Anatomy of a Mark Sikes Room

I don’t remember when or where I first saw this kitchen/living area combo by interior designer Mark Sikes, but this well-designed space is anything but forgettable.  As a renter, with an awkward kitchen/formal dining room layout, I dream of tearing down a wall HGTV-style and making the space into something me and my family would actually use.  And the dreams in my head look an awful lot like this dreamy real-life room.

It is not common to see a sofa so close to the kitchen workspace, but any family who spends enough time in their kitchen could tell you it would be well-used.  I just love that this room looks like the center of this house and an all around great place to relax or party (whatever suites the occasion).

I could spend two weeks talking about the reasons I love this space, but here are a few highlights.

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click image to enlarge

LINE:  In a room with this many pieces of furniture and built-in shelves and windows it could get messy if the lines were messy.  But in all the elements the lines are horizontal and create rectangles, which brings order and harmony to this space.  Because they are similar they recede into the background and play a supporting role in letting the colors and patterns do all the talking.

EMPHASIS: Every room needs a focal point, especially a room like this with multiple functions.  Because the pendants are at eye level and are large they establish the kitchen island as the center of this room.

HARMONY: We talked about this a few weeks ago, but here is another great example of matching the lighting and hardware in a kitchen to create harmony.  It’s little details like this that make a room feel finished.

PATTERN: There isn’t a lot of pattern in this room, which is probably good given the small amount of space that’s filled to the brim.  So it’s nice that it’s contained to the floor, and that the same pattern is in both the kitchen side of the space and the living side of the space.  It helps tie the two spaces together instead of breaking them apart.

COLOR: The large windows connect this room very closely to its surroundings outside.  The sunny yellow pillows, sky-blue textiles and accessories, and the sand colored ottoman and bar stool help to bring that nature inside. It also helps that this room is flooded with natural light…making this room the perfect place to cook, and then curl up with a good book (and maybe nap!).

SPACE:  One of my favorite parts of this room is the genius use of what would otherwise be wasted space.  Instead of bare walls there are built-in bookshelves used to house reading materials, a collection of blue/white patterned china and other small accessories that bring personality and coziness to the space.

RHYTHM: A room feels more cohesive if your eye can pick out similar elements around the room to focus on.  Everywhere you look there is a blue accessory or fabric or bowl…even the stone counter top appears to have veins of blue running through it.  All the blue gives your eye a path to take around the room.

BALANCE: One of the best design elements in this room is the balance between the kitchen and living spaces…neither over powers the other.  They both have strong, unique design elements, so they can stand on their own, but they also work well together.  If the island were any larger, or the sofa any smaller or differently colored, the balance of the room would be thrown off.  Instead, the island and the sofa take up the same amount of space, are the same size and color, and share the same lines.

Did I miss something?  What else do you love about this room?  Would you ever put a sofa in your kitchen?

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One thought on “Anatomy of a Mark Sikes Room

  1. Pingback: Color Palette: Saturated Yellow Color Combinations | The Anatomy of Design

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