If you prefer the sleek look, don't think you need to go with a rustic theme to add texture. Look for chunky woven fabrics for furniture and throw pillows, grass cloth or fabric wallcovering and natural-fiber carpets. Linen is a great choice too. Notice here how the upholstered table catches the light beautifully. Throw in some curves for inclusiveness and comfort. Curves are intuitively more inviting than rectilinear shapes. Rounded and soft, they tend to make us feel more protected and comforted. Creating a quasi circle, this pair of curved sofas fosters inclusivity. One side completes the other, so neither sofa feels cut off, making conversation more relaxed. Rest your arms. Arms that sit too low on sofas and chairs top my list of pet peeves. Before you buy furniture, sit down and test it to make sure that not only the arms, but also the height, depth and back angle are reasonably comfortable. The last thing you want is a sofa or chair that looks nice but that you avoid because it's uncomfortable.
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.
Despite storing very little toys in this room, I wanted it to evoke peace and play. To achieve the peace, we kept a mostly neutral color palette with a pop of warmth from the wood and the leather couch. I also tried to keep the decor as minimal as possible (which helps when we have a bunch of tiny humans over). People keep asking what we'll hang above the fireplace, but I'm not sure that we'll hang anything. (Or maybe we just haven't found the perfect thing yet.) If this room were a profession, it would be a therapist. This is the space we bring our messy lives to. I wanted the room to be able to handle it. Of course, this is where we have fun too. I wanted to implement visual fun as a reminder. So we keep Hal's rocking horse out all the time. Kev named him Polo. Hal calls him Whole-Low and drags him all around the house.
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