He’s a little bit country and she is a little bit rock ‘n roll, and the combination is something I call “organic modernism.” We combined the homeowners’ mementos, industrial pieces and warm textures to create a collection of
oddities that satisfies their rustic-inspired living, giving them the luxurious lodge look they desired.
The family I worked with had a large, multi-purpose space that had no purpose at all. An [off] white sofa — which they rescued during college — a TV and a half-kitchen are all that occupied their basement. Their dream was to create a space the whole family could enjoy — a pleasant office to work from, a media center with storage, substantial furniture, a space to work out and a game room and bar area for entertaining guests.
My challenge was to suit each of their styles. She pictured a rich chalet with beautiful weathered wood and linen upholstery, while he wished to incorporate his gaming treasures and would have been happy with horns hanging in every corner.
Combining basic elements, like wood and metals, we added natural fiber rugs and unique textured wall coverings to create a cozy cabin-like influence. With inviting furnishings, we added decorative elements, which are current and modern, to complete the space and give harmony. The space now evokes an intimate feeling as if you are escaping in the silence of the mountains far, far away from the crowded city.
How did we start?
Together with the client, we crafted a list of must-haves:
- Performance leather, suede upholstery
- Pewter and metals accents with patina and nailhead
- Reclaimed wood, wooden furniture, branches, bark or twigs
- Wrought iron, copper, rusted metals
- Natural fabrics – cotton, hemp, linen, wool
- Stone, rocks, concrete
- Organic, natural, outdoor elements
How did we do it?
Richly textured and subtly patterned wall coverings give the rooms a snug charm with a rustic look. We located an old barn that was to be torn down, and my client purchased the reclaimed wood, which became our accent in the entertainment room. A local artisan creatively sanded each piece of the wood while keeping the integrity of its weathered history. I wrapped the window wall in a rich, deep mahogany paint and then stepped into the office and den where I wanted to create a refined definition. This work space needed a modern spirit within its rural setting. With an urban aesthetic, the nature-inspired shade of grass-cloth wallpaper I selected offered a new level of lavishness to form a sophisticated getaway.
Next, came designing the media center storage cabinetry and a new office desk. By removing a door from the previously installed cabinets in the kitchenette area, we matched the species and stain perfectly and extended a custom built-in unit the length of the basement wall. The stereo system is now neatly tucked behind the speaker fabric doors and all games, videos and toys are organized effortlessly in baskets on each shelf.
The office and den area — which is the first room you see as you enter — deserved a signature piece. We hand-picked a cedar slab and had our local artisan make a custom live-edge desk with a finished file cabinet and raw steel cross-bar leg. To continue this color-way on the wall, we used the same cedar slab to create box shelves that are functional and complement the gorgeous, charcoal grass-cloth.
In addition to watching movies and playing games, the family also exercises together. We purchased sturdy furnishings with performance leather for heavy use to handle each activity, which are also easy to slide to the side when they are moving to pre-recorded training programs. Typically, I like to layer rugs for depth and impact — in this case, I wanted to add a pop of interest and also provide a carpet that is small enough to shift out of the way when necessary. In the den, the custom upholstered side chair and ottoman have a luxurious, velvety texture, perfect for curling up with a book or checking homework. And the ergonomically correct desk chair, with dish-cut seating, is ideal for steady computer work or Facebooking.
But exercising is not the only way the family sweats together. A custom shuffleboard table was built to fit the space with a one-time licensing fee contract to use the logo from their college alma mater. An irreplaceable piece that is absolutely stunning.
We finished the space with a hammered copper and metal pub table and chairs, comfy throws, custom upholstered pillows, one-of-a-kind tree stump side tables and most important … custom printed and framed art that was personally designed and illustrated by the homeowner.
This space is now adult, kid and pet friendly with unique elements and loads of character. We brought the outdoors in for an organic allure and while keeping the space current with fresh accents. This transformation has changed the way this family spends their time together. I love being a life-style designer.