Pick a Palette, and Repeat, Working within a streamlined color palette not only helps the rooms themselves feel cohesive, but it also helps with the transitions between rooms. “When you're in the middle of the foyer and you're able to see all the other rooms throughout, you have the same family of colors repeated but in different ways in each space,” says Mele. Case in point: The walls of the breakfast room are coated with a similar blue to the family room, but this time with paint, and as in the entryway, a pop of orange upholstery has a striking yet grounding effect. Play with Percentages, A genius way to get even more mileage out of a small group of colors is to do a flip-flop of sorts, pushing what was previously used as an accent color to the foreground. This is precisely what Mele did in this music room by using statement orange curtains and tangerine lamps while letting the blue and white recede to a single armchair. “It ties in blue to fit in with the rest of the house,” says Mele of his design.
It can be a console, a wall art or a highlighting of a corner or probably just a light fixture. This focal point will help bind the whole living room together and also define its function. Generally fire-place, plasma unit or a console make good focal points. It is sometimes important to draw the attention to the farthest wall using an oversize piece of art or decorative mirror so that you have footsteps in that corner, else it will become one dull area of the living room. Fusion look can be achieved by combining various materials; while chrome steel black lacquered wood, leather will add the contemporary look; silk, carved wood, and wrought iron will bring the tradition in. It is very important to achieve a balance by not overdoing any one style. Accessories like cuddly cushions, candles, dim lights, and flowers will add warmth and coziness to the atmosphere. Add likes to your lighting rather than one high voltage ceiling lamp illuminating the entire room, use a combo of the floor, table, ceiling and wall lamp to make the space glow. A big rug made of plush wool or silk made with traditional weaving will make the room inviting and also set a sharp contrast with furniture.
Use White to Freshen Things Up, Mele is a huge proponent of painting things white, especially furniture. “I think white modernizes and freshens,” he says. “People are afraid of their old grandmother's found furniture, but their forms are so fabulous and remain timeless. White just gives furniture a contemporary personality, I think. A fresh youthful spirit.” To strike the right color balance in the home's formal dining room, Mele had the dining chairs bleached white from the original brown. Strike a Color-and-Pattern Compromise, When dialing up the pattern, it's sometimes best to dial down the color to achieve a calmer, less chaotic effect. When designing the home's master bedroom, Mele started with a bold, Matisse-esque pattern and made his color choices, or lack thereof, from there. “I just wanted to use that pattern everywhere and not break it up with different colors or patterns,” he says. To that end he refrained from introducing any of the vibrant colors he used on the home's ground floor. “I wanted it to feel a little calmer, quieter, even though it's not a calm, quiet fabric.
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