HOME - It's where your story takes place. This is where we live. My husband and I and our two darling girls, ages 6 and 11. It's where we pile in at night and watch tv, play games and build the most magnificent structures out of Legos. There are plenty of surfaces to build on, put down a drink, phone, or plate of nachos.You name it, we live in here. This is our Family Room.
The home is a Spanish Revival home. Originally built in 1980 - We did a massive remodel and addition to the home about five years ago. Adding more traditional, neutral finishes and features that will make the home transcend time. The arched opening into the family room is one of the last Spanish features left. I love the thickness of the wall and the sense of entry it creates.
I begin each room with a rug - to me, it's like buying art. The rug gives a definitive energy to the room, and sets the tone for how the room is used. In this case I chose Thomas O'Brien's wool and silk Guilded Teal 9 foot by 14 foot rug. It has bits of teal and olive that dance along the off-white background. Then bits of deep brown scattered in sections that give the rug depth.
I chose a massive sofa for this room. it spans 108 inches in width, and is 41 inches deep. We lay on it, sit Indian style on it and stretch out and lounge. This isn't a Living Room sofa where you are expected to maintain your posture. We puppy pile on our sofa... the more the merrier! I upholstered the sofa in a chunky linen the color of oatmeal - casual, natural, sofa... and comfortable.
I knew I needed to add height to create the illusion that the 8 foot ceilings were higher. I chose a pair of chairs opposite the entry that are forty-nine inches tall. By running a vertical band of leather up the center, it also lengthened the lines of the chair. One other elongating trick is mounting the drapery rods right next to the ceiling. Those long vertical panels did wonders for the room and framed in the magnificent views of the valley below.
I used Oly's Thor Sliding Cabinet as an entertainment unit. The silvered resin doors add an austere depth and are a bit of throw back. I layered a photo of a horse behind the TV. On more trick to add height to keep the eye from stopping at the top of the TV - just like putting together an outfit, it's all about the layers.
Some of my favorite moments in the room are: - Daylight streaming through the collection of Beijing navy vases from Oly Studio. - The large loosely painted landscape by Chelsea James. I love what it gives to the room - color, life, tranquility. It inspired me to use more purple in the accents of the room.
I filled my room with things that make us happy to look at and that are useful - usually both. Using things that are generally low in contrast allows your eye to move from one thing to the next without much pause. At the end of the day, we all just want to be comfortable, and a big part of that is surrounding yourself with the people and things you love.
[photos by Nicole Hill Gerulat]