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.
Lighting, We often neglect the magical effects light can have on a room. So what is it about lighting that can make a place more inviting than the next? It may seem strange, but with just a few fixtures in the right place, a room can appear bigger, taller, longer, or even cozier. It's especially important to have multiple light sources in a living room - brighter ones for larger gatherings, smaller ones for more intimate gatherings or a night in. Table lamps can bring lighting down to a human level and make a room seem cozier. So consider placing several table lamps around the room for a more intimate atmosphere. Another easy trick is to switch 'cool' toned light bulbs for 'warm' tone ones. It's a tiny investment, minimal work, nearly instant cozification.
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.
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