rest of the elements in the room. Our clients found the perfect rug to pull in the rich, bright red with lots of blue and we added two huge, lidded blue temple jars. Our clients also found the Chinese children’s pajamas in San Francisco and had them framed as the perfect compliment to the space. The secretary provided us with a design scheme—eclectic style, Asian accents, blue and white, and a sophisticated European look against a neutral background. We then moved this sophisticated look into the rest of the house.
Living Room Design:
Once in the foyer, the first room within a visitor’s site line is the living room. Therefore we brought in an inviting look with lovely details and silhouettes in a comfortable atmosphere. The furniture referenced the European style in both new and antiques pieces, and was crafted in light colors for a welcoming look. Along a large blank wall we placed an antique breakfront and turned it into a bibliotheque—a large bookcase—and filled it with books and bits of their collections. This piece balances the custom fireplace and niches on the other side of the room. The accessories feature the blue and white through pieces like the turquoise Buddha, antique Imari sake bottles, and Tang horses.
Dining Room Design:
Adjacent to the foyer is the dining room. An antique pedestal table and Chippendale chairs set upon an oriental rug is the basis for the room. We created a rhythm through the room, combining sparkly silver and crystal, rich woods, and blue and white pieces, all coming together to create a visual symphony. The shelving was placed to highlight the blue, white and silver accessories set above the pieces adorning the sideboard. We filled the large room with a mix of new and antique furniture, art and accessories, giving the visitor a lot of beautiful items to look at. The antique chandelier brings in even more romance with its graceful, flowing lines and incredible sparkle. During the day the room receives a lot of light, allowing the crystal and reflective surfaces to shine. We placed small spotlights angled toward the chandelier to allow it to sparkle in the evening hours as well.
Gallery Hall Design:
The main thoroughfare through the home is a gallery hallway. It is here, along with the staircase, where Leonard’s commitment to quality architectural elements is most apparent. The lovely arched doorways wrapped with detailed moldings draw your eye along the space and invite you into the adjacent rooms. We added a simple vignette at the end to help pull your eye, provide perspective and encourage you to walk down the hallway and explore. Our goal was to compliment Leonard’s craftsmanship, not detract from it.
Home Library Design:
At one end of the gallery hallway is a wood-paneled library. The gorgeous woodwork continued the architectural theme set in the hallway and the rest of the home. While blue and white did not fit with the room’s style, the European look was perfect. Comfortable custom furniture for seating, a working desk and a wall of bookshelves create a relaxing, masculine feel.
The key to a successful whole house remodel is understanding the design elements you would like to include, and then figuring out how they fit into each space. While you want continuity, it is better to include bits of those elements in different ways rather than matching each room. A talented interior designer understands the subtleties of bringing a theme to a whole home, avoiding redundancy yet allowing the theme to make sense in each space. If you are planning a large whole house remodeling project, send us an email or give us a call at 317-253-8986. We’d love to help!