For my inaugural blog post, I really had no choice but to profile this blast of a family room and its transformation from blank slate to big stage. My clients, a young couple with a new modern house in the Oakland Hills outside of San Francisco, had a whole lot of space and even more confusion as to what to do with it. Although they couldn’t exactly speak to what they wanted, I could tell they were hoping to push some boundaries in this particular room and I was certain we could accomplish that while also maintaining comfort and livability. When you take a look at the photos, I hope you’ll agree I was right.
During a thorough exploration stage in which we developed the super hip vibe they sought, I was able to tease out and align the wife’s love of the Rolling Stones and the husband’s love of John Varvatos boutiques. Luckily those two elements complement each other well – it’s hard to visit a Varvatos and not picture a few rock stars up on the wall somewhere. Anyway, if it’s the Stones you’ve just gotta Paint it Black, so that’s where we started. The clients were definitely nervous about painting the walls black but I demonstrated how a dark color can actually help make a space its warmest, and away we went.
As the anchor piece, we customized a tufted sectional upholstered in black faux croc fabric, immediately turning the room into a show stopper. I’m never afraid to mix metal finishes and wanted to introduce luster to play off the dark walls, so we added brass nailheads to the sectional as well as a brass coffee table, bronze sputnik chandelier, and antique mirror. Brass pulls on the sideboard were a subtle detail that tied the major pieces together. The butterfly chair was the perfect relaxed offset to the fancy schmancy sectional, and helped keep the room feeling eclectic. Back to that sideboard – we salvaged a gorgeous vintage piece, and lacquered it in a fiery tomato red that provided some needed rock star pop and pulled in my favorite colors from the rug. A word about rugs – as any fellow designer knows, they can be the most challenging items to convince clients to spend on. They sure can be expensive (and sooo luxurious and worth it!), but there are some great affordable options out there if you do your research! We wanted a large vintage rug with red highlights but every gorgeous option was either a budget-buster or the wrong size. We ended up with a brand new vintage-style rug that worked beautifully. Finally, we arranged an array of iconic rocker photos to preside over it all, with Mick at the center.
So, what do I mean in titling this post “Satisfaction”? Well, I don’t mean the “oh, they picked the one I liked on House Hunters!” kind of satisfaction; I’m talking about that oh-so-rare, deep brand of satisfaction. For the Stones, it was knowing they’d made it for good by reaching a third album (despite ironically crooning that they couldn’t get none). For my clients, it was seeing a major investment evolve into a dream space they could love for years. And for their designer, it was the opportunity to share in that afterglow, and to further share it here with you.
Here’s the before: